Walk On By

{photo courtesy of Ali Edwards}

Because I am always interested in challenging myself and finding new ways to make life entertaining, I have decided to see how my life changes if I make a concerted effort to walk at least 2 miles a day. I started this new “mission” on Saturday, Valentine’s Day. The fact that it is a memorable date will help me keep track of my progress (and had nothing to do with the fact that I wanted to wear a cute outfit without feeling/looking out of shape). So far I have walked three days straight, three miles each day, and I’m already feeling a difference. My muscles feel longer, leaner, tighter and more engaged. My energy level has been up and my mood has been all around sunnier. This may be all in my head, but if it is, who cares?! If I’m noticing a difference, isn’t that all that matters? And just to give you an idea of where I stand on the fitness spectrum, I am a 3-4 times a week runner. I enjoy running but it has become more of a chore than an enjoyable event. Walking feels much more my pace. I don’t dread jumping on the treadmill and I am eagerly looking forward to exploring my neighborhood on foot. Walking is something that you can easily insert into your day. Throw a pedometer on, park further from the grocery store/shopping mall/post office. Hit the pavement and get moving!

A book that certainly contributed to my walking fascination is The Wildwater Walking Club by Claire Cook. This is one of the most inspiring, uplifting and enjoyable books I have read in a really long time. Here is a quote from this extraordinary novel that releases in May from Voice.

Now I knew that the hardest part of any workout was just putting on your sneakers. Once you got started, all you had to do was keep putting one foot in front of the other, no matter what was or wasn’t happening in your life, no matter how happy or sad you were. I’d taken that first step because I wanted to look better. I wanted my clothes to fit. But it hadn’t taken me long to figure out that the biggest benefit was less about vanity than it was about sanity. Walking always helped.

So lace up those sneakers and start walking! I will continue to chart my progress and let you know if walking really can change lives.