I have the most beautiful neighborhood, and I love to explore it on foot. Will you walk with me?
(Record scratches) No, this blog has not turned into a bad episode of Mr. Rogers. I really want to show you my walks! But first, a little backstory.
When I was a new college graduate, I moved back in with Madre and Papa. They were gracious and generous to afford me this option as a 22-year-old adult who decided to enroll in cosmetology school instead of seeking gainful employment. My dream of becoming a hairstylist did not die with the completion of my degree in business, and I was determined to make my dream a reality.
Don’t get me wrong, I did work, and I worked very hard. For that entire 11-month period I was in cosmetology school, I worked at least 60 hours a week, between 40 hours of school, waitressing, cleaning two houses, and helping out in Madre’s retail store. I was off only on Sundays, and I was so tired that I was a pill to be around on that one off-day a week. I soon realized that I had to do something to increase my energy, and I needed a healthy way to make that happen.
What’s the healthiest way to increase energy? Exercise, of course. I began walking “around the block”, so to speak, every single day of the week, except Sunday. This “block” I walked is 2.5 miles of beautiful, hilly, country roads, and it’s right here at Big Creek. Every morning I awoke at 5:30, walked my 2 and half miles, then showered and got to school (which was 30 minutes away) by 8:30. I did it in winter, spring, summer and fall. I walked, rain or shine. This practice kept me going by increasing my energy, increasing my water intake, and helping me maintain a healthy weight. I don’t think I could have accomplished all that I did in a little less than a year had I not done my walks.
Once I moved out, I lost my walking route. I moved into an apartment in a complex on a busy highway. Walking in circles around the complex parking lot just didn’t have the same appeal, and I was working a regular 40-ish-hour week in a salon by then, sitting more than standing (it takes a little while to build a clientele, you know). When Coach and I married and we bought our first home, there was no good place to walk there, either. Every time I tried I’d wind up surrounded by neighborhood dogs who either wanted to tag along and annoy bypassing cars, or bark at me and scare me half to death. I gave up again. I also gained 40 pounds in our first year of marriage (I lost it again between babies, and have done fairly well at maintaining ever since, but I still missed my walks).
Our second home was on a busy highway, as well, with limited visibility, and, again, protective dogs. I could drive to town to walk, or even drive out to Big Creek (a 30 minute drive), but it was just easier to skip it. I had a treadmill for a while, but nothing says boring like walking on a treadmill. I sold it once it became a clothes rack.
One of the things I was most excited about when we decided to move to Big Creek was my old walking route. Madre has taken advantage of it for years now, and she actually walked her way to a 40-pound weight loss a few years back, on the same route I had taken daily 20 years ago. I couldn’t wait to get back into my walking routine! Having Madre to walk with made the idea even more exciting.
Sadly, I’ve only done it sporadically since we moved here over a year ago. Madre is way more dedicated than I am, but even she has taken it in spurts, especially during these nasty winter months. She woke up a few days ago with determination anew, and it rubbed off on me, so we took our first walk in weeks. Having beautiful days to enjoy in February is one big perk to living in The Deep South. I want you to see how amazing this route is, and enjoy the gorgeous scenery with me.
Isn’t it lovely? Of course, not every single piece of it is perfect,
It’s hard to even read some of the headstones, they’re so old. This one says 1814-1841.
These cliffs, which I actually remember being just a hill with no road cut through it in my lifetime.
I also want to publicly pledge that I will walk this route 3 days a week, religiously. I’m no 22-year old anymore, so I won’t be walking if it’s below freezing or pouring rain, but otherwise, I want my bootie on that trail every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If I squeeze in a few extra days, great, but 3 days a week is all it takes to feel better.
I’ve also re-committed to drinking half my body weight in ounces of water daily, and after only three days, I already feel like a new person. This helps so many things, including my aching muscles. I was doing so well while I was seeing the therapeutic massage specialist last summer, but I fell off and started bad habits again, like too much coffee and soda.
I’m not doing this for weight-loss, although if it happens, that will be a nice perk. I truly just want to feel better, have more energy, have a healthy digestive system, and be able to keep up with this busy schedule I’ve created for myself. I want to sleep better, and wake easier. I want to just be healthy, and be able to stick around on this earth long enough to have wrinkles and gray hair. I really, really want that… sons-in-law, grandkids, senior citizen discounts, and retirement are things I actually look forward to. Isn’t that what we are all working toward? It’d be fun to stay young forever, but dying before I’m old doesn’t sound like much fun to me at all.
If this one healthy habit allowed me to achieve my goals in 11 months, just 20 years ago, imagine what it can do for me now? I can’t wait to find out.
Walk with me?
(This post has been linked up with the “You’re Gonna Love It” Link Up party! If you’d like to find more blogs to read or mingle with some other bloggers, come party with them! Your hosts are “Kathe With and E” and “The Kim Six Fix“, and they’d love the have you! )