There are some things between above and below that the human brain and body have to think about before making an attempt. This path is ideal, it goes up and down in a nice careful slope, accompanied with a bannister on the left and a promise of a resting place when you reach the top. This is the ascent, and any fool can do an ascent. One of the reasons I can do it. Of course, I would add that I am usually hanging onto the rail on the left and have a walking stick in my right hand, but just for the balance of course. There is an added danger of the wire fence having an electric current passing through it: not because of the humans, but the cows and sheep that often take walks in these fields.
I have only two legs, not four, but I can do it. Going up was never a big problem, and this is one of the reasons why I always take this path upwards from the river bank. What is the point making a descent? When I reach the top I have a bench and a perfectly paved street leading to my home in the village – what could be better.
I was never an expert at going down. My feet did not want to stay with my legs and my head was doing something completely diferent, but where there is a will there is a bottom to slide down on, and in civilised places there are even stairs.
Of course these stairs are only for the advanced descenders amongst us. I can do it, but it would take me the best part of a quater of an hour, and I might, probable definitely would, stumble on the way. Luckily it is in a parking house where there are such things as lifts/elevators which I have learned to love and worship.
I remember a similar accident once when I was a working woman. It was in the days when we clocked in and out for lunch and work begin and end. I was younger and was deemed to be healthy, although my problems were probably already there, but did not yet have a name. It was lunch time, I had clocked out and this stupid clock was on a platform in between two stair cases. So OK, I did have high heels on, but somehow I made a false step and fell, no rolled, down the staircase (about 15 stairs made of stone). It was one of those days where I had some sort of guardian something watching over me. To crown this achievement the owner of the company happened to be at the base of the stairs and had watched my spectacular ascent. His first words were “you could have been killed” probably wondering if the company insurance would have to pay for the funeral. Anyhow I survived with a few bluish marks in various places where the sun does not normally shine, and the company owner probably breathed a sign of relief when he saw me back at my desk in the afternoon.
Today descending is not something in my MS programme. My left foot is no longer attached to the left leg – one of the advantages when driving an automatic car – you do not need the left foot (at least my nurologist found it an advantage). I even have problems leaving my bed in the morning, but it works. I have my own system to do with gaining balance and I discovered it all by myself, as there is no book available “How to get out of bed”, it still has to be written. My cane is always parked next to my bed for emergencies, but I only use it when I am already standing and then only when I notice it might be a walking stick day. I usually avoid it at home.
So the next time you take a simple step down to reach ground level, think of the unfortunates where such a step is a small step for a normal human, but a big step for someone with balance problems.