Anne and Matti's story
Anne and Matti joined Walking for Health for different reasons, but when they started walking together they found that they had a lot in common. They’ve now become friends and regularly go on their own walks together.
In 2013 I started getting intense pains in my leg whenever I was walking. I visited the doctor and was diagnosed with Peripheral Arterial Disease – a build-up of fatty material in my arteries.
I was given a few options, one was to have part of my artery replaced, but if this didn’t work it could result in amputation. The other option was to walk, so that’s what I did!
I made an effort to walk every single day. Instead of getting the bus to the shops I’d walk there and back. I love walking now and make an effort to walk everywhere.
In March 2014 I went back to the hospital and told them I wasn’t going to have the operation. In September 2014 I was told that I didn’t need regular appointments anymore. My leg was so much better, all through walking!
In March 2016 one of my friends recommended the Morden Hall Park walk. Everyone was so welcoming, I loved it! After five months walking with the Morden group I met Matti and we quickly became friends. We occasionally walk together in other parks.
I suffer from a few health conditions such as asthma, breathlessness and clots in my lungs. After I retired I started putting on weight and my children kept telling me "mum, you need get out walking and lose some weight!"
My aunt and uncle invited me along on the Morden Hall Park walk. They said it was a really nice group and that sometimes they turn back halfway if they get tired.
On my first walk I got very breathless and one of the volunteers came to see if I was OK. I told him I was worried about holding everyone up but he told me not to worry, and said that there would always be someone at the back looking out for me.
He checked on me throughout the walk and asked me if I wanted to turn back, but I was determined to finish. After the walk he came and said ‘well done’ and it made me really want to come back.
I got talking to Anne and she said that we’d be ‘walking buddies’. We got talking and had a lot of things in common.
"Having someone else there to motivate me was really helpful, and Anne and I have started going on our own walks together."
Walking in the park with a group is brilliant, it makes me feel safe and the surroundings are beautiful. Although sometimes we’re talking so much that I forget to look around!