I can recall walking in the Texas desert with my grandma while she searched for rocks to put in her rock polisher so she could make us grandkids necklaces. Just walking and wondering what’s on the other side of the next hill was one of my favorite childhood memories.
Later, around second grade in Los Angeles County (late 1960’s era), my older sister and I would leave the house early in the morning and walk as far as we could before finding a pay phone and calling our dad to come get us. It was my sisters job, (because she’s 8 years older than me) to provide him good directions to our location.
Looking back, we definitely got into some sketchy locations for two young naive girls.
In the mid 1980’s with 4 little ones of my own, my husband and I discovered that the one thing we could afford was hiking with our kids, so that’s what our family did for entertainment.
Fast forward to seven years ago when I was visiting one of my daughters down in Tennessee who was about to have her 3rd child. We were taking a walk and came upon a creek. I bent down to show the 14 month old something and realized I couldn’t keep him from going in the creek and stand up while still holding him, without a major struggle. My knees were weak and years of smoking cigarettes had taken their toll. I knew right then I had to get healthier.
When I got back to Pennsylvania, I started walking half mile everyday. It was difficult and I built from that.
I feel fortunate I found this group to keep me motivated and inspired. Some members hike amazing miles and in some amazing places. Some others gather their miles when and where they can. I often walk in big circles in my field because it’s there.
It’s the movement that matters to me.
It’s the appreciating I can still move and to never take that amazing gift for granted that keeps me moving forward.
To be able to walk with my children and grandchildren comfortably now, is all a result of building off that first 20 min half mile 7 years ago.