The Seventh Stage of The Thames Walk

This stage of the walk was trickier than it should have been - what with me falling down the stairs and on now on crutches. Clearly, I was not going to make 140 metres let alone the 14 miles!

The group came together to problem solve what to do. Being teenagers, many had strong opinions of what would be for the best and held more than one of the following conflicting ideas.

  1. We could cancel the walk for this year.

  2. We could postpone the walk until I was able to take part

  3. They could continue without me and I would re-join when able

  4. We could skip walks 7 and 8 or even 9 and add them to the end in October

  5. We continue in the sequence.

  6. Another adult could take my place.

  7. I should walk ever stage if they were going to.

As you can see, it is not possible to do all 7 ideas and so it became an intense negotiation. Some of the learners within this group are on the autistic spectrum and therefore the ability to cope with change and the need for order, timings and keeping things the same - all conflict with each other.

The main thing to remember when you have a group and diversity like this is not to fall out over it. This in the scale of things is - not important enough to lose friends over.

After much to-ing and fro-ing, we agreed that I would be chauffeur driven in the support vehicle and one of the parents would do the walking. As it happened, we had two support vehicles and the parents walked half the walk each.

Once we (my chauffeur and I) got to Goring, we had a small hobble around the lovely village and fell in love with the place. I was partially taken with the allotment garden just by the carpark. The walkers much appreciated the toilets, the many benches available, the hot cross buns and the hot chocolate – yes! We even found ‘our walkers’ approved coffee shop chain.

By four fifths of the 'walk', I was very tired and had a little snooze, so missed them rump home to the finish line on time. I understand that we have from both the parents, that took part in the walk (walking approximately 7 miles each), a new-found adoration for the walkers who walked the whole 14 miles.


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