China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng - views

Great Wall of China Trek Day 4: Huanghuacheng

Hi everyone,

I’m slowly making my way through blogging about my Great Wall of China trek that I did to raise money for the Scoliosis Campaign fund a few weeks ago.

If you want to catch up, check out the posts below…

Great Wall of China Trek: Day 1 – Jinshanling Loop

Great Wall of China Trek: Day 2 – Gubeikou Section

Great Wall of China Trek: Day 3 – Mutianyu section

By doing this trek, I have managed to raise over £1000 for the Scoliosis Campaign Fund which I am incredibly proud of. If you’d like to support me and everyone who suffers from scoliosis, you can still donate to my page by clicking here.

Great Wall of China Trek Day 4: Huanghuacheng

So, onto day 4 and for me, the toughest day of the week. This section was called Huanghuacheng, also known as the “Yellow Flower” section due to the beautiful yellow flowers/trees that surround this section of the wall.

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng
Yellow flowers at Huanghuacheng

We drove to a small village called Xishuiyu, where the trek started with a very challenging uphill climb through a thick forest to get up onto the wall. This part was rocky and slippy underfoot, especially because we had the first bit of rain of the week.


China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng
China Trek Day 4 – rain will not stop us!

We kept going for around an hour or two until we reached the wall, which was very old and one of the most challenging parts to walk on.

As a result, it was very quiet, which I liked. Although we were told that this section is popular with backpackers, it’s not really a touristy part of the wall. Mainly because it is very challenging to walk on and it’s also quite far out of Beijing. That’s one of the main things I loved about this trek though, I felt like we got to see parts of the wall that tourists don’t usually see, which felt quite special. 🙂

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng 8
China Trek Day 4 – Made it onto the wall! Very overgrown…

The next part was VERY challenging. The terrain was very rocky, steep and slippy and there were trees and plants growing all over the wall.

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng steep
China Trek Day 4 – steep!

My biggest fear was slipping as it was pretty treacherous in parts and there were bits where we actually had to scramble up and down the slippy rocks. My Mount Snowdon training definitely came in useful here I can tell you!

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng 4

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng

We kept going until we reached some verrry steep steps (there is definitely a theme here…) and then we had a break for lunch.

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng steep steps
China Trek Day 4 – steep steps!

Lunch today was rice for me (as a vegetarian) and “Hot Boxes” for everyone else, which were basically curry and rice which heated themselves – pretty cool.

After lunch it was decision time. Some of the group would now head back to the coach, whereas the rest of us were given the option to trek up THE STEEPEST thing I have ever walked up. No word of a lie. Now I like a challenge, so obviously I gave it a go. But it was pretty scary as it was so high up and the ascent was ridiculously steep. There is a picture below of what we waked up…

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng - scary
Yeah, we walked up that…

I took a few pictures while I was up there but in all honestly I was too scared to stop and turn round to take more. I don’t suffer with a fear of heights usually but I got a bit of vertigo up there I must admit.. if you don’t like heights then you would not like this!

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng - scary
Steep trek up!

When we reached the top though the views of the Xishuiyu Reservoir and the surrounding mountains and wall were just stunning, so it was worth it.

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng - view from the top
Huanghuacheng – view from the top

However, we had to get down and for me this was the most terrifying bit of the whole trip! The descent down was a series of almost vertical steep slopes. There was nothing to hold onto and it was quite slippy, as it had rained earlier. To get down we were told to walk leaning backwards to try and keep our balance. I nearly slipped a few times! My walking poles saved my life here, literally. I didn’t take many pictures here as I couldn’t really safely stop but the below may give you an idea, although they don’t really do the steepness justice. It honestly looked worse when you were there believe it or not!

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng - scary walk down
Huanghuacheng – scary walk down
China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng - scary walk down
Huanghuacheng – scary walk down

It was utter relief to make it down in one piece to the waiting bus and a beer at the bottom I can tell you!

So it was the end of day 4 and back onto the bus for the journey back to the hotel. Tonight we visited a Jade factory and had our dinner there which was interesting. A few people bought some Jade jewellery, which was beautiful, but I’m just tight and didn’t want to pay for anything haha.

China Trek Day 4 - Huanghuacheng - food

We then headed back to the hotel for a few drinks before heading to bed for the last day of trekking – day 5 Badaling.

Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section 12

Great Wall of China Trek: Day 3 – Mutianyu section

Hi everyone,

After posting about day 1 and day 2 of my Great Wall of China trek last week, I’ve finally had chance to sit down and write day 3. It still doesn’t feel real like I actually did it!

I’m so pleased that by doing this trek I have managed to raise OVER £1,000 for the Scoliosis Campaign Fund!

I’m going to leave my sponsor page open for donations until the end of November, so if you’d like to donate and support me and others with scoliosis, you can so so via this link.  🙂

So I think day 3 was my favourite day out of the whole trek mainly because of the variety. On day 3, we tackled Mutianyu section of the Wall, and then a challenging trek down the appropriately named “Heavenly Staircase” followed by a toboggan ride back down again (had to be done!)

Great Wall of China Trek: Day 3 – Mutianyu section

After breakfast, we drove out to the village of Xihazi, and the day began with a stiff climb up towards the tower of Zhenbeilou. This was very tough as the terrain was very steep, rocky and slippy as we were climbing through a forest. It took about 2 hours of climbing uphill before we even reached the wall.

 Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section

Once we reached the wall itself, it was rocky, un-renovated and overgrown with plants and trees. It was also very steep again, making it a real challenge.

Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section 1

Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section 4
Difficult terrain

We kept going on terrain like this until we reached the peak, where we stopped for lunch.

Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section 17

Today, we had a special treat for lunch and a break from the strange yellow bread of day 1 and 2. We had a Subway! Yes, a Subway on the Great Wall of China.. very random, but very tasty, especially after all that walking!

Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section 5

At this point, there was also the opportunity to buy a ribbon, on which people wrote messages to loved ones and tied them to the trees on the wall. I thought the red ribbons looked really pretty and I know some members of the group found this part quite emotional.

Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section 6

After lunch, we headed to the more touristy and renovated part of the Mutianyu section. This part was slightly easier in terms of the terrain but still very steep and tough on the knees! The views were amazing, and as today was quite misty, it made it feel quite magical, like something out of Game of Thrones (even though I don’t watch it!)

Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section 8

After walking for a while, we approached the extremely steep “Heavenly Staircase.” This was definitely a challenge and quite scary in parts as it was so steep but the views were breathtaking.

Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section 10

Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section 16
Heavenly Staircase

After tackling the endless steps and walking a bit further, it was decision time! Some of the group would head back down to the coach on the cable cars while myself and a few others decided to go for the infamous toboggan (why not?)

Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section 18

After another hour or so of walking we finally made it to the toboggan which was an experience! I have to say at this point, I was dubious and slightly worried about hurting my back (in case someone rammed into the back of me). But it was so fun! I’m really glad I did it and I kind of wish I’d filmed it like some of the others in our group did, but I was too busy holding on!! I went quite slowly so it was all good..

Great Wall of China Trek Day 3 Mutianyu section 13
Great Wall of China Toboggan

After the toboggan, we headed to Subway (yes, Subway) at the bottom of the wall for a well earned drink. Yes the Subway in China served alcohol. Winner!


We then piled onto the coach after another amazing day and headed back to the hotel for a shower, change and dinner.

China Trek Day 2 - Gubeikou

Great Wall of China Trek: Day 2 – Gubeikou Section

After a good nights sleep we all awoke – stiff and in pain from all the steep steps of day 1 – and hobbled down to breakfast.

Today we were walking to the start point on the Gubeikou wall and so no need to get the coach, although the coach would be waiting at the end of the walk, so after breakfast we had to pack all our stuff and put it on the coach ready.

We also made our packed lunch again (same yellow bread as day 1) and filled up our water bottles ready for the trek ahead.

Great Wall of China Trek: Day 2 – Gubeikou Section

When we were all ready, at around 8.30 am we started walking through the pretty little village of Gubeikou to the start point of the trek.

China Trek Day 2 - Gubeikou village
China Trek Day 2 – Gubeikou village

It was a steep and challenging ascent up to the top of the wall(especially with sore calves from day 1) but the views were amazing on the way up.

China Trek Day 2 - Hike up to Gubeikou
Views on the hike up to Gubeikou – you can see the wall on the top of the mountain ahead

The Gubeikou section of the wall was completely different from the Jinshanling section on day 1. It was not restored/well preserved. It was rugged and crumbly with uneven terrain which was difficult to walk on in parts, there were also some really narrow sections with huge drops either side, which was quite scary for some people in our group.

China Trek Day 2 - narrow section of the wall at Gubeikou
Narrow section of the wall at Gubeikou

Despite this, I quite enjoyed this part of the wall. It’s more how I imagined the walking to be on this challenge and it was far less touristy – in fact we didn’t see another soul on this part of the wall, except for another charity walking group like us.

China Trek Day 2 - Gubeikou

After walking for a while we had a break which was a chance for a quick rest and to take in those amazing views. We were lucky again with the weather today, around 16 degrees and pure blue skies which meant the views were stunning.

China Trek Day 2 - rest stop at Gubeikou
China Trek Day 2 – rest stop at Gubeikou

China Trek Day 2 - Gubeikou

After the break and a quick snack, there was a very steep climb up to one of the towers in the distance. This bit was very challenging as the terrain was uneven and there were some bits where we had to scramble up and over rocks.

China Trek Day 2 - Gubeikou steep climb up
China Trek Day 2 – Gubeikou steep climb up
China Trek Day 2 - Gubeikou steep climb up
China Trek Day 2 – Gubeikou steep climb up

After the steep climb we stopped for lunch and the views again were breathtaking.

China Trek Day 2 - Views from the top at Gubeikou
China Trek Day 2 – Views from the top at Gubeikou

Then came the descent back down, which I actually found harder than going up as it was a challenge not to slip as the path was steep and quite sandy and slippy in places. In fact, I had my first slip on the way down the Gubeikou section. Luckily I was ok but I bruised my leg and knee quite a bit.

After a long and challenging day, we headed back to the coach and the drive to the next place we were staying. It was actually a hotel tonight (Shuangyang Hotel) rather than a lodge and we were in more of a built up area rather than the middle of nowhere like the last two nights.

On first glance the hotel looked nice and quite fancy compared to where we had been staying the previous two nights. However the downside was that there was no heating because the certain parts of the city of Beijing are not allowed to switch heating on until the 11th November! So it was verrry cold.

Tonight, we had a few hours to spare before the evening meal so we showered and changed and decided to head out into the area we were staying and explore.

We had time to visit a couple of supermarkets and that was an experience as everyone was staring at us!

I fancied some crisps but it appears they only have strange flavoured crisps in China..I settled for some cucumber crisps as I was intrigued, but they weren’t great in all honesty..


China Trek Day 2 - Cucumber Crisps
China Trek Day 2 – Cucumber Crisps

We then headed back to the hotel for food and it was another nice Chinese meal.

China Trek Day 2 - Chinese Meal

There was no bar (Chinese hotels don’t tend to have bars which I found very odd) so we sat in the lobby and chatted for a bit before heading to bed, it was very cold though so we didn’t stay up too late tonight.

We then headed back to our rooms and packed our bags ready for day 3 and the move to the next hotel.


China Trek Day 1 - Jinshanling Loop

Great Wall of China Trek: Day 1 – Jinshanling Loop

Hi guys!

Well I’m back from China and what a fabulous experience it was. I wanted to write a blog post each day I was there but I didn’t have my laptop in China and so I thought I’d write a day by day update now I’m back.

Overall, I had an amazing time and met some truly inspirational people, who all had personal challenges to overcome.

Fitness wise, it was challenging but surprisingly I didn’t find it too bad. The bigger challenge for me was the rough terrain and the steepness, as slipping was a real concern.

I think all the running I did beforehand really helped with the fitness side though. Before I went, I was worried about how my back would cope and I was right to worry. On day 3 I managed to injure my shoulder, which was very painful for the remainder of the trip.

I think this was a result of carrying a heavy back pack while trekking. My shoulder is still very sore and it feels like I have torn the muscles there. Due to my scoliosis, I already had weakness there, as the muscles are weaker on one side. This is where I have also strained my muscles previously by running. So I think the combination of the heavy back pack and swinging of the walking poles must have been pulling on this and it kind of re-ignited the previous injury.

In all honestly, I was a bit upset by this, as I wasn’t able to carry a backpack for days 4 and 5. This made me feel like a bit of a failure, like my back let me down and it also made me feel like I’m not invincible!

Luckily, everyone was so kind and carried my kit and water for me so I could continue on with the challenge (even though it was very painful).

The best part was that I managed to raise OVER £1,000 for the Scoliosis Campaign Fund! I really can’t believe it and I’m so grateful to everyone who donated and made this possible.

I’m going to leave my page open for donations until the end of November, so if you’d like to donate and support me and others with scoliosis, you can so so via this link.  🙂

Day 1: Jinshanling Loop

We had arrived in Beijing the previous afternoon, very tired and very jet lagged! After checking into the Impression Lodge and having a brief use of the WiFi, we headed to the restaurant for a yummy Chinese meal and a couple of beers. This was a chance to get to know the others in the group a bit more (some of us had already met in the airport/on the plane) – there were 17 of us all together.

As we were all tired, after a couple of drinks and a briefing about plans for the next day, we headed back to our rooms and packed our day sacks ready for the first day of trekking.

China Trek Day 1-Impression Lodge
China Trek Day 1-Impression Lodge

On day 1, we woke up early and headed to breakfast, after which we made our packed lunches, which consisted of strange yellow Chinese bread and some fruit and biscuits, and we filled our water bottles/bladders. At this point it still felt surreal to us all that we were actually in China and about to do what we were going to do!

We then got onto the coach, taking all our bags and stuff with us, as the next night we were staying at a different lodge. This part was a bit of a pain for me as lugging my huge rucksack around was really not easy! Most of the time I dragged it along the floor or some one helped me with it (luckily).  We travelled about an hour or so to our first challenge: the Jinshanling Loop.

China Trek Day 1 - Jinshanling Loop Sign

We felt very lucky on the first day as the weather was perfect for walking and for getting some truly stunning views of the wall – it was sunny with pure blue skies and a high of around 17/18 degrees.

When we arrived, we had a quick toilet break and our first experience of the Chinese “squatting” toilets! Luckily they were clean but it was a strange experience initially, as we are not used to them back in the UK. We then walked up to the visitor gate and got ourselves ready, sorted out our walking poles etc and headed on for the first part of the trek.

To get onto the wall itself, we first had to walk up ALOT of steps and I think this is the first point where I (and others) realised how tough this was going to be. It took at least an hour of climbing what felt like endless steps before we made it onto the wall, but when we did, my god the views were worth it. This was the first time we had properly seen the wall itself and I was taken aback by how beautiful it was, especially as it was such a clear day and you could see the wall snaking around the mountains for miles and miles.

China Trek Day 1 - Jinshanling Loop

One of the main things that hit me at this point was also how steep the wall was! The word of the week was undulating – as it was pretty much constant ups and downs. I don’t think anything can prepare you for the sheer steepness, as we really have nothing like it back in the UK. The pictures don’t do it justice but I took some pictures just to try and show how steep it was. All I can say is I really don’t know how people manage to run the Great Wall of China marathon on here!!!

China Trek Day 1 - Jinshanling

China Trek Day 1 - Jinshanling Loop 3

China Trek Day 1 - Jinshanling - steep steps
China Trek Day 1 – Jinshanling – steep steps
China Trek Day 1 - Jinshanling - more steep steps
China Trek Day 1 – Jinshanling – more steep steps

After a few hours of trekking, we stopped for lunch and a bit of a rest and the views were just insane. We all said we didn’t think we’d ever had a better view for lunch before! Even if we did have to eat strange yellow bread 😉

China Trek Day 1 - lunch
China Trek Day 1 – lunch

After lunch, it was more of the same and after more trekking and being chased by women selling t-shirts, magnets and purses, some of the group started the walk down back to the coach and the rest of us carried on a bit further to an older, less renovated section of the wall. This was the first time seeing a less renovated part and it was sad to see it literally crumbling away in sections.

China Trek Day 1 - Jinshanling
Less Renovated Part of Jinshanling
China Trek Day 2 - Less renovated section of the wall
Less renovated section of the wall

We walked as far as we could until we came to a section which had completely crumbled away, so was impassable.

China Trek Day 2 - Impassable part of the wall
Impassable part of the wall
China Trek Day 2 - End of the wall
China Trek Day 1 – End of the wall

After this, it was time for the descent back down to the coach. The steps down felt like they went on forever!! When we got to the bottom, we were sweating and our legs were aching but we were pleased to see a guy selling beer in the car park – result! So of course I (and a few others) bought a beer and we sat in the sun and drank it before getting on the coach and heading onto the lodge where we spent the second night.

China Trek Day 1 - Beers!
China Trek Day 1 – Beers!

A great end to a fantastic first day! After finishing our beers we headed to the next stop – Green Lodge in Gubeikou village, as on day 2 we would be trekking the Gubeikou section of the wall.

On the way though, just as we were starting to relax, our coach got stopped for a random police check and we had to haul all our luggage off the bus and take it, with our passports, to be checked in the police station! That was a little scary and also the first time it’s happened to our guide. Everything was ok though and we all got back onto the coach and arrived at the Green lodge an hour or so later.

This first night was my favourite night of the whole trip as the lodge was really cute, very authentic Chinese.

China Trek Day 1 - Second Hotel - Green Lodge
China Trek Day 1 – Second Hotel – Green Lodge

After a brief rest, shower and packing of our bags ready for day 2, we headed downstairs for food. We had an amazing meal of traditional Chinese food and beers, and tried some traditional Chinese rice wine, which is very strong and tastes like more of a spirit than wine.

China Trek Day 1 - Chinese meal
China Trek Day 1 – Chinese meal

After a good night we headed to bed, exhausted and ready for day 2 – the Gubeikou section.

Great Wall of China

My Great Wall of China Trek is Tomorrow!!!


Just a quick post tonight!

I cannot believe that my Great Wall of China trek for the Scoliosis Campaign Fund is tomorrow. I’m so nervous it’s unbelievable. I have been packing and stressing tonight and I’m worried that I have forgotten to pack something. I’m also worried about what’s to come and because I’m going by myself. Eeek! It’s totally outside of my comfort zone.

It’s also quite exciting though and I’m looking forward to seeing China and pushing myself.

I am also impressed that I managed to fit everything into one rucksack lol.

Great Wall of China Trek

So what will I be doing?

Over the course of 5 days I’ll be trekking the Great Wall of China for up to 7 hours a day. I’ll be hiking up steep terrain and climbing thousands of steps. I’ll be trekking on un-renovated sections of the wall at height and staying in basic lodges. And I’m doing all of this to raise awareness and money for scoliosis.

There’s still time to sponsor me, if you’d like to 🙂 Just click on the link below.. All money will be donated to the Scoliosis Campaign Fund who support people with scoliosis and fund research into finding the causes of scoliosis and treatments to improve quality of life for patients. They are only a small charity so every penny really does mean everything.

Well, I guess I’ll see you on the other side! I’ll be sure to post updates and pictures when I get back 🙂

Bye for now,

Louise X

Great Wall of China Trek 2 weeks to go...

Great Wall of China Trek – 2 weeks to go!

Hi everyone 🙂

I can’t believe my trek on the Great Wall of China for the Scoliosis Campaign Fund is less than 2 weeks away… where is this year going?! If you’d like to sponsor me and help me to raise money for those affected by scoliosis, you can do so here. 🙂

In back related news, I had an MRI scan last week to try and find the cause of my leg numbness. I’m quite worried about this because at the moment I don’t know what it is and I keep thinking the worst. Basically my right leg is numb all the way down the outside and it also feels weaker than the left leg. It feels like it’s getting worse too which is concerning, especially as it’s so close to my China trek. I’m worried that my leg will affect my ability to actually do the trek, or it will be uncomfortable/painful. 🙁 Typical really when I have been building up to this for so long.

Despite this though, I’m still going ahead with the trek and I’m really excited that I have managed to raise over £500 so far for the Scoliosis Campaign Fund.

I haven’t done as much training as I’d like to do and I’m also worried about my fitness levels, as in actually being fit enough to do it. I have seen pictures of the Great Wall and it looks very steep and we will have to climb thousands of steep steps during the challenge.

I do go to the gym several times a week and I also run, but I haven’t done as much hiking as I’d like in order to prepare. So I feel a bit worried that I haven’t trained enough!! I’ve done a few short walks up hills near where I live and I did go up the Mount Snowdon Pyg Track last month but the weather has been too bad to go again, which I wanted to do.

Today I did manage a 13 mile walk though (took about 5 hours) round the hills of Derbyshire. I hadn’t done this walk before and it was quite pleasant with good views. I managed this ok although it definitely wasn’t as steep/challenging as the Great Wall will be. But it was good to get out and actually see how my back/leg would cope with a longer walk.

Great Wall of China Training

In China, I’ll be trekking for around 4-7 hours per day, covering approximately 50kms over 5 days as well as continually hiking up and down thousands of stairs. Not sure how my back will cope with consecutive days of hiking but it’s all part of the challenge!

I’m starting to get nervous now but I have made a start on organising and buying things that I need so I can start packing. I’ve never done anything like this before so I’ve had to buy a few things like a rucksack and some walking poles! Later in the week I’ll do a post on what I’m taking/packing. I think the key is to pack light, something I’m not so good at… 😉

Please sponsor me… pretty please!

If you have scoliosis or know someone with scoliosis please consider sponsoring me to help the Scoliosis Campaign Fund.

The Scoliosis Campaign Fund raises money to support people with scoliosis and their families, and fund research into finding the causes of scoliosis and treatments to improve quality of life for patients. They are only a small charity so every penny really does mean everything.

This is going to be a massive challenge for me. I’m sooo nervous and would love your support! You can sponsor me by clicking the Virgin Money icon below. It doesn’t have to be much, even small amounts like £1 would be appreciated as it all adds up and helps 🙂

Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving

Louise X


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Northern Blog Awards 2017, The Principal Hotel

Northern Blog Awards! #NBAs17

On Saturday night, I joined 200 other amazing bloggers at the first ever Northern Blog Awards!

It was a fantastic night and so I really wanted to write a post on it. I first heard about the event via Twitter, and, being a blogger based in the North of England, I thought I just had to go.

Northern Blog Awards - Getting Ready

Earlier this year, I decided that I wanted to start taking my blog seriously. I have been blogging about my scoliosis now for about 7 years but it was my goal this year to really focus on it. I wanted to grow my blog traffic, raise awareness of scoliosis and to see myself as a serious health blogger.

When I saw the event on Twitter, I thought what better way to help me achieve my blog goals than to attend? I had never been to an event like this before and I wanted to use the opportunity to learn from other more established bloggers. Plus, it was an excuse to get all dressed up and have a posh night out. 🙂

Most events like this are based in London and so it was AMAZING to actually have the chance to attend something like this up North!

Northern Blog Awards: About the night

Northern Blog Awards 2017, The Principal Hotel

The event was hosted at the stunning Principal Hotel in Manchester. I attended with my friend and fellow blogger over at Blog a Bargain (she is also trying to grow her blog so give her a follow!)

Northern Blog Awards - Before

We arrived to a glass of fizz and and a chance to network before being seated for a stunning 3 course meal.

Northern Blog Awards 2017, The Principal Hotel

It was then time for the awards.

It’s a big dream of mine to have my blog nominated at an event such as this (maybe next year? :)) So it was fascinating for me to see all the amazing blogs that were nominated and that won.

After the awards, there was a band on and a chance for more drinks and chatting (or dancing for some!)

Overall, we both really enjoyed the event. We met some lovely people and what was great was that EVERYONE was so open, friendly and approachable. It didn’t matter if you had a small blog and were just setting out, or if you had thousands of followers. I just love Manchester and the North for that!

Plus, the goody bag was beyond AMAZING!

I also wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you to the organisers. It was an incredibly well organised event and I predict that it will only get bigger and more special each year. I’m proud to have been part of the first ever one and I’m already looking forward to attending next year! 🙂

Louise X

Photography by The Vain Photography


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Personal Update

Personal Update: Today’s hospital appointment

Hello 🙂

I thought I’d write a quick post to update how things are with my back at the moment. Those of you who follow my blog may know that I’ve been suffering with leg numbess for a while now. I worked it out and it’s been almost a year now that I’ve had numbness down my right leg. I’m not getting any pain, it’s just numb which is weird.

I have been waiting for MONTHS now for an appointment at the hospital where I had my original scoliosis surgery (in Oswestry, Shropshire). Whilst waiting, I have had physio which to be honest was a waste of time. The physio was lovely but she didn’t really know what to do with me (a common problem). She thought it was probably a problem below my fusion (L3/L4) but without a scan of some kind, she didn’t know how to treat it.

In the meantime, I’ve been carrying on like normal doing my running, gym etc as I’m not sure what else I can do. It’s not causing any pain or stopping me from doing anything. It’s just a bit irritating really.

Anyway, today my eagerly awaited appointment arrived and I headed to Oswestry. To be honest, I was really nervous going back there. I thought it might bring back all those memories of my surgery 7 years ago. But they’ve done it all up and it looks completely different, which probably helped.

My appointment was at 2pm and, as with past appointments, I expected to be waiting hours and for it to take all afternoon. In the end, it was possibly the quickest appointment I have ever had. And after months of waiting, it was a bit of an anti-climax. The Dr I saw was nice enough (he was in my surgeon’s team – it’s rare to see the main man himself!) He asked me a few questions, asked me to do a few movements and then said I’ll need an MRI scan to find out what’s causing the issue. The whole appointment took less than 5 minutes!

He said it could be wear and tear below my fusion which can happen years after scoliosis surgery, but he said it’s odd that I have no pain. To be honest, I really think it’s wear and tear because of all the stuff I do. The problem with spinal fusion is the lower spine gets more pressure put onto it and the discs wear out quicker.  I’m really worried that this is what is causing the issue and that I’ll be told I can’t do all the exercise that I love so much. If they tell me this I’ll be really upset. I did ask him about running and he said that if it’s not causing pain then it shouldn’t be a problem.

I’m just feeling a little fed up, as at the moment I’m in limbo. I’m worrying that I have caused the issue by doing too much at the gym. I suppose it’s good that they are looking into it though and all I can do is wait for the MRI scan and I’ll know more. It’s just a shame I had to wait almost a year to be told I need an MRI scan.. the damage is probably already done by now and my other fear is that the numbness will be permanent.

To be honest I didn’t think I’d be back at Oswestry again so soon after my surgery, but I guess the thing with scoliosis is that it is a chronic condition. It’s a condition that you can never really escape from, you just have to learn to live with it and even after surgery it’s not over.

I’m determined to stay positive though. If I can get through the scoliosis surgery, I can get through anything!

Louise X

Blog Survey

Help me to help you: Blog Survey

Hello everyone 🙂

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the direction of this blog and I really want to make sure that the content I post on my blog is relevant, interesting and useful for those who read it.  As, at the end of the day, for me my readers are the most important part of this blog.

So, I have created a really short survey (it takes less than 2 minutes to complete!)

The results will help me to make sure the content I post is what you want to read 🙂

Thank you soooo much in advance,  I really appreciate your help!

Louise X

Click here to take my survey

September Link Up with A Chronic Voice

September 2017 Linkup Party with “A Chronic Voice”

Sheryl Chan over at A Chronic Voice (a great blog to follow by the way!) is having a September Link Up Party – the theme is to write about the following topics:

Resisting, Learning, Struggling, Supporting and Changing.

I thought it would be fun to take part and have tried to relate these themes to my scoliosis. I hope you enjoy reading 🙂


Feeling down about how my back looks. 

This is a tough one and I’m sure many of my readers can relate. Yes, I’ve had scoliosis surgery and my back looks “straight” but I still have a curve there. My ribs stick out on one side. My shoulder blade sticks out too. As I’m slim you can see my spine curve and you can see the screws through the skin. I have a large scar running down my back. Does all this make me self conscious? Hell yes!

In day to day life, when I have clothes on it’s fine and in all honesty it doesn’t bother me then, I forget about it.

It’s just in situations where my back is on display where I feel down about it sometimes.

When I was on holiday recently I saw a photograph of me from the back and it shocked me a bit because I didn’t realise how bad it looked (to me anyway). A few years ago, I would have spent most of the holiday upset about a photo like this, but this time I resisted. I wore my bikini and I refused to let my scoliosis make me feel bad about myself. I have been spending a lot of time this year in the gym and running and I am proud of my figure, so why should I hide it?  I am proud of my scoliosis and everything I have been through has made me much stronger.


Scoliosis Quote - Success

Not to compare myself with others. This is something I do a lot and social media really fuels this. An example is my running. I love running and got into it earlier this year while training for the British 10K in July.

I now run a few times a week and do Park Run (weekly, free, times 5K runs) most Saturday’s.

I have seen a HUGE improvement in my running since January. In January I completed my first ever Park Run in 33 minutes, I am now completing it in around 28 minutes. Despite this,  I still feel like I’m rubbish compared to other runners who can run much faster.

I see other people’s times on Instagram and Strava and it makes me feel bad about myself. Now, I am trying to improve my speed but it’s incredibly hard and I find if I push myself too much I get pain in my back/shoulder which is related to my scoliosis.

But instead of focusing on the positives, that even just running 5k/10K with my back is amazing and on how much I have improved, I focus on how slow I run compared to the other runners I follow on social media. I am really trying not to do this but sometimes it’s difficult.

I think the point is, everyone’s situation is different and the only person I should compare myself with, is myself! I know how difficult it is to run with scoliosis and I should be proud of the improvements I have made.


I’ve been struggling with leg numbness over recent months and it’s really annoying me as I do not know what is causing it. It’s likely related to my scoliosis though. I have an appointment next week at the hospital where I had my original scoliosis surgery so hopefully they will look into it for me. I’ll update with a post after the appointment about how it goes.

My biggest fear is that there is a problem with my fusion, metalwork or that the discs below the fusion are starting to wear out. To be honest, with all the exercise I do I worry I have done this to myself by doing too much. An even bigger fear is that I will be told to stop doing all the things I love (running, gym etc).


I love supporting others with scoliosis and I hope that I accomplish this with my blog. I always try to respond to all the comments and emails I receive as I think those of us with scoliosis sometimes just need the support.

Support is something I didn’t really have when I was first diagnosed with scoliosis. My family didn’t want to talk about it and pretended it wasn’t happening. My friends didn’t know as I was too ashamed to tell anyone. Facebook/Twitter/Instagram etc didn’t exist back then (yes, I’m olddd..) and so it wasn’t as easy to find and chat to others with scoliosis.

I’ve since realised that it’s so important to talk about things and I so wish I had told my friends back then and been more open about my scoliosis. As soon as I started being more open and reaching out to others with scoliosis I felt so much better and less alone.

Now, I really want to give something back by putting my story “out there” and giving my help and support to anyone who needs it 🙂 If you need support, don’t struggle on like I did. You can email me or contact Scoliosis Association who are great for offering support to those affected by scoliosis.

I also wanted this year to be the year that I supported the Scoliosis Association/Scoliosis Campaign Fund by taking part in a couple of charity events to help raise money for them (British 10K) plus my upcoming Great Wall of China Trek (p.s you can sponsor me here…) 🙂


Scoliosis Quote - Comfort Zone

One of my favourite quotes is “a comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” This is so true.

So I’ll soon be pushing myself out of my comfort zone by undertaking a massive physical and personal challenge – trekking the Great Wall of China for the Scoliosis Campaign Fund.

I’m so incredibly scared as, although it’s part of a group challenge, I’m actually going by myself. I have travelled quite a bit but never alone and so I’m petrified. However, I love being active, pushing myself and taking on challenges so I know in the back of my mind that once I’m there I will love it. I’ll probably want to do another similar challenge after it’s done!!

I’m really hoping that this experience will help to change me for the better by improving my confidence as well as my fitness.

I hope you enjoyed reading 🙂

If you’re a blogger, why not join in on this link party? Alternatively, let me know your thoughts in the comments. How would you answer these word prompts/relate them to scoliosis?