see them shufflin along. . .

There is not much I can say, except that this lopsided shuffle SEEMS LIKE SOME SORTA BLOODY MIRACLE. It feels especially good for me to pootle past the lamp-post that you can see in the final moments of this clip, as I saw it from a very different perspective just under a year ago – viz, lying on the ground, freaked out and fookin freezin, with one side of my body completely paralysed. It really is incredibly hard for me to run at all – my brain has to ‘tell’ my left leg and arm exactly what to do as I am making each step; I can only move like this on entirely flat ground; I have to wear giant boots and orthotics; and I can only keep it up for about 30 seconds at a time. Still, it is improving every day, and it seems to help my walking, too (over the past months, I have often found that trying to do things that are physically difficult seems to really help me to accomplish movements that are slightly ‘easier’). I must stick at it, and buy some new running gear (this gnome-outfit is clearly not activity-appropriate, but I chucked all my running stuff away in one of my recent purges). Anyway, can I also say that I am feeling damned proud of myself? And that it has taken some BLOODY HARD WORK to get here? I think a celebratory ale may be in order. . . CIN CIN!

193 thoughts on “see them shufflin along. . .

  1. Kate, you are an inspiration! I swear that looking at that, no one would know that you have the challenges that you do.

    You rock!

  2. That is just amazing. You’ve come so far, with such determination. I’ve lurked here since long before your stroke, have read every word you’ve posted and am constantly humbled, by your knitting, your writing, and latterly your fight to get better. Thank you for sharing all of it and with a writing style I am probably even more envious of than your knitting skills which drew me here originally.


  3. chin chin, skål – and well done!

    that said, it probably feels more lopsided to you than it looks to other people. To me it ‘just’ looks like someone running in heavy boots, which makes running somewhat more awkward for most people.

    and agreeing with the comment above: you are indeed an inspiration, in many ways.

    the best of wishes from Virum, Denmark,

  4. THAT IS AMAZING! Even though it’s 10am here, I’ll crack one open and drink a toast to you. I can’t really fathom the strength it took to get from there to here. Congratulations!

  5. So so pleased!

    I have often found that trying to do things that are physically difficult seems to really help me to accomplish movements that are slightly ‘easier’

    On the brain/cognitive side this is definitely a mechanism which works – training musicians (practise something hard, flail, feel like an idiot, find your less hard bits go better), possibly dancers, and I think the crossword effect is at least tangentially related too (get nowhere with an idea, do a crossword/sudoku, come back and find idea has sorted itself).

    On the physical side – yes too! I think the motor skills come under the previous umbrella, but strength and stamina are under this one – if I only cycle my usual route to town and back, the last hill always kills me. You’d think I’d get used to it, wouldn’t you? But nope, my body seems to like being stuck in that hell-it’s-not-easy rut till I give it some other, hillier hills to find hard.

    Sorry for the theory splurge. Big love and sending all support along with everyone else. xxx

  6. Hooray! Back to running!

    I know plenty of people who could not run like that, although they’re in “good health”. So yeah, be proud of it!

  7. That is so fantastic, Congratulations! You should be proud – many people without the struggles you have been through can’t or won’t go out and try that, definitely purchase some new running duds!

  8. Chin chin! Congratulations on all your hard work. I love how happy Bruce seems to be about it as well (and how he checks back to make sure Tom is still coming – I’m presuming it’s Tom filming).

  9. Yes, you really have something to be proud of!! It seems that you have been taking big leaps the last couple of months. I remember when you swam across the swimming pool not so long ago! I am looking forward to the new Rowan book/let, just to see what you have written!

  10. Hooray! You have come such a long way!
    When we have our beer tonight we will raise a toast to you.
    As always, tons of love!

  11. Congratulations! I’ve a new reader, thanks to your Owls sweater pattern. I read the story of your stroke and recovery over the course of an evening last week, first horrified, then amazed. You’ve worked so hard and with such determination to get to where you are. I’m raising a toast to you from Toronto. Here’s to many more happy runs!

  12. Cheers! So happy for you!
    PS: You run better than I do: I don’t run… ever…except in the most dire of circumstances.

  13. Oh, that put a huge smile on my face, as I imagine it did yours…and I bet that celebratory ale tasted wonderful…
    Yes, bloody hard work, with bloody fine results, and with your level of determination, more to come.
    When I first ran again after being sliced & diced & pumped full of chemicals (a slow, little 1 minute burst tucked in between minutes of walking) my heart positively soared & tears streamed down my face. I imagine that too much concentration was being applied during the event, but I’m sure you felt that feeling of euphoria afterwards.
    I hope so anyway.
    Yep – new gear in order…

  14. Having read your comments about the way your movements feel INSIDE yourself, I was astonished to see how they look OUTSIDE yourself. If you could watch me run, you wouldn’t see anything different than what’s on your clip — and I am, as yet, strokeless. I also loved your most recent Shetland entry because it made no mention of your physical self but instead dwelt entirely on what you were seeing and doing in other realms. BRAVA!

  15. Wow! I don’t think you look lopsided at all! Good on you for keeping at it!

    We can all take a lesson from you.

  16. Kate, so amazing to see your accomplishment; you deserve to feel proud of yourself! I also love how Bruce keeps checking on your photographer! So cute of him. Many, many congratulations to you!!

  17. You inspire me in so many ways … I toast your successes, large and small, and wish you many more.

    Let’s all drink to that!

  18. My first thought was (as I played the video) – you run better than me and I want a dog like Bruce!!! So yes you should be very proud.

    p.s. half way through Caller Herrin and thinking about doing some gloves with a band of the pattern around the wrist

  19. Bloody well done, woman! And, (I know you don’t feel it), but you actually look reasonably fluid running (no worse than all the other post-Christmas joggers on the bike paths). I am jaw-dropped with amazement at what you have achieved. Huzzah!

    (love the look on Bruce’s face!)

  20. Slainte! I raise my cup of tea to you (it’s 9:30 am here). As Sarra said above, musicians, dancers, athletes of all types do improve their skills by working at a level of difficulty that’s higher than their current ability or even their next goal. To paraphrase Frank R. Wilson, neurologist and author of “Tone Deaf and All Thumbs?”, a fascinating book about learning to make music: toddlers don’t learn to walk before they run; they learn both at the same time.

  21. It’s GREAT to see you running! It must feel so good, even though it’s difficult. Bruce is such a happy companion to have along for the run! I’m cheering you on!

  22. Kate, I know we are our own hardest critics. But you are looking pretty good, and really don’t seem to be running less smoothly than your partner Bruce. Determination and refusal to accept the status quo are going a long way in bringing your recovery along.

  23. Hooray!

    You run better than I do – I look like a flatfooted duck!

    Keep climbing those hills – and enjoy getting some new kit.

  24. When the late Amy Emms (renowned quilter) was awarded an MBE, someone said something to her about it being for quilting in general. She is reported to have replied, no, it’s for My Bloody Effort ……. so perhaps you should have MBE after your name, for all the effort you have put into your recovery!!

  25. Fantastic! You should be incredibly proud of what you have done in this last year, my god, Kate, you have achieved so much, from the walking and running and hiking, to the publishing and research and designing and everything else! These things are huge, you are an amazing person. Bruce is pretty exceptionally adorable.

  26. I also noticed that your last couple of posts have been totally outside your physical self. And, by the way, what gnome outfit and lopsided shuffle? I can only see someone admirable and brave, whose achievements are awesome, in the true meaning of the word.

  27. Kate, I’m stunned! You’re such a shining example of where hard work and sheer bloody-mindedness gets you nearer to where you want to be. Amazing! And Bruce…he looks as if he’s checking up with Tom that you’re running. He says it all! Top lady, and top dog! More power to your elbows! :-)

  28. Yay! Go you! And honestly like some of the other commentators have said, there looks absolutely nothing wrong with your running style, I don’t have anywhere remotely near your physical challenges and you look as if you could beat me in a race!

  29. Just when I was feeling sorry for myself and thought life had come crashing down around my ears in a most ungraceful fashion, I read/watched this post. Have commenced pulling socks up and am slightly in awe of you. Well done!

  30. Tears here, too…I started the video loading before I went upstairs for a bath. But I had forgotten about it, so imagine the surprised joy to come downstairs and glance at the computer screen and see the video just loaded and going on its own and you going on you own…running.

  31. That is really amazing. I have seen very few people who are so determined like you. You have progressed greatly. When I showed this to my husband he did not believe that you are the same person who went through all the hardships of the last year. You are really an inspiration. I’m so happy for you and so proud of you as well. Best wishes of a very healthy life.

  32. that’s wonderful! congratulations. :) and I love the way Bruce stops every now & then & looks back–reminds me of the way our dogs waver between the 2 of us if we split up, like “who do I go with now??”

  33. Wow Kate, my admiration for you is endless! Not only the amazing fact that you are now *running* – what a beautiful sight – but also that you know how to spell that Italian toast correctly (which means a lot to pedantic me). Felicitazioni e Salute!

  34. Not only does attempting more difficult things make the other ones easier, it also allows you to succeed at those more difficult things, as you have proved to all of us today ! Congratulations ! What a great way to begin the new year !

  35. You look great! You run better than me and all I’ve got is a gimpy knee. Bruce must be playing a big part in your progress – he’s so cool. On another note: I’m planning to cast on Caller Herrin later this week. There is a small KAL for the pattern in the Stranded group on Ravelry – drop by when you have a moment. And congrats on the Rowan article. I’ll watch for it at my LYS.

  36. I am determined to start running again this year and have no doubt that I shall look much worse than that as I struggle round my local park. Well done you. Anyway everyone is too busy admiring your handsome dog to critique your running style!

  37. HOORAY! HURRAH! I hope you are celebrating and I quite like your gnomy garb. It must have taken so much hard work to get this far and it is amazing. Lxx

  38. Amazingness! Seems to me that this sorta miracle is the culmination of months of application, determination and bloomin’ hard work. (PS Don’t tell the Pope.)

  39. your gait looks perfectly normal to me. for a gnome. ;-)
    pretty soon you’ll be doing it in a whole new array of high heels.
    and, love the way your faithful indian companion keeps pace with you while looking back to check on daddy. what a good boy. both of them.
    happy trails. i’m so happy for you.

  40. I’d like to echo the others’ comments and say how fantastically well you’re doing. From my perspective you don’t look lopsided at all – and I think your running outfit is rather wonderful.

  41. And the gold goes to…KATE! What a victory this accomplishment is for you…I can imagine your family are as delighted with your progress as we are here in blogland. (Bruce looks quite delighted with his new jogging partner.)

  42. Many have said it before this, but it bears repeating, you are an inspiration. You definitely should feel proud of the huge hurdles you have cleared on your road to recovery. Keep it up!

  43. I do hope you’ve sent this to all your physicians and nurses – you ought to consider an “interactive” book online. I am certain you’ve been writing one about your recovery and I think it would best be experienced through your amazing photography as well as your fine words.

    You are such an inspiration to those of us who are in good shape – how much more must you give hope to those in those dark days that you knew at the start. I hope you continue to be strong and blessed for it. (BTW, I love how Bruce was checking back to make certain “dad” wasn’t too far away…)

  44. That is awesome! Although I only ‘know’ you through your blog, I have followed your recovery and have been in awe of your courage and determination. Knowing what you’ve been through, and seeing you run, made me misty-eyed. I love that Bruce kept stopping and checking behind him…sweet. Thank you for sharing this great achievement with all of us.

  45. OMG Kate your running/jogging looks absolutely normal !!! Yay!! Congratulations on all the work that you have put in, and are still doing. I love the way Bruce stops and looks around in a protective manner, just comes naturally to him I guess. OMG you are amazing!

  46. I’ve not commented on your wonderful blog often before, but I just had to on this post – CONGRATULATIONS! (And to add to the other languages I’ve spotted in the comments, llongyfarchiadau – my congratulations in Welsh as well.)

  47. Thank you so much for you, for your strength. I cried and smiled at the same time when I watched the video and was so proud of you, so happy that you could and can do it! Wish you all the love and happiness!

  48. Congratulations on your continued progress. i love how Bruce keeps looking back to make sure your “cameraman” is coming too.

  49. Cheers! You’re right to feel proud – what a completely astounding achievement. :) And I’ve got to admit to being a huge Bruce fan too. ;)

  50. As so many other people have said here, reading your posts this past year has been an inspiration, and has added, from my own point of view, some occasionally much-needed perspective.

    ‘Beannacht fort a béalu’, to add some Old Irish to the mix – very best of blessings be upon you all.

  51. I have to thank you for sharing this journey of yours, and not editing out the dark difficult parts. I appreciate my own abilities far more, though waning now due to aging, and your inspiration gets me up and out the door for my daily walk when the gravity beneath the couch seems especially strong.

    I think of you every day on my outings, and am thrilled to see your progress.

    I think the chronicle of your recovery should be made into a book.

  52. This video made me cry.

    That you can move like this after the stroke is a true testimony to the incredible efforts that you have put into your own rehab, and the epic work that you have put into teaching your body to move…

    …it’s really amazing to see the payoff of all that hard work.

    Bravo and enjoy your celebratory ale. XxX

  53. Lopsided, nah! Perhaps it feels awkward but it looks wonderful. Nice gait, well trained dog, perfect companion for a walk , one who considers an occasional jog of joy rather than a grueling pace that makes you regret your walk. Well played. I lift my cup of tea to you.

  54. Mary Anne Radmacher said: Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.’
    Thanks for en-couraging us with the victories of everyday.

  55. I rarely comment, but have been reading along with you for the past year and a half and sending you thoughts of good health and strength from across the ocean.
    I am so Doggone pleased, and chuffed (hope I used that right) as all get out for you! You rock!!!

  56. Congratulations on your great success! You are truly inspirational. As for your gait, you’re being much too critical of yourself. Keep up all your good work!

  57. Kate, I too have just watched your video with tears welling up and a massive grin on my face.
    Thank you so much for sharing your journey (this particular one and the longer, bigger picture) with us all.

    So… ‘you’ve had your tea’… and I too will raise a toast to you after mine (it’ll have to be Old Pulteney though, I’ve no ale in the house).

  58. Wow! Astounding, Kate! You are amazing. I don’t think, well, I know that I don’t have your drive. I wonder, did you have trouble with weight management post-stroke? How many Miles, or how much time do you devote to exercise that involve the calorie burning great muscles?

    I am so happy for you and admire you greatly.


  59. Congratulations! And by way of further encouragement, let me say that your wobbly run looks just like my normal run–and I haven’t had a stroke to contend with.

    I will head to my favorite pub in Philly and raise a glass to your funky shuffle! Slainte!

  60. Go Kate! You rock!!
    Amazing – your grit, determination and sheer bloody hard work have paid off in bucket loads. As always you are an inspiration.

  61. Cheers to your amazing progress! It looks like you’ve lost all of your snow. We’ve just had a huge wallop of snow and -30C temperatures here in my little corner of Canada. Brrr. My kitties are all sprawled over the heating vents hogging the heat.
    Also, Bruce is rather cute. I love how he keeps turning around to check and see if his other human is coming along :-)

  62. You are so very inspiring. And a bit hard on yourself – “lopsided shuffle” doesn’t do any justice to these steady paces. Thank you for sharing your journey.


  63. I am proud of you and your article looked fascinating. Also, I like your outfit, don’t you think running clothes are so sci-fi…..? Siri

  64. May I add to all the congratulations … well, well done. I am more amazed at the running in the skirt thing though LOL . But no one who reads your blog has doubted that this day would come, so hurrah! But somehow, I doubt we’ll see you in Nike wear either … but keep it up!

    I haven’t posted in a while, but also want to thank you for the continual knitting history lessons and your patterns. Shetland must have been truly amazing, although I am sure it is easy for “us” to be in awe of something that people had to do to put food on the table. So I am especially glad there is a great museum to show what these knitters did so we may have the enjoyment we do now.

  65. Ok, so where is the lopsided runner? I sure don’t see one in this video! You look terrific, and reading the post with it, I think you look MORE than terrific. I can’t run that well, no stroke but several degenerated spinal discs holding me back (running is way to impact heavy an exercise for the “bad” discs). I believe I’ll have to stop on the way home & pick up some brew so I can toast your progress.

  66. I raise an ale to you! How nice to be able to run past that lamp post and say, “See here! New year, new life!” I admire your open chronicle of your trials and I hope it helps other people with the mental part of illness recovery.

  67. You live thousands of miles away from me, so you won’t be able to see me out walking, just because of you.

    Thank you for running and for posting the movie.

  68. I love how Bruce keeps checking back with the camera as if to say “She’s still going!”. Congratulate yourself on a job well done! I’m positive you could outrun me any day.

  69. Hurray, hurray, for your hard work and all your successes. I have cheered you on all along the way, whether I have commented here or not, and I am as proud of you as if you were my own daughter. Cheers to you. I share in the toast of your accomplishments, and send you my best wishes for your future efforts, too.

  70. HEY KATE — you totally deserve to celebrate– you have made amazing progress

    – good that determination is part of your personality – next time I DRINK , WILL HAVE ONE FOR YOU TOO !!!

    PAT J

  71. Really, who is the slow coach here? Me, for being sooooo late to comment.

    Well done and a very very happy new year to you, Kate. 2010 was so hard but you have risen so high above it. You should be proud of your amazing recovery, watching you run with your dog has filled me with awe and tears have welled up but the smile won’t let them fall. You are amazing.

    I’m taking paperdolls with me to Iceland. Thinking of you.

  72. Just seeing this now but I had to leave a comment. First, hurray for you! Second, I think Bruce is much less graceful than you though, being a puppy, I’m sure he’s more exuberant than any human can ever be. I’m sure he can’t believe his luck that he gets to run with you now. Hope you and him can keep going further and further.

  73. I know other people have said this, but ‘lopsided’? Really?! It may feel lopsided to you, but I swear this is how I look when I run!
    I continue to be amazed, and delighted, by your achievements.

  74. Dear Kate, As a woman just a little bit older than you are and who once competed internationally as a marathon runner, I can say with authority that you do not look lopsided! I’m currently going through a health crisis and don’t yet have a diagnosis. I can’t do much of anything. Watching you gives me a great deal of hope during this dark time. Cheers!

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About Kate Davies

writer, designer and creator of Buachaille (100% Scottish wool)