On July 24, 2011 I started my walking journey. In order to try and motivate myself to walk more, I started tracking how far I walked each day. I started with mapmywalk app and wrote my miles down everyday. Granted at the time I was doing good to make a quarter of a mile. The point though was I was walking at least once a day. Plus I was gradually adding to that distance. By Labor Day weekend I had walked my first virtual 5k.
Fast forward to today. I’m less than 29 miles from completing the Appalachian Trail virtual hike for the fifth time. The walking4fun website is how I started tracking my walks several years ago. According to its Appalachian Trail, it’s 2202.1 miles. I’m at 2173.7 miles. Yes, once I finish,I’ll be starting it a 6th time. I may also do a different ytrail on walking4fun. I’ve done that before.
As of midnight I have walked 10,880.61 miles since I started walking. This year has been difficult due to several illnesses. Last year was bad due to a head injury that re-injured my old concussion. That’s left me with dizziness, motion sickness and falling issues. I fell twice in 2018 and also did a number on my chest, sternum and ribs as well as my knees. Multiple concussions are not a good thing.
I love walking. I love taking hikes in the mountains although I can’t do long ones, I’m limited to a few hours. I remember my first hike ever in 2012. My brother and I were hiking on the Appalachian Trail at Carvers Gap on the Tennessee and North Carolina state lines. My brother did not believe I’d make it to the top of that first knoll. I made it to the start of the second knoll. The steps there stopped me. I have bilateral moderately severe arthritis in my hips and knees. I can’t do steps very well and these were tall steps. Besides we had to walk back over the first knoll and down over to NC to get to the car.
When I got to the top I was excited. Why. Because in 2006 I was told I’d never walk without a walker. If I did, I’d have to have a cane. Well, I got to the top and said hey doc, screw you. I made it without anything. My brother cracked up.
Since then I’ve hiked on a number of trails in North Carolina and Tennessee. Plus I’ve walked on trails in Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee. When I’m not sick, I’m walking daily. The farthest I’ve walked in one day is about 22.75 miles I think. I was walking everywhere that day.
Never give up. You will have days you won’t be able to accomplish everything you want. Don’t sweat it. Do what you can. Don’t beat yourself up over what you perceive as a failure, tomorrow is a new day. Life will give you challenges but your strength is in how you work around and with your challenges.
Challenges come in all forms in all areas of our lives. As we overcome those challenges we grow as a person. We learn more about ourselves. We become stronger and better. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a complete meltdown or breakdown. They happen too. You learn and put one foot in front of the other.
My biggest challenge is food and I will battle with it the rest of my life. I do great for awhile then boom, life throws something at me and my weight creeps up. I’ve gained and lost this same 20 pounds so many times. I get tired, frustrated and want to throw in the towel. I eat but the difference is I log every single bite of food I put in my mouth, everything I drink in my SparkPeople app. No matter how horrible I have been it’s there staring me in the face. My last round with a stomach virus I lost weight and got dehydrated. I made the mistake of weighing. So when I weighed today I had gained five pounds. Well, duh, I was dehydrated because I couldn’t keep anything down at all. Now that I’m back drinking a lot of water I’m retaining fluids. Hopefully I’ll get back in Balance soon.
I turn 65 in September and I would like to be down twenty pounds. After a lifetime of fad diets and crazy weigh loss diets, it’s difficult for me to lose. The good thing though is that while my weight may be stubborn my body is changing and my clothes are getting looser. I’m seeing changes in my body. That keeps me motivated.
I am thankful for each day of my life. I’ve died and worked my way back up. I’m feeling better than I have since I was first diagnosed with migraines and began a lifetime of medication in 1978. Before that I weighed 198 pounds. Today my bloated self weighed 207.2. I’m close. Here’s to the next ten pounds gone.
If you get discouraged, step back and re-evaluation your situation. You may need to make an adjustment. Remember to listen to your body. I have arthritis, fibromyalgia, PTSD, bipolar depression, migraines, screws in my left knee, my right knee hyper-extends causing falls, wet macular degeneration in both eyes that has caused depth perception problems which causes falls and had two traumatic brain injuries which robbed me of my short term memory and ability to spell. Each day is another chance ay life and learning. I’ve been considered permanently disabled since 2001. It took four years for me to get approval for disability. Never give up. Keep pushing. Keep living and learning.
You can do this.