Thanks legs

It seems that my legs are needing a rest. With this in mind, I have a wheelchair on order. I was thinking where my legs have taken me, and where I want them to take me in future.

They have taken me to the Annapurna Base Camp, the Alps in Gran Paradiso and the Vanoise National Parks, the Picos di Europa, the Three Peaks, the Dales and Moors in Yorkshire, Cradle Mountain and Mount Kosciusko in Australia, and thousands of hills and mountains elsewhere!

They have taken me down the aisle to marry Jane, they have taken me to maternity wards for the birth of Valentina and Sebastian, they have got me into bedrooms at 3am to change a nappy and doing everything a dad does.

They have enabled me to run around as a child, to play street cricket and garden badminton, to go on adventures with my parents and the Dodgshons.

They allowed me to start to learn golf with Sebastian, and more recently to walk around a few holes of the West Herts Golf Club. They were great to run with Valentina as she learned to unicycle. They were fantastic as we played on beaches in Juan-Les-Pins, Collaroy and Dee Why in Australia, and West Wittering in Sussex.

They ensured I could run all over the world; Sydney, Poppleton, Minneapolis, Lesmo, Madrid, Arnavütkoy, Miami, Magagnosc, Chatswood Oval, Kings Langley Common; the list is endless.

My powerful legs enabled me to swim countless kilometres in open-air pools in Germany, Australia and Spain. They even made it possible to swim across the Bosphorus.

My legs powered my bike to work in the south of France, from York to Lulworth Cove, and to Norwich. They allowed me to cycle to and from Nunthorpe School, and even home after a few pints at The Crystal Palace and The Hole In The Wall.

Looks like they have been busy, and the above is probably 1% of what they have done.

My legs carried me round three laps of Chipperfield Common today, they get me up and down the stairs (just), they ensure I can walk three holes at the West Herts. They are well supported by the two Leki poles.

Now, as they take a rest, they need to know that it is just a rest. So many more things to do with Jane, Valentina and Sebastian, and everyone. So much more of the wonderful planet to explore, so many causes to fight for, so much to do (‘be the change’). I know my legs are taking a break and I know they will come back stronger.

Andrew Knowlman

I am a 50-year old father of two children, married to Jane. I live in Hertfordshire, UK. I was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in April 2015.

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