10,000 Steps

I know I am getting old. I can see for myself daily the signs of small changes in my brain and body. One thing that I find Don and I doing, possibly way too much, is tell stories from the good old days. There is such a comfort of having old memories, they are kind of like old friends.

So here I go again. Another rambling Suzanne story…

When I was a young woman, I fell in love with long distance running. My long-term goal was run at least a few marathons. I am not sure why it happened but I went from short runs to longer and longer and longer.

Keep in mind this was back in the day when sports bras had not been developed. There were no Lululemons and for sure our running shoes were not of the standard they are today. Just to be clear while I was never going to be in the Olympics (for sure not) and even if I had been that good (which I wasn’t) - women were not permitted to run a marathon in the Olympics.

Crazy to think now that the first Olympics was in 1896 but it took close to 100 years (1984) before the first women’s marathon was added to the event roster.

So, I suppose it was understandable, given the era, that neighbors would notice me out running and report back to my parents that they saw me on the streets (again) and were wondering what I was doing. Regardless of what my family and neighbors thought, I loved it.

I loved recording my miles and planning my routes. Maybe it was the freedom or just being a person that liked to have a goal. I am happy to say that I did finally run two marathons and a multitude of half marathons before I became a mom. After that I would never have that amount of free time again.

It took MANY hours to train properly. It seems like another lifetime ago. It must have been because back in the day it was all about the miles run. Not kilometers! It was 1975 that Canada moved from imperial to metric, and I should have adjusted, but everyone I knew still talked about the miles they ran! Wonderful!

Fast forward to now. As my dad would wisely tell me, over and over, and yes, he was right, my knees would suffer. My knees finally did start screaming at me in my 40’s and I realized that if I wanted to keep moving on my legs, I would have to give up running and become a walker instead. Now I can happily say I love to walk. I love to hike.

The pace I go suits me fine. It is slow enough to notice all the changes of the seasons around me, all the small details in nature but quick enough to work up a bit of a sweat. And now of course I talk about my steps. How many steps do I want to walk every day? This is the new era of recording your every step on your phone and see how it adds up.

My goal is 10,000 steps a day. It is amazing truly how many steps happen just in doing a normal life.

Suzanne after walking her 10,000 steps

Today I would like to encourage anyone out there that is thinking of a new exercise regime to just start walking. It is the easiest and cheapest thing to do. All you really need is a decent pair of walking shoes. Nothing else.

There is no fee for a class and whatever time of day suits you is fine. Like Nike said, just do it! Start slow if you need to, but do start. Even if you just begin by going only a block or two and slowly, slowly build.

Before you know it, you will be doing steps in the thousands, not the hundreds.  You will amaze yourself at how good you feel at the end of it. I know for myself I have never once come home from a walk and thought, “I wished I hadn’t done that”.

All the very best,

With love, Suzanne

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