Walking, One step at a time

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As many in our community do, I struggle with weight gain and loss. And every year, the new year – I promise to do better, eat healthier… become fit! I’m sure everyone knows the promises that we make to ourselves.

But over the past few years, I have noted some changes. Many people in our community have lost significant weight. Many are seen walking out to the Goose – and further. Amazingly, there are many who hike Old Woman in the winter time. Personally, I can’t imagine doing that in the winter – just the summer is difficult for me. Especially since the other two members of my family are of the very long-legged type :).

A chance discussion with Shelley at the Medical Centre reminded me that the free Indoor Winter Walking Program might be a good idea for me. ‘A really good idea’ I agreed inside. In November, I was involved in a collision that left me with a pretty good concussion. As a result, walking in the snow is harder, because I worry (like many) about my balance and falling. Walking inside the school might just be perfect.

So my next thought was ‘really? Brenda, you haven’t toured those halls since…’ Well, it’s been many a year.

Despite my inner teen laughing at me, I went to the school Monday, and Shelley showed me where to sign in. All ‘Walkers’ must sign in, and out. That way if there is a fire or other emergency, a determination of who is in and who has left the building. So that I would know where I started this journey, I weighed in, grimacing to myself at the number; but I’m here to try and do better for myself.

Next, I was handed a string of beads. Beads? Whatever for? Well, that was explained; as you walk around the school, you move a bead to the other end of the string. In that fashion, you keep track of how many laps you have done.

Organizers have measured the school hallways, and on the map you can create a route. To do an exterior circuit is 674 ft, or .2 kilometres.

So with string of beads in hand, off we went, talking as we walked. By the time I rounded the second corner, Shelley stopped me. I was having trouble talking as I was walking. SLOW DOWN. If you can’t walk and talk – you are going to fast. So we slowed down, and the conversation continued. Before I knew it we had completed 10 laps, or 2 kilometres. It took an hour.

It took an hour.

That was a little bit hard to swallow. But you have to start somewhere – keyword ‘start’. I was reassured with Shelley telling me that many take advantage of the program, many with varying levels of fitness. There is even a bench at the halfway point where one can sit down and catch their breath or take a break. Water is available at fountains, and there is a fountain by the main door that will refill your water bottle!

So, I will be back again Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and see how I will improve. My husband has suggested a few songs for my playlist, and a I have a few ideas of my own. An hour a day for myself, isn’t a bad idea – and may just work out to be a very healthy decision for me. So, no longer ‘one bite at a time’ – how about ‘one step at at time’?

The Free Indoor Walking Program is from 4:30 pm. until 7:30 every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (except school holidays) inside the Michipicoten High School. If you are thinking of walking, remember to wear comfortable clothing and shoes, leaving your valuables at home. Remember the “Talk Test”. If you can’t walk and talk you should slow down. If you are unsure of how to get started, call Shelley or Shirley at 705-856-1313 for assistance.

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