Cliff Buchler
2 minute read
11 Oct 2017
5:30 am

Now I’m forced to join the bragging walkers

Cliff Buchler

After a major heart operation I was told in no uncertain terms by a stroppy surgeon that walking was part of the survival regimen.

While still in my youth I walked aplenty. Whether I liked it or not, I was forced to use my legs to get to point B.

Every time my folks moved house there was the promise of it being near the school, church and railway station. Another fat, false claim by a lying estate agent.

In each case I had to arise before sparrows’ ablutions to get to the station in time for an hour’s ride to my place of work. Dark winter mornings played havoc with my spindly legs, leaving them numb until boarding the warm train (when the aircon worked, that is). A nose bleeding with icicles added to the ordeal. The walking didn’t stop there.

I had fallen in love with my one and only “case” who lived yonks away. It took a train journey of twenty stations to get to her suburb, then a 3km walk to her house.

This exercise was repeated on the return trip – many times during the Highveld winter.

So, at retirement, I scaled down on walking, preferring the Lazy Boy with a book in hand. This was not to be. We moved into a lifestyle complex where just about every resident had a hobby. Guess what? Walking.

They’ll be seen, not only walking the complex, but taking to the streets. To add to my chagrin, they’d brag about the number of kilos they walk each day, including the time taken.

Their exploits left me legless. I spent most of my time dodging fanatical folk intent on converting a backslidden walker.

Then it happened. After a major heart operation I was told in no uncertain terms by a stroppy surgeon that, guess what? Walking was part of the survival regimen. I’m now a fully-fledged member of the walkers’ fraternity. Okay, so the going’s tough and I’m still walking like a drunken crab.

And I’m sorry if I don’t wave or smile back at you while I’m walking. It’s just that I’m trying very hard not to upset the blood flow through new arteries.

But I draw the line when it comes to joining a gym. I don’t need the gibes when I’m slipping and sliding on the treadmill.

Oh, just in passing, I’ve done my first wonky one k today. Sorry, there’s nothing worse than a converted walker.

Cliff Buchler.

Cliff Buchler.