Relearning to walk has become a constant battle for me. Despite bi-weekly stints at Epworth Rehabilitation, balancing whilst moving and co-ordinating my limbs still remains so difficult. However, since my regular sessions I have experienced definite physical and emotional gains. I now have the opportunity to practise with a team to help guide and motivate me.

I confess though that fear does stop me from further challenging myself. Fear of falling and causing further physical problems. Fear of forever being tied to my walking frame. Above all, fear of damaging the little vision I have left in my right eye. Whilst part of me is keen to challenge myself to walk without my walking frame, I’m also painfully aware that this would dramatically increase the likelihood of falling. I’m terrified of falling. This terror stops me!

So, when given a ‘safer’ environment, I’m more inspired to take the risk (less hard or sharp objects/ surfaces to fall on). Yesterday, the wide beach and soft sand was a perfect spot to practise. I surprised myself. Proof – I can do it!

With renewed hope and inspired by yesterday’s performance, 24 hours later, I again tackle the beach. The identical beach, the identical time. However, such a different result. I’m not sure what went wrong but a combination of the weather conditions and my worsening walking ability meant I struggled to stand up and walk smoothly in a line. Proof – I have to keep working at this!

Over time, I guess I have accepted that ‘realistically’ I will not walk without my frame. Sure, it’s possible functionally, but when considering the ramifications of falling, it’s not too sensible. I confess the prospect of staying attached to my walking frame is so disheartening. It’s easy to not try when the likely outcome’s not great. However, if I focus on that dismal thought, it hugely limits me. Choosing to carry on inspires me to keep trying. It is letting my fear fuel my resolve and not limit me.

I think we all have a choice with what we do with fear. We can either;

1) stay in our comfort zone and never confront it or

2) we can choose to carry on in its presence.

Perhaps, for many of us a particular fear will always lurk in the background. However, we have a choice about the extent we let it dictate our paths. Use your fear to fuel your direction!