In 2005 Jennifer Garner and I made what possibly could be classed as the biggest decision of our lives. Bigger than any marriage proposal or deciding to bring another life into this world, bigger even than choosing who your celebrity granddad would be (For the record, Jennifer’s is Martin Sheen. Whilst I would also like to have Jed Bartlet as the head of my family, Jen got there first, so I have to go with Robin Williams). So what is this important decision? What our theme tune to life would be? The song that you hear when you walk down the street, the song that is in the background of every dream, the song that gets you through both the good and bad times, the song that if someone ever decided to make a film about your life, would be played at some pivotal moment. Like when you realised that you wanted to become a Go Go dancer or that you were in love with your postman all along or after you got arrested for peeing in a public fountain in front 400 other people. After much deliberation we both finally settled on our ideal tune. Jennifer’s was “Shout”, the Isley Brothers version not Lulu’s. My own, “Don’t Get Me Wrong” by The Pretenders. Ever since this moment, I have had to have a soundtrack for everything, road trips (as you have already heard about), holidays, nights out, I have even made up a soundtrack for my own funeral. Some may think this is particularly morbid but I did not pull together such an awesome collection of music because I think I may die soon. Rather, I decided to put it together just in case something unexpected did happen as if it was left up to Demi, I would be lowered into my grave to either something by “The Boob” (aka Michael Bubble) or to her favourite housework song “What you waiting for” by Gwen Stefani. So far I have 60 songs on my funeral playlist so it should only last a couple of hours.
Everyday, come rain or shine, I go through the same routine of sticking on my converse, putting the hood up on whatever hoodie I have chosen to wear that day, putting on my biker jacket, fitting my iPhone into my jean pocket after turning on the iPod, sticking my headphones in my ears and the final and most important stage in this process, putting on my sunglasses. I don’t go through this process on a daily basis to just sit in my living room looking like some kind of rock star wannabe waiting to be discovered; I do it to prepare myself for my daily walk.
A few weeks after leaving hospital and following Louis Walsh’s (The Physio) instruction of doing the leg exercises everyday, I was ready to attempt my first walk outside. I knew that by not working my legs and building up there stamina and strength would lead to only one thing; they would get worse. On the other hand, pushing them too hard could lead me to relapse to an even worse state. So I had to find a happy middle ground. To do this I started off with what I thought I could manage. With the help of Paul and Jane, I walked a couple of metres out the house and back. I continued this everyday until the next week when I felt comfortable enough to up the distance by the length of a garden (I live in Moodiesburn, not Beverly Hills, so the length of most gardens here are about two metres not two miles). Every week since then I have continued to do the same. Between this and the hydro therapy (hydrotherapy) I have noticed more movement, strength and stamina in each of my legs and as long as I don’t have a “Winona” moment (This is code for crazy) and try and up what I am doing by ten gardens instead of one, I will not relapse. Yes, it’s a slow and boring process but if it enables me to walk a reasonable distance without Paul and Jane and not just down the street and back, then it will be worth it.
That’s the boring stuff out of the way, now onto the important things. As I said before I make up a soundtrack to everything. So my walk is no different. I needed songs that had a positive message, would keep me going or that I just generally loved. Below is my walking playlist:
1) Tomorrow – James
2) Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow – Fleetwood Mac
3) El Capitan – Idlewild
4) Times Like These – Foo Fighters
5) Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
6) Move Along – The All American Rejects
7) You and Me – Dave Matthews Band
8) The Middle – Jimmy Eats World
9) Save Me – Remy Zero
10) Lifeline – Angels and Airwaves
11) Johnny B Goode – Chuck Berry
I don’t really need anymore than eleven at the moment as I cannot walk that far yet but one day its going to be bigger than my funeral playlist!
The next important factor of my walk that perhaps needs to be explained is, why do I wear sunglasses all the time when I live somewhere that rains 99% of the time? Because ladies and gentleman, not only does it rain a lot here but it also gets hell of a windy. On one particular windy and rainy day, I went through my ritual (this was before I realised my need for sunglasses). I stepped outside the door and started strutting my stuff down the street, thinking to myself “how cool am I, even with these sticks”. Half way through my daily jaunt, a sudden gust of wind came out of nowhere. My first instinct was to protect my legs and try and not get knocked off my feet. So I grabbed Paul and Jane and with everything I had, dug them into the ground and held on for dear life. Unfortunately that meant that I could not protect any other part of my body and with it the wind brought lots of little particles of dirt which flew into my left eye. Out went my cool jaunt and it was replaced by a crazy stumbling fool who for some reason unknown to passers by kept winking. After finally managing to get home partially sighted, I promised myself I’d never leave the house again without protecting my eyes with my sunglasses, no matter the weather. I was asked once by a woman in the street why I was wearing my sunnies when there was no sun, to which I replied, “To hide my identity. I am actually on a really popular kids TV show and I don’t want them to see me like this as they all love me so much it could traumatise them”. HA HA SUCKER!
Do you have a theme tune to life? Why not tell us about it?