Maybe some of you are interested in the history of me and walking. Here is my story.
When I was just a little kid, even before I started school, I would be outside in my yard playing and the next thing I would be going for a walk around the neighborhood, so my mother tells me looking for dogs to play with.
The first day of kindergarten my mother walked me to school which was about a half mile up the hill from our house. When she drops me off I tell her not to come get me after school because I want to walk home alone.
We moved to another town when I was in third grade and we lived right by a lake and woods. Yes, you guessed it. I walked and played along the trails in those woods along the river. Sometimes with friends and sometimes alone. Happy days and a fun childhood I had in those woods.
Back when I was a teenager parents didn't drive the kids every place they wanted to go and we did a lot of walking. My best friend Bernice lived a mile away and we spent many miles walking back and forth to each others houses. Most Saturdays we would walk to the next town over and walk around town and then ride the train back home for 25 cents. We spent many hours walking and walked many miles.
Fast forward some years and Ken and I are now married. I was always dragging Ken along with me on walks after dinner. Then the kids came and I wore out a few strollers taking the kids for walks. Back then we only had one car and if I wanted to go out I had to walk.
So all through my life I liked to walk but never walked for exercise. When I got older I realized I needed to do some kind of exercise but didn't know what I wanted to do that I wouldn't get tired of. I tried running - just didn't like it. I did aerobic dancing and enjoyed that for a number of years but the instructor moved away and we moved and it wasn't available in the area we lived in. Jazzercise was something else I tried but one day I came down wrong and tore a muscle in my calf so I didn't want to go back to that.
Then one day I thought why don't I just walk. Don't ask me what took me so long to realize that walking was exercise. Maybe because I liked it, it didn't seem like exercise. But when I started walking for exercise I didn't enjoy it as much. Back when I first started going for morning walks I went with a friend Joanne. We would meet each morning and walk about 2 miles and that eventually turned into 3 miles. Some mornings I would wake up and not want to go but knew Joanne would be waiting for me so I would get up and go. We only walked during the week and took the weekends off and I didn't walk in the rain. I walked a few years with Joanne until she moved away, but now I was in the habit and started walking alone. I realized I preferred to walk alone. We moved to Savage and that is when my walking took off. At first I still only walked during the week but then started walking 4 miles a day and then 5 miles a day.
Then I started walking 6 days a week and that finally turned into 7 days. By this time I was enjoying my morning walks very much and could not imagine not walking. I got rain pants and a slicker and then the rain didn't keep me inside either. The only time I don't walk is if it is icy or when the temperature goes below 11 degrees. I had great places to walk and often walked a path that ran along a river leading to Lake Elkhorn. That was when I started walking 6 miles. When we decided to move to where we now live I thought I would miss my old walking paths, but once here discovered all the paths and the lake and I am in heaven with all these wonderful places to walk. Once I get passed 5 miles I think I must get that high that runners talk about because I seem to get more energy and really could just walk all day long.
I have been talking morning walks now for the past 22 years and as you can see I didn't do it all at once. It kind of grew on me until it has become a big part of my life.
So to the many of you who say you would like to walk but just don't have the motivation, just get out there and start. That is the hardest part, getting up and starting with that first step. It may be just a 20 minute walk to start with but if you keep it up, it too can become part of your day. Once you see how good it makes you feel, that will be all the motivation you need to keep it up. Walking is actually fun, enjoyable and has lots of health benefits.