I began walking on January 12, 2020. Since I am 57, they obviously weren’t my first steps yet they were life changing steps none the less. I was on the deck of an Oasis class cruise ship and I was desperately seeking something. I just didn’t know what. I was overly tired from working a busy holiday season, emotionally drained from leaving a job I loved and hurting deeply from the actions of a close friend. I felt lost, my knees hurt, I had gained weight from all the stress and sleep was illusive.
As I lay awake feeling overwhelmed by it all, I remember thinking “you have got to start taking better care of yourself. No one else is going to do it for you.” I had heard those words from my doctor, my husband, my mom and others who loved me but I just didn’t want to listen. Taking better care of myself meant getting exercise, eating better and putting myself first. To me it all just seemed like work. Hard work.
It took everything I had to get up, put on my sneakers and find the walking track. I was surprised how quickly the next 30 minutes went as I walked among incredible ocean views while the bright sunshine and warm winds soothed my soul. My walk was like a magical balm being applied head to toe. I found myself wanting that same cure the next day. And the next. And the one after that.
Fast forward to the early winter that followed the spring and summer of Covid 19. There was no way to predict the incredible changes we all had to face, and the restrictions that would be necessary to limit our risks. Through it all, walking (almost) every day became something I craved. The changes in my body and my overall health was noticeable, but not dramatic. The most important benefit I discovered was to my improved emotional state and my sleep patterns. I had actually found a way to carve out time for myself and it felt great!
Joining fellow walkers on the Facebook group Im’In - One Step At A Time and subscribing to Journey 30 has motivated me to keep walking and to keep discovering the plants, birds, insects and people of my community. I love seeing the photos and reading the stories shared of where people walk. I was so happy to see how many joined in A World Wide Walk on November 1st. Let’s keep walking together no matter where in the world we are.
Change can happen by taking a few first steps.
I’m so glad I took mine.
From the Walking Connection Team: Do you have a story about your walks, hikes or travels? We would love to hear from you! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org