million steps – day thirteen – inspiring others

more rain today, think that makes almost a week of walking while getting wet.  I am getting used to it, and I have my lovely new waterproof jacket to keep me dry.  Actually rain isn’t a big problem, it means there are less people about, which I like, and it keeps me cool when walking.

I did the usual route this morning, and then later in the day persuaded hubby to come out with me.  Remembering our epic trek last week this time I offered a compromise of city walking.  We travelled north from home to the city and spent a happy couple of hours walking around canals and shops before stopping for a bite to eat.  You see there are lots of ways to get the steps in.  Hubby also managed to buy himself some new shiny shoes, so everyone was happy.

While out and about I had a couple of messages come through on my phone.  This blog is documenting what I am up to and how I am getting along, my Diabetes UK page is keeping count of my steps and encouraging people to sponsor me.  A lot of my friends are very interested in my experience, especially those, like me, who have never really thought about exercising.

Two different friends contacted me in the past couple of days.  Both are a little bit older than me, retired women with busy lives, families and grandchildren.  One said, and I quote,  ‘Hi, you are a great inspiration to me’ she then went on to ask how I counted my steps and what device I used.  I happily explained about my app and my new counter thingy.  Another friend, also contacted me to say that since reading my blog she is now walking for an hour every evening.  Wow,  that is fantastic, not only am I benefiting from this challenge but now others are picking it up too.

I said right at the beginning if I can walk a million steps, anyone can.  I am hoping that my friends enjoy walking as much as I have learned to do,

million steps – day nine

Today was a good day.  After yesterday when I felt bored and tired and achy I decided to vary my walking and begged a lift of hubby on his way out to work.  He dropped me off at the edge of town for me to walk back.  It was a great idea.  I made my way down roads I usually only travel on in the car. The unfamiliar made for interesting walking and energised me completely.  It was early so not many people were about and as I turned off the main road into the smaller side roads the countryside was all around me.

A group of rabbits were playing alongside the school field, I stopped to watch them for a minute as they chased each other.  I couldn’t help but feel that this new world I am living in is full of surprises around every corner.  Walking puts me in the picture, not looking at it framed through a car window.  I am part of the landscape and able to connect with it in a way I have never done before.  I notice things I would never have seen and I am seeing the world in a very different way.  Leaving the rabbits to play,  I carried on along for a mile or so then started making my way back towards home.  It was a long walk, but I enjoyed every step.  I think this will become a weekly treat,  my long walk home.  When I arrived there just after 8 am I really needed my breakfast.

The day went on as Saturdays often do.  Spending time in the shop, chatting to people and sorting and packing donated goods ready to be sent off to where they are so badly needed. It was carnival day in our town today, and it was great to watch everyone heading up to the market place for fun at the fair.  We closed the shop just as the carnival parade was heading up the street,  it was full of smiling people, some were on floats, others were walking or marching with the bands. The sky was threatening rain but it stayed dry, which was great news for everyone.  Later we walked over the market place and down into the park to listen to live music and catch up with friends.

Today was a high step count, almost 20,000 which seemed very easily done.  Walking new routes, walking with friends and concentrating on having fun meant many of the steps were done unnoticed.  I am proud that my fitness levels are improving so much, I find it easy to walk and talk, even up the hills, something I could never do before.   It seems to me that I am beginning to understand that this maybe a million step challenge, but actually it is a life time change for the better.


on my million steps towards a healthy life day one

Yesterday was the first of July, and the day I began to walk a million steps to raise money for Diabetes UK.  Well Diabetes will benefit from the cash my sponsors will donate, but the biggest winner here is going to be myself.

I am soon to be a whole decade older, and given I have taken almost no exercise for at least ten years, walking anywhere was going to be a challenge.  I started in June, to practise for a few weeks and soon found 10,000 steps a day was difficult but doable. Walking early in the morning soon became the best way to start the day, and as the first of July approached I was feeling confident.

So, yesterday, I am in Wales, with my very good friend, who has sadly lost her husband of just a couple of weeks.  We filled our time dodging the showers and walking in the sunshine.  I began, as ever, with an early morning walk, clocking up 4,000 steps.  Later we drive to a tiny town, tucked in the midst of Snowdonia and start to explore.

The first bridge we crossed  passed over the torrent of a river in full flood.  We stood watching the water crash against the rocks, swirling and foaming, slamming against the bridge and working its way angrily downwards.  We crossed the bridge and from the other side we saw the waters emerge into a calmer river, the foaming breakers settling into gently lapping waves.  It seemed to us that this was very like life itself.  My friend commented that she had, at times, felt as if she was in the midst of the angry waters, and it was comforting to remember that everything does calm down eventually.

With a further 5,ooo steps under my belt we are once again back in the car, this time heading through the mountains towards the sea.  The rain started falling heavily, so we headed to one of the fine Welsh castles and spent and happy hour in the dry, looking around the fabric of long dead people’s lives.  Thankfully the weather cleared, the sun shone and we were able to walk around just a bit of the beautiful gardens, finding surprises around each corner.  A water lily pond over here, a fountain over there, all surrounded by flowers and foliage of every colour and tone.

Once back at our base I checked my step counter to see I had managed to complete over 17,000 steps towards my million target.  I had walked almost eight miles, and enjoyed every step.

So, day one is done.  Spent with my friend who is living through her own challenges, I have just another 998,300 odd steps still to do.  I wonder where they will take me?