Thursday, January 14, 2010

Walking in Circles: The Buddy System

Trust me on this one. If you want a walking program that will stand the test of time, you need a buddy. Someone who will be as committed as you are. Any other way just doesn't last. Here's my story:

My husband and I have always enjoyed hiking and walking. We started when we were dating and continued after we were married. We planned outdoor hikes whenever we could, but “going for a walk” was always an unscheduled event. Sometimes we went out to walk and sometimes we didn't. When the kids started arriving we collected snugglies and backpacks, and even a little red wagon the kids rode along in, and we walked when we could, but it was definitely more of a challenge with the kids and it wasn't CONSISTENT.

Marva was my first committed walking buddy. By then I had 4 kids and so did she. We got up early, and looked out our bedroom windows.....we were neighbors, and so we checked to see if one another had a light on, which meant we were getting ready to go. (Every now and then we didn't go because for some reason ((we're talking 8 kids now!)) one of us didn't get much sleep during the night). We met at the corner and enjoyed an hour of early morning rambles through town, while our husbands were still home with the children. This lasted about a year, and then MY husband had a work schedule change and could not be home in the morning. Bummer. Not long after that, Marva moved away. Another Bummer.

Later on, I homeschooled a couple of my kids and had the great idea to have “PE” every day by taking them for a 2 mile walk in the mornings. I even invited along some neighbor kids who were also homeschooling so they could all “socialize” together. This lasted for several months...but you know what? Kids grumble a lot and often don't get the big picture. When the messy weather arrived our “PE Walks” were done for.

Through the years I tried walking alone. It was sooo boring to me, and over time I found was heading back home sooner and circle kept shrinking! I tried walking the dog, but it wasn't much better. (And he always wanted to stop and smell everything). Without someone beside me to chat with I simply couldn't maintain a regular walking schedule. It was too easy to find a reason to skip a day...or a couple days...or....when was the last time I went?

Finally, (a few years later!) Linda suggested we walk together every day. YES!! She lived a mile away, but we headed out our respective doors at 7:00 AM, met somewhere in the middle, and enjoyed making tracks through town together. We averaged 3 miles a day. Every Day except Sunday. (My kids no longer needed me at home in the morning, and neither did hers, so we were free to go!) We walked through every kind of weather imaginable (it gets wet here) and only ice and snow kept us home. (It rarely snows here.) I still went for walks with my husband whenever he had time, but my daily walks with Linda were something I could depend on.

We walked through several years together, and then Paulene began to join us. We were a happy threesome tromping through the neighborhoods every morning, discussing anything and everything. When Linda suddenly announced that she was moving last March we were stunned. I estimated that in our six years of walking, we had covered 4,680 miles together! That was hard to give up, but life moves on.

Currently, Paulene and I are still walking our three miles every day. It's not the same without Linda, but we continue on, enjoying the friendship, the sunrises, and little discoveries along the way. Paulene says our walks are also therapeutic! Lately we have started bringing along our pocket cameras to record some of the interesting things we see. If I think you might be interested, I'll post some of the photos in my weekly “Walking in Circles” report. :)

If you're anything like me, you'll find that without a buddy your walking program is VERY difficult to maintain over time. If you want to walk and keep it up every day, then start chatting around with your friends and neighbors to see who else feels the same way. (Like Patricia and the Seminary Moms! Way to Go!) Even if it only lasts a little while, it's worth it for the exercise and the companionship. Trust me on this one...and Good Luck!

My Favorite Breakfast

Kathy has posted what she likes to eat every day for breakfast, and I'm still shaking my head and saying “Not this girl...”. (She expects me to say this, by the way. We have some history regarding the subject!) I CAN'T STAND oatmeal, even if it is Steel Cut Oats. ((((shudder)))) Like Kathy, however, I do have a favorite breakfast which, admittedly, probably wouldn't appeal to a lot of people, but that's okay! It works for me.

I have a bowl of sprouted and cooked brown rice, with dried fruits and nuts stirred in. And a glass of calcium fortified orange juice on the side. That's it! Fills me up, keeps me satisfied a long while, and it's easy. To make it even easier, I cook up a 3-days supply of the rice ahead of time, so all I do is scoop out about a cup of the cold cooked rice, stir in the good stuff, and heat it all up in the microwave for about a minute.

I should add that this is my “second breakfast”. When I first get up I have a big drink of water and either a banana or a little protein bar, then I go out to walk in circles with Paulene. After walking and showering I enjoy my hot bowl of goodness before tackling the rest of the day. Mmmmmmm. Till next week,
PS. If you're interested in sewing some cute baby booties, hop on over to my home blog: Come What May and Love It for a pattern and tutorial. :)


Marae Lindsey said...

Yes, pictures please. I love walking just for walking, but talking and thinking have got to be the best parts. I can't imagine how close you'd be with someone you talked with for an hour every morning for six years. Which makes a really good reason to walk with your spouse...

Also, I thought I was an expert on sprouting, but how do you sprout brown rice? Do you just soak, drain, and leave it out? I'm so curious. Your breakfast looks tasty.

Kathy Haynie said...

Yes, pictures please. And please do tell us more about sprouting brown rice...or anything...I know you cook beans in the slow cooker - do you ever sprout them first?

Dorothy said...

There's one of my walking photos at the top of this post...those are actually mine and Paulene's feet walking along! We had a good time posing this one (over and over) until it was just how I wanted it! :)

Katie said...

I am so glad to have Sarah as my walking buddy. Our schedules seem to mesh perfectly,

"Uhh... how does 11:00 sound to you today?"

"Well, my daughter has a doctor appointment. How about now or 1:00?"

"Now works great. I'll get dressed and see you in a minute."

And Sarah is great because she will say things to me like, "We can't stop until we get to the top of this hill." Also, we have fun talking everyday. Having a walking buddy is great!

alee said...

I agree on the buddy system...there is no way I would be running five miles each morning without my mom! I have no idea how she did it for so many years alone, but I don't even want to try it! :)

And I too am interested in how you make such a does look tasty!

Patricia said...

I love walking with my friends, but I do walk alone when it's inconvenient for others or in the summer when we want to go at different times. I've listened to books on tape or just let my mind wander and solve problems. Now, if I don't get in my energetic 2-3 mile walk, my day just isn't the same!

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