To make matters worse, I had left in the car, my phone and wallet, and my jumper. So of course, the sun went in.
Bearing in mind that I was 40 miles away from where I next had to be to work, I was a bit stuck. I had no money on me, so I was left with the option of hitching. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t condone hitching, but I when I was younger, I hitched right up to … well about four years ago, when I finally passed my driving test, so I was pretty experienced at it.
So, how hard could it be nowadays to hitch? I was about to find out!
I was in Newquay and it was 10:30am. I had to be in Praa Sands for 11:30am. I was also still a couple of miles from the roundabout out of Newquay. Thankfully I had my running shoes on.
At the roundabout, there were a lot of smart arses waving at me and sticking their thumbs up, along with other fingers that seemed unnecessary considering my predicament.
Lift one, got me half way up the hill out of Newquay. Not a great start, but at least I had a change of scenery.
The second lift took me took to Goss- more, since the driver assured me this was a quicker way to Penzance. Being quite well known for my ability to get lost even in my own home town, this was a bad move.
Third lift, didn’t happen because apparently I was hitching to Bodmin.
Fourth lift, was with a guy in a convertible. He told me about how he had locked his keys in his boot and had to pay £150 for a locksmith, this story didn’t really make me feel a whole lot better. He didn’t know his way around Cornwall either, although he did have the excuse that he didn’t actually live here. So, somehow I ended up at Chiverton Cross roundabout. Not the best place to hitch from to say the least.
I couldn’t hitch on the actual roundabout, as there was nowhere for a car to stop, so I walked along the road into Truo a little way and took my chances that a car going to Penzance would stop for me.
Car after car, after van, after clever dick with the fingers, after beeps , after car drove past me…when finally a car turned around for me and stopped. Relieved I asked the driver where he was going.
‘Perranporth’, was the reply. My heart sank. Then, very kindly he offered to take me to Penzance despite it being in the opposite direction. I was touched by his generosity.
We got talking in the car, I told him what had happened and how I had to be at work near Penzance. He asked me what I did and I said I was a Personal Trainer.
We were approaching a traffic jam, so with time to kill, and after apologising some more for taking up his time and petrol, I waffled on about how I train people who have been in catastrophic accidents, such as Amputees, I even mentioned about Darren, who I mentioned in my last blog and his incredible achievements on the balance board, considering he had an above the knee amputation.
I also mentioned how he had been hit by a drunk driver. He looked surprised and said not many people would want to train Amputees. I was surprised at this, but then he smiled at me and looked down at his lap and said;
‘I would know’.
I glanced down, and to my amazement, he had had his leg amputated above the knee. I hadn’t even noticed. Incredible I thought, after all the other people who had driven by me, or stuck their fingers up, this guy had turned around to pick me up.
This lovely, generous, guy told me about how he too had been hit by a drunk driver whilst on his motorbike five years ago. He had only moved to Cornwall two weeks ago and was originally from Lincolnshire, where he would never dream of picking up hitch hikers, he wasn’t even sure why he stopped for me.
I was really moved by this guy and his lack of bitterness and his positive outlook on getting on with life. He told me that the Doctors had told him that he would never walk again, but now he was walking with crutches. He told me how he is determined to get back to mountain climbing but is waiting first for another operation, and then will get fitted with a prosthesis.
He also said that after a period of feeling sorry for himself, as he called it (which was totally warranted) that there was no point living life full of self pity or being angry about what had happened, because that’s life.
There are moments in our lives when our luck seems to be down, and things aren’t going right, and you have a wallowing moment. I stupidly had one today just because I was faced with an inconvenience. Lee faces major inconveniences everyday. He has to cope with his one leg. Yet it was Lee who picked me up when noone else did at Chiverton Cross.
So, thank you Lee, not only for giving me a lift that was out of your way, but reminding me that there are some lovely people still out there.