Sunday, October 30, 2011

When walking: Look both ways!

When out walking, strolling or running make eye contact before crossing a street. This is my message for the day. Do not cross the street before making eye contact with the drivers!!

As a walker you have the right away. As a human being you are at a distinct disadvantage in weight and protection. You may be right, but if a car hits you, you will not win this fight.

Drivers are focused on the road, sometimes they are not even doing that. As I walk-jog-woggle... I have seen so many drivers texting, chatting on cell phones or just rushing and not even seeing me or other pedestrians.

I love the cross walks, stop signs and traffic lights but I do not trust drivers, until we make eye contact. Over the past 20 years, I have learned to trust my instincts and wait for the all clear!

Saturday my girlfriend and I walked around Federal Way for 5.5 hours. The day was absolutely gorgeous. Autumn colors spectacular and we were incredibly lucky with sunny skies- thank heavens!! During this beautiful walk we also had multiple close calls with traffic.

When we walk around town, we cross streets- lots of streets. During our walk we passed walkers, joggers, families, dogs, cars, bikes, motorcycles etc. It's easy to get lulled into a false sense of safety. Never loose respect for traffic when crossing the street. In one day, there were at least three times we would have been in trouble if we had walked before checking the drivers!!!

Incidentally, I was also reminded to pick up my feet as I walk. On our Saturday travel, I tripped on a slight sidewalk bump. I ducked and rolled. My knee is free of skin, my ego slightly bruised and my body feels kind of irksome but all in all I was very lucky! Thankfully, I had band aids in my fanny pack. After checking for broken bones and blood we stuck some band aides on my knee and walked another 6 miles. (My tuck and roll must have been an act of God, I'm not known for my smooth tumbling skills: )

Trust me, in car or sidewalk accidents, it only takes a second for a hard knock. Pay attention to what you are doing and do not cross a cross walk or street before carefully checking traffic. When in doubt wait until all is clear.

In case you are wonder why in the world I was walking for 5.5 hours, I have a great reason. My girlfriend and cancer survivor is training to walk the San Diego 60 mile 3 day walk for a cure. She is incredible and I walk with her to help her train and support her mission. She would probably walk with or without me but walking and training with a partner is so much more fun. I support her completely and want to make sure our training is safe and healthy.

Wishing you a happy and safe journey

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Crazy like a fox

Posture, posture, posture those words were said over and over this morning. Once again I find myself walking long distances. My girlfriend is walking the San Diego Susan G Komen 3-Day walk. In less than one month, she will be walking 60 miles. I'm not doing this walk, but I'm helping her train, we are a training team.

To some, walking 18 miles or 60 miles is a drop in the bucket of extreme distances. Last year, I visited with a window washer who was going to be traveling with his wife and 18 year old son 80 miles- over mountains -while camping. In the book Born to Run, the ultra runners run races of 50 -135 miles in one day. Others, I have visited with think an 18 mile walk borders on the crazy side of life.

What do I think about an 18 mile walk? I think we were are made for this kind of distance and I also think you have to be a bit nuts to do go this distance. Consider this morning: 7:00 am, it is pitch dark and raining. Oh-yeah crazy is dancing around the conversations. Later in the morning, the sky's were dry, the leaves of autumn spectacular, us walkers were walking admiring and chatting away. Crazy would be stitting it out.

As we walk we talk about everything and sometimes nothing. the most common word said is posture. We have found the better our posture the less fatigue felt. Keeping our hips under our shoulders. Walking not leaning forward but with our core muscles. Tonight, I do feel a bit tired. Tomorrow morning we will be back out walking/training for her walk. Sunday night I'll sleep sound and hard. I am surprised in walking, the more I walk the stronger, healthier and happier I get. I think my girlfriend feels the same.

As we walk, we see houses decorated for Halloween, we see orange/red/yellow/iridescent leaves on trees. As we walk, we build deep bonds of friendship and kinship. As we walk, we get to go on micro road trips seeing a step by step view of the northwest. Walking is a gift. Getting wet is part of life.

As always, wishing you a healthy and happy life,