EVERY year, Oxford’s Town & Gown fun run raises tens of thousands of pounds for research into trying to find treatments for muscular dystrophy. In a new column, Emily Bonner, 30, who was diagnosed with limb girdle muscular dystrophy in 2014, tells us what life is like with the condition

I think my mum has tried to escape her grave this week as it’s all cracked around the edges! It was her birthday so maybe she wanted to get out to celebrate, dance with the wildlife perhaps.

Reminds me of a book she once said saved her – End The Struggle And Dance With Life. In truth the grave is settling and we will soon be able to plant native spring bulbs to give her some colour next year.

It changes every week up there now, at the burial ground. Each week a different colour dominates. This week it was purple and you could hear all the vetches popping and dispersing their seed. I nearly stumbled at her grave giving myself a shock. If I fell there I’d have to crawl a fair distance to the nearest bench. I’d be covered in grass stains ‘n’ all.

I’m always making my heart fall into my stomach by losing my balance.

I tried to do a plié the other day as during my weekly chair yoga that was one of the moves (holding onto the chair) that we were asked to try. I couldn’t attempt it as I knew I’d more than likely fall over. At home I thought I’d give it a go though, with just one leg, holding on to the bathroom door and sink with each hand, as you do. As soon as I bent into my knee it collapsed and I nearly fell on to the loo but luckily I just stopped myself. That was scary and very silly of me, but I felt the need to justify my inability after it was questioned.

Justified. I have now proven to myself that no, I can’t plié and it should not be attempted again!

Talking yoga, I’m struggling. Changing rooms recently hasn’t helped as the floor is now quite slippy. Even without socks (good means my feet aren’t sweaty) I can’t get a grip. Also when I struggle to get off the chair it decides to go for a dance across the floor! I’ve invested in some grippy yoga socks to solve my foot problem. The chair, however, I’m not sure. Could I not glue it in position?

There are also a lot of moves I can’t do. Anything involving bending the knee, for example, or even standing on tip toes. My good pal muscular dystrophy won’t let me and despite knowing why (scientifically) I still can’t quite get my head around why I cannot do what I once found second nature.

Nor can others. I’ve had a few blank looks recently like people don’t quite understand why I would want to go the long way around to avoid that step or why I can’t stand on my tip toes if I can straighten my legs. I guess it’s just lack of understanding. I look like a normal 30-year-old, why would I struggle?

In truth it was the inability to tip toe that I first noticed. Reaching up to grab a book off my bookshelf I couldn’t quite reach, going to stand on my tip toes I found I couldn’t do so. I knew then something was amiss. Now I’m in awe of how people can go up on to their toes. During yoga I’m enviously watching others carry out to me the impossible. They don’t get how I can’t and I don’t get how they can! Muscles are truly amazing when they work.