Sunday, August 31, 2014

Where Would You Prefer To Walk?

Are you a city kid?  Do you prefer dusty country roads?  What about wooded trails and natural habitats?  How about sculpture on your walks?  Bikes, strollers, skaters?  Alone, with a buddy, or on a path filled with others?  A beach?  A river side trail?  Blacktop, cinders, mulch, mud, or rocks?

Everyone is likely to have a preference.  Mine would be a wooded trail, not too rugged, with no bikers or strollers.  It would be a trail wide enough for my 2 legged and 4 legged walking buddies to walk with me.  There would be no boom boxes or cigarette smoke, no speed racers, and no snakes.
There would be a lot of shade and a gentle breeze on a bug-free afternoon.  Bugs rule out sunset walks on wooded trails.  If you haven't experienced those buggy trails at sunset, stay away.  There would be a stream running nearby so we could see and hear the water from time to time.  Deer, squirrels, and rabbits would be squawked at by the birds we bother with our presence.  It would always be Spring with low humidity and plenty of sun and cloud, overcast on the sunniest day.

I can dream can't I?  Can you?  Or, can you explore your environs to find a trail, path, or sidewalk that brings you joy when you walk?  I didn't discover all the wonderful places I find to walk in the first week or even year that I dedicated myself to walking.  At first, I was confined to sidewalks in my neighborhood.  Then, I branched out to the golf cart trails on icy winter days at a golf course not far from my house.  From there, I began trying park trails.  My dog and I found our way through all kinds of paths and weather.  We walked on dark, dreary, bitterly cold winter days when she was healthy.  By Summer, she was reluctant to walk so much and it became clear that she was ailing.  She wanted to walk but had no stamina.  After her death, I continue to walk and sometimes cried while I recalled how much she had enjoyed walking with me.  My beloved Jasmine.



Now, Lizzie is my 4 legged buddy and we are adopting another, perhaps older dog, Shawnee.  Lizzie is 8 and has been confined to 1 mile walks in summer heat, but on cooler days, she's frisky and anxious to strut through the entire 3, 4, or 5 miles.  She has no idea how old she is!  Isn't that wonderful.  Think about it.  No worries about getting old.  No thoughts of what might befall her.  No fear.  Just pure joy when she gets on the leash.  Her preference is to walk anywhere I'm willing to take her!  Pure, pure joy.  I hope Shawnee will feel that way too.

So, where would you prefer to walk?  If you haven't found the right place yet, don't give up.  The right trail, path, or sidewalk is out there, just waiting for you to find it.  Don't give up.  It's worth the time - and, in case you didn't notice, while you're trying to find that perfect venue, you'll be walking the whole time.  Go for it!







*************************** Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude. You can trust the information you find here. It's from a dedicated walker. Trust me and your life will get better! I promise.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Some People Have All Kinds Of Excuses

You know the type.  Maybe you're one.  I certainly am a person who can come up with all kinds of excuses to avoid doing things I really don't want to do.  Procrastination is probably one of the Seven Deadly Sins.  If not, it should be.  I can procrastinate about all kinds of things.  Highest on the list is housework.  I have 100, fresh, ready excuses for you to explain why the beds remain unmade and the stacks of stuff continue to decorate every room in the house.  In my house, if you put down a stack of something, it's likely to be there 5 years later and its new name is a decorative element.  Too bad if you don't share my sense of decor(um).  LOL.

So, back to the excuses.  Do you have excuses for not walking?  Let me guilt you for a moment.

I recently had a fairly simple, quick, same-day procedure for carpal tunnel release.  In the operating room for a few minutes, in the recovery room for an hour, then home with a bandage on the small wound and do whatever you want the next day.  That part about doing what you want the next day is a direct quote from the mouth of my delightful and very accomplished hand surgeon.  I was fine for 5 days.  On day 6, I had a stitch abscess.  My dear husband called the nurse practitioner (cuz the doc was on vacation and we knew that).  The N.P. said, hey, dude, you're (my husband) a doctor.  If it looks infected to you, start her on this antibiotic.  So, start we did.  The next day and two doses of oral antibiotic later, there were gooey piles of pus (sorry if you're eating your Hershey bar)  oozing from my hand.  My husband call the N.P again and she told me to come to the office.  Her official opinion was, "Oh, gross."  She called in a junior partner (Orthopedist MD), who said, "Oh, gross."  Do you see a pattern here??  Six hours later, I was back in the O.R. with my original hand surgeon having my wound dredged, probed, cleared, and dried out.  And, a PIC line inserted so I could receive intravenous antibiotics at home.



What!!!  I actually almost yelled at the Infectious Disease specialist who decided I needed to be on IV's.  I actually said to him, stridently, "I can't be on IV's.  I have to walk 3 miles every day."  To be fair, the very nice ID doc did not laugh at me or chide me.  He said, 'You can do anything you want.  You can carry your IV pole down the street if you want."  Yes, he actually said that!  I swear.  Then, he cleverly left the room.


Fortunately for me, after I was tossed around between home health companies til they found one that fit my insurance (and missing two doses of antibiotics in the process), my dear husband - who had not done an infusion in over 30 years - hooked me and the IV up for about an hour twice a day.  No, I did not carry the IV pole down the street.  But, I did walk between those sessions.  I did not stop walking.  For me, especially when I'm ailing, I am unable to sleep unless I get my walk in.

So thanks to Dr Tim and Dr Matt, I'm all healed, Dr Tim says I can take up boxing if I want (I think I do) and Dr.  Matt wants me to stay out of his line of sight.  No, that's not fair.  He's a great guy with a bad patient (me) and he did just the right thing.  And, lucky for me he's got both a thick skin and a great sense of humor.

So, when you think you have an excuse to remain slumped on the sofa, think of me with my PIC line in, walking on the trails through my favorite park.  If I can do that, you're excuse for not walking today is simply, well, lame.




*************************** Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude. You can trust the information you find here. It's from a dedicated walker. Trust me and your life will get better! I promise.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Hotter Than......




"It's hotter than Hades out here,"  she said sweatily.  Is that a Tom Swifty??  I think so.  I love them but can seldom come up with them!

It's simply been too hot the past couple days for any sane person to walk or work outside for more than a few minutes.  Taking my 4 legged walking buddy off leash in our rather large back yard where she loves to roam and run freely, is giving her one of favorite treats.  It's often difficult to get her to remember her 'come' command.  Not yesterday or today.  When I said 'come', she ran, tongue dragging, for the back door, water, and the A/C vent she hogs on the kitchen floor!  Even the dog doesn't want to deal with this stuff.

But, Kris and Sally and I have persevered - albeit in the relative comfort of the Mall.  Mall walking gets old really fast - but it's 1000% better than not being able to walk at all.  If I didn't have these two reliable friends to walk with, I'd be doing my paces in front of my television during this heat wave.  Today, the temperature  broke to three digits with high humidity - all sun and no shade or breeze.  I know in a couple months, I'll be wishing and dreaming for these sultry days, but I just can't make it farther than a mile.  It feels like I'm wading through molasses outside!

So, remember, there is always a way to get in your walk!  Walk at the Mall or at the grocery store.  They won't mind.  They 'accuse' me of Mall walking at Walmart some days.  But, no one really seems to care.  I'm just one of many people milling around the store.  Walk at the hardware store, on the indoor track at the YMCA if you have one, or any place that has A/C.  Lacking that, get up and walk in place in front of your own TV or on a treadmill.  Dance or walk, skip, twist, kick a ball against the garage door.  Anything that keeps you moving.

Remember, moving makes you feel better, draws you closer to good or better health, and clears the clutter out of the brain, leaving room for all kinds of fresh ideas and creativity.  No downside here.

PS - I don't know exactly what the guys in the photo above are doing - but if they can do it, so can we.  It's at the Mall and it qualifies as moving!




*************************** Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude. You can trust the information you find here. It's from a dedicated walker. Trust me and your life will get better! I promise.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Another New Wooded Wonderland



Recently Kris and I walked at a place that was new to us.  West Tyson Park.  It's near Six Flags amusement park on I-44 west of St. Louis, MO.  There are several walking trails marked off in the park and we chose the intermediate length.  It was a lovely day, not too hot, not too humid.  The trail was rated a single diamond.

Well, the single diamond was not accurate.  While this is not the most rugged trail we had walked, it was certainly at least a 2 diamond trail.  It was almost all uphill - about 1.5 miles - full of stones, roots, washed out areas, and other trail hazards.  The downhill part was much less rugged.  We were glad we had not brought along the dog for this walk as there were several places that were not wide enough for both the dog and me.



Kris and I are used to walking single file on these wooded trails.  That's not a problem.  One nice thing about this trail was the lack of bicycles.  Lately we have encountered many ill mannered and ill behaved cyclists with whom we are supposed to share the path.  They are not following the posted rules of announcing themselves when the come upon us from behind.

As I have said many times, if a cyclist hits me, well, I'm fair game.  But, if a cyclist hits my dog who is walking, as trained, on my left, then I'm likely to stomp on that cyclist as he lies on the muddy ground.  No excuse for such lack of manners if they want to share the trails and roads. I give them wide berth when I'm in the car and I feel it's only fair that they behave politely on the trail.  More and more, Kris and I are migrating to trails with fewer cyclists - and Kris, herself, is a cyclist.



That said, this park is lovely.  The longer trail will take you to a site that overlooks the Meramec River as it turns from north to west on its journey to the Mississippi River about 12 miles east (as the crow flies).  The shorter trail is about one mile.  Great for beginners.  As you can see from the pictures, there was plenty of shade on the trail - and that's a plus!

Note:  The last picture shows a huge limestone boulder that has slid down the hill from up much higher.  It is retained only by the single tree you see.  A beautiful site.

Thanks to Kris for taking these pictures!


*************************** Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude. You can trust the information you find here. It's from a dedicated walker. Trust me and your life will get better! I promise.

Friday, August 15, 2014

My Walking Clothes Bone To Pick




I just received an email from New Balance advertising their latest workout fashions.  Sleeveless, camisole type tops and lycra, skin skimming pants.  Well, I'm sure there are plenty of lovely young things who will happily wear this workout gear, but I'm wondering where the workout gear for the rest of us is?

I'm wearing tee shirts and shorts that are over twenty years old because I am unable to find suitable work out/walking garments in retail outlets.  I need a sleeve - not a cap sleeve or one of those skimpy little 2 inch long sleeves that look lovely on Michelle Obama's sleek arms.  My arms - and most of the women I know share this trait - need to save the world the heartbreak of close attention.  My preferred sleeve length is to the elbow but I'll take them an inch or so shorter.  But, I will not pay $35 for a skimpy top that doesn't cover the 'bingo wings'.

As for the lycra pants, well, that's another story.  I have really toned legs from all my walking and I can wear those lycra pants as well as the next middle aged woman - pants that no one over the age of 12 should be wearing.  But, I have an abdomen that has been pregnant four times and is not toned - oh, so not toned!  It would take a tunic style top to cover those lycra pants to the point where only my nicely toned thighs and calves would be seen.  And, who the heck wants to wear all that when it's 90 degrees outside?  Um.  Not me!

And, just for the record, I need a bra that actually HOLDS UP something - uh, two somethings.  Sports bras, jog bras, yoga bras are not suited for me or anyone larger than a B cup.  And, that's a lot of us!

Baby boomers are booming!  Many of us have money to spend on good clothes and shoes.   Surely, at least one designer from New Balance or somewhere could come up with some suitable designs for women over age 50 who are not rail thin. 

I read that cotton is no longer the preferred fabric to sweat in.  I should be wearing wicking fabrics that will pull the moisture away from my body.  Kinda sounds like Pampers, right?  I'm not sure if these newer wicking fabrics are all form fitting, but if so, the patterns needed to be altered to allow for our 'wobbly bits' (to quote bridget jones) to be modestly hidden as we work on improving and toning them.

So, what do you think about this?  Please weigh in here - and maybe send an email or two to your favorite work out clothing maker(s).





*************************** Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude. You can trust the information you find here. It's from a dedicated walker. Trust me and your life will get better! I promise.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

In Case You Need More Enticement To Take A Walk......

The latest news from the world of medical research clearly demonstrates that 10 minutes - TEN MINUTES - of physical activity a day leads to a longer, healthier life. 

Who doesn't have 10 minutes to invest in herself?  Ten minutes is about what it takes me to drink my morning cup of coffee.  In 10 minutes I can get two baskets of laundry folded and put away. 

So, wanna live healthier and longer?  Walk for 10 minutes a day.  Sounds too good to be true - but it's not.  This one is for real!


Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude. You can trust the information you find here. It's from a dedicated walker. Trust me and your life will get better! I promise.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sad Shoes, Mad Wrist

I feel like an invalid today.  This morning, I wore a new pair of shoes to walk at the mall with a friend.  We did our usual 55 minute walk and my feet didn't bother me much.  But, when I returned home and removed the shoes, I had a huge blister on the bunion on my left foot and two red marks on the knuckles of my right foot.  Are those knuckles if they're on your feet?

Those shoes are going back to the store!  I do not 'break in' shoes.  I've learned the hard way that breaking in shoes is double talk for a poor fit.  I now know the difference.  Over the past year, I have worked hard, visited two doctors, and purchased five different pairs of shoes and have succeeded in clearing up the corns, calluses, and sores on my feet.  I'll not willingly go back to those painful feet with open wounds on them.  No way!

On top - almost literally - of that, last Monday I had carpal tunnel surgery on my right wrist.  This procedure used to be one where you wore a cast for 4-6 weeks after the surgery.  That has changed dramatically.  Now, you have a bandage on the day of surgery and the next day, you remove the bandage, clean the wound with hydrogen peroxide, slap on a bandaid and go about the business of 'your routine activities'.  Now, I like my  hand surgeon and I'm sure he means well.  But, no way can I resume my normal activities.  Lifting things.  Writing things.  Typing things.  Crocheting things.  Tying my shoe laces.  Really?  Well,. no, not quite.  I had trouble single-handedly pulling up my elastic waist shorts.  Can you fold laundry with one hand?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Things have actually gone really well until today.  My husband (the doctor) insists I've just 'over done'.  Well, what does resume your normal activities mean then?  It means that my wrist and the incision now hurt like the dickens and I should probably not be typing.

But, I did walk.  I walked this morning and again this evening.  I wore a pair of shoes that normally is quite comfortable this evening and put a bandaid on that darn quarter-sized blister.  The walk helps with the pain in general.  Walking and talking, rather than dwelling on my misery, is much better.  I  highly recommend it.  No, the wrist and the blister - and even the thunder - would not deter me today.  I know what works for pain management and exercise is a big part of that 'cure'.  Try it.




*************************** Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude. You can trust the information you find here. It's from a dedicated walker. Trust me and your life will get better! I promise.