"I think it’s time to hang up your dancing shoes.” Although my good friend Andy had phrased his remark so as not to spoil our evening out at Jack and Jill, York’s premium nightspot, I knew that I’d arrived at another of those critical moments in life when it’s time to raise your hands and admit defeat. My failure on the Jack and Jill dance floor – I’d inadvertently pirouetted into the Jill toilets – was not unlike the musical catharsis I’d reached after failing to master “Old Black Joe” despite six long months of piano practice or the moment when I’d been forced to confess to a group of third-year students that I couldn’t understand a single word of Jacques Lacan’s latest masterwork.

It was, however, only last month, as I lay upside down in thick scrub several precipitous feet below the path that was otherwise supposed to be leading me upwards into the Taurus mountains of southern Turkey, that I realised I’d reached another moment of self-discovery, another moment to acknowledge a new and permanent disability.

Up until that time I’d been happily congratulating myself on the manner in which I’d transformed myself from a Sunday afternoon stroller round the Rose Garden in Regents Park into a fully accomplished trekker. It was a necessary transformation. In the booklet which accompanied my travel tickets to Antalya, I learned that my choice of a ten-day walking holiday along the Lycian Way would involve some steep climbing and some difficult terrain. It was important, said the booklet, to purchase all the right gear.

I did as I was told. On the evening before the flight, I paraded before my partner in full trekking kit: micro-fleece jacket, alpine soft-shell trousers and Salomon Quest walking boots. On my back I sported my new Osprey rucksack with its full complement of trekking necessities: waterproof jacket and trousers, compass, blister pack, torch and safety whistle. In my right hand I held my adjustable Leki Trekking pole. “Taurus Mountains. Here I come!” I announced as my partner endeavoured to disguise her admiration by covering her mouth with a pillow.

And I couldn’t have been more right. Almost as soon as I set off at the start of the first day’s 18-kilometre Lycian Way walk that would lead me from one unpopulated area of southern Turkey to another, I felt in command of my circumstances. My rucksack was a feather on my back, my boots adhered firmly to the ground, while my Leki stick readily eased the graft of climbing and the knee-jarring effects of descending.

And then it happened. I’d almost negotiated something the guide booklet casually referred to as “a passage of scree”, but which turned out to be a mountain-side area the size of Wiltshire almost entirely filled with precarious footholds, when I stepped onto a large stone which promptly detached itself from the surrounding ground and carried me with it downhill into a dense thorn bush. But even as I slid downwards I was able to comfort myself with the thought that this was nothing more than the type of exigency that all good trekkers would take in their jaunty stride.

It was only then, in a moment disturbingly reminiscent of that unfortunate pirouette into the Jill toilet, that I discovered a new critical life point. For although my capacity for walking coupled with my twice-weekly use of the neighbour’s rowing machine had combined to give me a gratifying sense of body mastery, I now found that I had stumbled across a totally new and totally unexpected physical incapacity. For, try as I might, I could not lift myself up from the ground. No matter how much I adjusted my lying position, no matter how much I tried to use my arms and my stick as a support, I still remained resolutely stuck in a prone position. It was a shocking discovery. Even as I lay thrashing about ineffectually on the Turkish mountainside I could not help imagining the domestic consequences of such an inability: being unable to lift myself from the cheese aisle of Waitrose, lying immobile on the lower deck of the 38 Routemaster.

My partner was unsympathetic. She eyed my futile tussle with gravity with an expression disturbingly close to uninhibited amusement.

“I’m really not messing. I really can’t lift myself up,” I pleaded breathlessly. “What can I do?”

“Well,” she said non-commitally, taking a hearty swig from her water bottle. “You’re probably best off praying for a miracle.”

“What sort of miracle?”

“I think,” she said, carefully replacing the stopper, “it was called the Resurrection.”