The new ice hockey season started last night. I caught up with Drew and Vikki Westwood for the first time since the play-offs last season. I told Drew about walking the West Highland Way again and he asked me how much I training had done. I told him that I had walked 6 miles that morning. And that was it. He replied “I’m glad you’re taking it seriously.”

24 hours later and a further 8 miles under my belt I am now fairly confident he was being sarcastic. The blisters have started. In some cases my blisters have blisters.

Karen and I set off at 6 AM to walk from Killearn to Milngavie. It was a glorious morning and everything functioned perfectly for the first half-mile. Then the hotspots started. Imagine looking at a Google map of Great Britain with a traffic jam on every single road. That was my foot, and I have two of them. However, from this experience I discovered a few things.

The first thing I discovered was the dystonia in my feet is now ever present when I’m putting serious effort in. I haven’t noticed it really for a while, but then my daily exercise routine in recent months has been walking the 100 yards from the car park into my office and back. I have to figure out how to deal with this. Today solution of swearing a lot was largely ineffective. I think possibly having a bath chair available for me to be carried in when the problem starts might be the best way forward. This may be considered a burden to the other walkers but surely it is better than slowing them down?

The second thing I discovered is I will waste away to nothing in no time unless I eat copious amounts of chocolate and drink lots of beer. The extraordinarily reliable exercise app on my phone told me I burned 1600 calories on the walk today. I remedied this loss with an enormous lunch. I will have to be more careful in future not leave myself exposed to calorie loss at this level.

The third thing I discovered is Amazon is a place of wonder if you’re looking for blister remedies. I bought everything I could and, once I have applied everything, I will probably be unable to walk (which will in turn resolve the issues which arise from the first and second points above.)

These two walks were supposed to be the extent of my preparation. However, you probably need to work on the rapid calorie intake regime, so I will work on that for the rest of the week.

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