Dealing with setbacks: I’m sitting here... - Parkinson's Movement

Parkinson's Movement
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Dealing with setbacks


I’m sitting here in Chamonix France, having flown halfway around the world in order to hike around Mount Blanc. After the first day of hiking, the leadership determined that I am not fit enough to take the hike, so here I am back in the hotel while the others are all hiking around Mount Blanc.

How do I feel? Of course I feel sad that I am not with the group and I’m not able to take the hike. It looks very beautiful from the pictures and I’m not going to have the opportunity to do it. But I’ve had Parkinson’s for almost 11 years and there a lot of things I cannot do. If I focus on what I cannot do, I will miss all the opportunities that life still has to offer. I don’t intend to do that. When I wrote home that I’m not able to finish the hike, I got all sorts of messages from family and friends, cheering me on and supporting me for all the things that I have already done. There will be other opportunities, and there are already other opportunities. I will not look back and say what is past, but will look forward and say here I come! I still cannot deny feeling a little sad.

34 Replies

Dear NanCyclist,

Thank you for sharing, I wish I could join you there, I envy you.

God Bless you,


Sorry to hear about the hike. You have a great positive attitude !

Hi Nan. Sorry about your disappointment. Just feel happy with all the things you've been able to do & will do because of your drive & determination. You've helped a lot of people, especially PwP's. You've been able to travel to a lot of places some only dream of seeing. Keep your chin up & keep inspiring others & keep fighting!

Dear NanCyclist: You are one of my heroes, and I certainly understand your disappointment. Keep up the good and the great attitude.

Nan, there's plenty of good walking around Chamonix.


Dear NanCyclist,

Thank you for sharing your positive perspective. I relish every hike I take knowing some day the trail I’m on may be too hard for me. You personally inspired me to set up a training cycle which I ride several days a week.

High rev training !! Yes


Thanks for letting me know I made a difference Ken. That’s about as important to me as anything at this point. Have a great day!

Hi Nancycle. Sounds to me as if you would benefit from an e-bike! It is a fantastic way of making challenges more attainable. I use a Trek Powerfly in Queenstown New Zealand because the terrain is so hilly. Good Luck, Best regards, Phil

in reply to 2bats

Thanks. We have ebikes in Seattle too and a lot of people use them. I’m still happy with my Trek. it has an electronic shifter. I like going up and down hills.

in reply to 2bats

Me too. Ebikes are The Way of the Future! Thanks 2bats. Rebecca

I'm sorry you weren't able to hike with the others. It seems like you of all PWPs would be fit enough to go with them and you did train for it ahead of time. At least you are in an interesting place and can probably find some things to do around your hotel to keep you busy until the others get back. I wonder if you are near the Tour de France that is going on right now. You look great in your photo.

in reply to hopedope

Thanks. I didn’t train as much as I’d hoped to because my surgeries. So I wasn’t quite ready. It’s also really really hot and I don’t do well with it. No excuses. just didn’t do it.

Such a nice post, and you look good too !

I'm surprised they did not take you on the "tour du Mont Blanc".

I will settle there in a few months, i.e. after retirement.

in reply to Xenos

A couple of factors came into play here. First there are 18 people in the group and it appears that the guides have never had an experience with someone with Parkinson’s before. Their main concern is that I am slow. Well bradykinesia makes me slow. It doesn’t mean that I can’t do the hike, because I’ve been on plenty of them even though I am slow. There is an unwillingness to listen to me and an eagerness to figure out ways to tell me I can’t go. That is most discouraging.

However, that said, it appears that now they are making an effort to have me have part of today’s walk with the transportation guide so that I at least get to experience some of the trip.

This is not the end of the world by any means!

That’s good news indeed. Post a pix in your next reply and we will all “ oh and ahh”. Bike day here in Delray Beach FL

Come on Nan, 4 years ago I quit my Camino trip due to problems with my PD... After lots of trainings, nutrition and medication improvements, I felt better and fit. Last year I started it again.. and will finish it. Do not give up, start preparing and it will come again...

in reply to dadcor

There are other places I would rather go. The Camino is great. We drove it several years ago and friendshave walked, one over thousand miles and his wife who has PD over 500 miles. Enjoy your trip.

You are an inspiration. Thank you.

Hi Nan. I live in France on the opposite side in the south west Charentes. It's quite hot all across the country this week, I say forget the walk and enjoy a cool drink next to the pool, lol. Enjoy the beauty around you whatever you end up doing! And bon courage!

Hi 2donkeys. I am in the Charente too near Ruffec. Where are you.


Hi Alayne. We're south of you in Mainzac just on the edge of the Dordogne border. What a small world! :)


Indeed, you are an inspiration! I am slow, too, and I'm glad they are accommodating you somewhat. Actually, there should be a law saying that people with certain ailments/diseases/handicaps need to be accommodated by businesses. There are laws in some places and countries, but not in all. You have a winning attitude, that will enable you to accomplish much more than some, who give up, and, as a result, cheat themselves out of opportunities that could make their life more fulfilling.

NanCyclist You are the best! Your encouragement keeps me active. Thank you for telling all of us to Keep On Trekking!

Wow, and here I'm worrying that I 'll be too exhausted to walk on to a lovely ship, for a lovely trip to golly I'll be thinking of you when I get myself over that gangplank.

I've been reading your past posts, and looking for your exercise, and meds/supplement regime. I'd like 1/8th of your energy : ) I've had pd since 2008-10, but it really reared it's ugly head the last year, or so.

Sounds like they're planning on walking too fast to enjoy the view anyway. I hope you find some beautiful challenge for yourself, just love the photo.

Well done for trying. At least you can enjoy the view and as 2donkeys says it is hot and you can enjoy a drink by the pool!

I keep pressing myself to do more to show myself I can, but sometimes wonder if it's just ok to rest and smell the roses.

in reply to Astra7

Good thinking but if you rest too much, you won’t be around to smell!

Good on you for attitude! And thank you for the timely reminder that we in the Mr Parky community have to get on with it NOW and not put our dreams and goals off because we don't have that luxury. Thank you for your post. Rebecca

They changed their minds! Doug and I are now hiking and another friend joined us. I’ll send photos as soon as I can but the big news is that we had about an hour and a half hike yesterday then the storm came and I was able to help the members of our group during the storm. I had no trouble hiking for about three hours. Boy, am I happy! The leadership got to see what a difference it makes when the patient has had a chance to absorb medicine and change the timeframe.

Well that is good news. As you say, it makes such a difference depending on the circumstances. I hope you're still enjoying your hiking.

Thanks for embodying both determination and equanimity. A tricky balance to find.

And thanks for sharing the full range of feelings. I’m still overcoming a habit of hiding (sometimes even from myself!) feelings like fear and sadness, but I know I’m not fully alive without feeling them all. Your posts have helped me.

I hope France offers up something surprising—an unexpected kindness or vista.

Well done NanCyclist - good for you!!!

Well done o the hiking. I love your positive attitude. Got to look forward and keep persuing life it not over yet! Regards

Hi Nan - looking forward to hearing what they let you achieve. The TMB is a spectacular walk - I have done it 3 times (or more correctly 2 + 2 halves due to work commitments). Actually felt very sad when I saw your post this morning in my inbox as I have just finished your inspirational book & although I obviously don't know how Mr P has progressed I thought you wouldn't have travelled if you thought you couldn't do it. Sadly I had missed your post until today but really hope you managed to do parts of it & go back with lovely photos & happy memories. You are an inspiration & as someone else said the rest of the world should understand more about the condition we have to live with. Take care & stay positive, Chris

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