A to Z Challenge: W is for Walking #atozchallenge


Walking used to be my thing.

When we were kids, we walked everywhere.  The snow was up to here.  We walked miles and miles through the snow.  But it's true, we really did!  They even told my parents that we were considered "walkers" to school because the bus routes were calculated "as the crow flies" instead of using the roads and sidewalks.  So, we walked to high school, which was about 3 miles away using sidewalks!

My favorite time in my life was when I lived in Princeton (Mass.) and only worked part-time, evenings.  I would walk every morning with my dog, Timba, and all the other neighborhood dogs would follow us.  I looked like the Pied Piper of Dog Ladies (or Cesar Millan, who wasn't known yet!).  There were no leash laws back then, all the neighbor's dogs would love to see us coming and they'd all follow us.

When I moved to Spencer (Mass.) after that, I kept walking Timba every morning, with her one doggy friend, Lady, who belonged to a neighbor that didn't really like us very much.  Timba, Lady and I went everywhere.  That was before what I call "the new neighborhood" (now almost 30 years ago) was built.  The woods in that area were called Sherwood Forest (yeah, I know, but it really was!) and we would walk for miles within the forest.  I loved it so much.  And then they built the houses.  Lady's family moved away, and Timba got too old to walk.

I adopted Hobie, and he and I would walk everywhere.  We walked an hour, twice a day.  We even walked in the "Sherwood" neighborhood, and again, all the loose dogs would follow us!  In Spencer/Sherwood, we didn't walk back past the houses where the dogs lived, so they would follow us to our house.  I'd throw them all in my car and drive them home, like a school bus driver, after we were done walking!

Then, we adopted Hector.  Hobie, Hector and I walked everywhere.  We kept up the one-hour-twice-a-day schedule.

All during this entire time, working in the travel industry, I traveled to large cities in Europe frequently and I would play "tour guide" to my companions, and we would walk everywhere in the city.  The best and only way to see most European cities is to walk, walk, walk.  "It's just around the corner!" we'd cry, and then walk miles and miles (or kilometers and kilometers).

During one such trip, I got really, really sick with a weird virus.  I developed fibromyalgia after that, and everything changed.  I love walking when I'm on Cape Cod (it's flat, and easy, and so beautiful).  But living in Central Mass. I no longer love walking.  It's 1,000 feet above sea level, and it's hard.  Hobie can no longer walk.  Hector is no longer with us.  Cooper is disabled, and Charlie chases and lunges at cars.  I don't walk when I'm at home.  And on Cape, I walk, but I walk by myself which isn't always 100% safe and not much fun.  I'm pretty much a loner, even though I have friends, I don't like walking with friends.  I consider it a meditation, "me time".

So, here's my goal.  I have to get back to it.  Walking has always been "my thing".  I didn't realize it until today when I needed to write a post beginning with the letter "W".  People have often asked what are your hobbies, what do you like to do?  I didn't even realize, my answer is:  walk!!

So, I'm going to start, right away, with (literally) baby steps.  First, I'll do 15 minutes a day either on the treadmill (it's supposed to rain all week) or outside, by myself, with no dog, for a week.  The following week, I'll increase that to 20 (maybe 25) minutes.  Then following week 30 (or 35) and so on, until I'm back to one hour a day.  If I'm still doing it by that time, I'll maybe shoot for two hours a day, and include Charlie.

W is for Wish me luck!!