In her latest training diary, Kelda Wood admits the weekend in Yorkshire was an emotional rollercoaster.

We were up early on a cold and fresh Saturday morning prepared for some fun (and pain) out in the hills. It was the most beautiful morning and I think we were all feeling blessed as we watched the sunrise over a frosty Yorkshire.

We walked, we talked, we laughed. It felt great to be out and so good to be part of such an incredible project. We successfully summited the first peak in the sunshine and as we reached the lunch stop I’ll be honest I was feeling pretty bloomin’ awesome!

I’d been using the crutches, I’d had some great support from Laura the team physio as well the other members of the team and the leg was feeling strong. I maybe got a little over confident, but I was buzzing! 

Several years ago I gave my leg a name, the aim being that if I thought of it as a third person, then hopefully I wouldn’t give it such a hard time! So I called my leg Larry. A couple of the other guys on the team have also given their various ‘missing parts’ names too, so Larry, Timmy and Nemo are the “virtual” members of the AGS team! 

Anyway, Larry was doing well, maybe he was going to stand up (figuratively speaking) to things better than I’d given him credit for.

And it stayed that way, until we started to work our way up towards the second peak. There was a bit of snow and ice about, but it had turned into either that horrible slippery half melted snow, or ice that had started to melt and had formed a layer of water over the top, so you couldn’t tell if it was actually ice or not. The slippery conditions are the worst scenario for Larry. I can’t use the crutches, and the constant slipping causes a sharp excruciating pain into the damaged joint.

I started getting really frustrated and annoyed with Larry and I called him a fair few names along the way. I always knew the test for me was going to be how I treated Larry when the going got tough. I wasn’t treating him very well at that point in time! 

I’d said to myself at the start of the day that if I began being evil to Larry, that I had to change my behaviour, so I’m not sure if it was that, or just plain insanity, but eventually laughter saved the day. You had to find the situation pretty funny, it was a case of laugh or cry!

Full credit to Dave, who was good enough to hang back and keep me company. He put up with my evil mouth, my moments of madness and was kind enough to stay good humoured throughout the whole ordeal!

And we did it! We got to the end, even if it was a fair way behind the others and after the last of the amazing sunshine had long disappeared.

But here goes the rollercoaster again, because poor old Larry wasn’t in great shape, I was questioning whether Aconcagua was actually achievable. If Larry was in this much pain after one big day, could he really keep it up day after day out in Argentina?

I’m a positive person, and always believe there’s a way, but being honest, how things felt Saturday night and Sunday morning, I wasn’t sure I even wanted to find a way!

But now, well I’m pretty ashamed of myself for letting that negativity take hold because we got out walking on Sunday, and you know what? Good old Larry, he is tougher than I give him credit for. Once he got going, he was off!! The pain eased and he felt good!

It just shows, you never know unless you try.

And when it comes to Aconcagua, I’ve got to remember that no matter how bad he feels, I know once I get up and get moving, it will get better.

I’ve got to thank all the team for their support and encouragement, they never once made me feel like I shouldn’t be there, and the little look, the kind word, they made all the difference. Every single member of the team, both those out walking and those involved in the logistical support, are incredible people and I thank AGS and everyone involved for their inspiring attitude and support.

So the positivity is back! I will do this and I promise I’ll be kind to Larry at the same time.

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