Monday, December 26, 2011

Sunshine and Walking in Late December

Now that Christmas is over, things are less hectic and I'm hoping I'll be able to get back into my regular walking (and blogging) routine. I'll begin training for the Xenia Half Marathon next week, so that does give me an added incentive.

I woke up this morning to sunshine and mild temperatures. It was so pretty, I decided to drive to Antrim Park to get in some calorie-burning miles. (I ate a lot of junk yesterday.)

Antrim was every bit as beautiful as I hoped it would be! There were not many people, the lake was smooth with a few ducks swimming, no wind and the sun felt wonderful! In fact, instead of alternating directions, I walked each loop in the same direction to take advantage of as much sun as possible on my face.

I ended up walking three loops for 3.6 miles and a 14-min mile average.

I often suffer from seasonal depression. Gray, cold Ohio winters really do a number on my moods. Days like today help me to fight off depression for just a little bit longer. What a difference a little sunshine and exercise makes!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Do it Better

My husband and I have a good friend named Ed. Because both of our parents are gone, and Ed is close to the age my in-laws would be, we occasionally have fatherly conversations with him. This father of six, grandfather of 24 and great-grandfather to 24 has a lot of experience with these types of conversations.

The other night when we were talking to Ed, WALK! Magazine came up in conversation. After explaining how hard I had worked, etc., and how sad I was that I had to fold it, he turned to me and said, "Do it again."

I was stunned. Did he not hear what I had told him? Didn't he understand? I said, "I can't because..." and gave him a long list of reasons why I could not possibly restart WALK! Magazine. He repeated, "Do it again." I started to repeat my list and he stopped me.

"Do you have any idea how many times I have failed? I have failed A LOT! And after each failure I would figure out what I did wrong and do it better the next time." He talked about how he could have gone the easy route and worked for a big company like so many of his friends. Yes, they made lots of money, but they worked long hours and  never got to see their families. And basically, though he made less money than his friends, he made more than enough and he felt he had a happier life.

After his story of failure and success, he said, "You know what you did wrong. Do it better."

Many of you former subscribers to WALK! Magazine know me and know how hard the folding of the magazine was for me. It has been two years and I have tried very hard to let the idea go, but I can't. The truth is, I LOVED publishing the magazine! It was the best thing I have ever done, it was some of my best writing ever. I met some great people -- subscribers, athletes, race directors and average walkers like me. I received help from so many people who volunteered to write, who occasionally paid my hotel bill, who traveled with me to keep me company, stood in my booth for hours or just listened to my every idea or vent.

I also missed a lot of sleep as I worked 80 hours a week for 4 years, and I incurred a "little" bit of debt, but I still loved it.

So now, taking my friend Ed's advice, I hope to "Do it better."

Right now, I can't do another print publication. I don't know if I ever will. But, I can gather great information about walkers, health and fitness, nutrition and more. And I can write about people who are interesting, great places to walk, fitness products... And I can find new, maybe better, ways of connecting with other walkers.

I hope all of you will join me as I try to follow Ed's advice.

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Sunday, December 04, 2011

Inspiring People One Step at a Time

Have you ever wanted to stay in bed all day with the covers over your head?

It's easy to get overwhelmed with life's problems.

When I feel like that, all I have to do is read about someone inspiring, such as Karen Stewart, and I realize I am a wimp and need to put my petty little stresses into perspective.

You see, Karen has recurring relapsing MS. There are times when her brain and hands don't communicate all that well. She may want to pick up a pencil, she may even tell her hand to pick up that pencil, but it doesn't always work. There are days when she just cannot pick up even a pencil.

In a story that I found about Karen online, it says she has spent plenty of time in wheelchairs, with walkers and with canes and then one day decided to "embrace" her disease and make it her "friend." She was going to find a way to use her illness to make herself stronger.

She started walking a little bit at a time until she finally was inspired to walk a marathon. After finishing her first marathon, she was motivated to keep going, and going and going... Here is a quote from the news story about her that I loved: "Not everybody is motivated to do marathons, but everybody can do something. ... you never know if today my story will inspire someone else to get off their duff and do something."

Karen recently finished her 47th marathon in Savannah, GA! She hopes to complete her 50th in February 2012! (Shoot -- I've done only two full marathons.)

I find Karen to be extremely motivating! Here is a woman who has been stuck in a wheelchair and she was still able to walk 47 marathons! Wow! If she can deal with a horrible disease like MS, what can't she do? If she can do all of this, what excuse do I have not to try harder to meet my personal goals.

This is all of the information I was able to get from this interview by WSAV-TV ( There are so many questions I have that this story didn't answer.

I have never met Karen, but I hope I will. My goal is to interview her and write a more complete story about her with first-hand information instead of the work of other journalists.