Sunday, September 16, 2012

Going One Way

Normally when I am walking I leave the house and walk a while then turn around and walk home.  This is an easy way to control how far I am walking.   If I am getting achy or my feet are sore, I just turn around early. 

Yesterday I wanted to challenge myself and decided to see if I could walk from the next town over to my house.   This was a little scary.  It is seven miles, a mile farther than I've walked to date.  It was also one way.  There was no turning around if I got tired or achy.  There would only be a call for rescue. 
I posted on Facebook that I was doing it.   Got to have my accountability! 
My husband drove me to the town and dropped me off.  He wanted freak out the bikers on the trail by yelling at me as I got out and saying I could just walk home.  But we were afraid someone might call the cops so we chickened out.
A lady eating a protein bar smiled and said "Beautiful day!"
I told her I was walking to the next town. 
"Good for you!"
I plugged in my ear buds, started my Runkeeper and was off. 
I have driven this road thousands of times.  I have lived in my house sixteen years and taken this path to work almost every day.  It is different walking it.  This first several miles are wide open.  No trees, no shade at all.   The cars passed on the highway only fifteen feet away but I just heard my music.  The minutes really flew by.  Suddenly I was an hour in and the trees were in sight.  I watched for all the landmarks I knew and had to catalog them in a new way. 
The drive between these two towns is fifteen minutes.  Slowing down makes everything more visible and somehow more real. 
There was a small hill and when I came over it I saw the point.  It is a turn off to another town.  This was my turn around point from my six mile walk.  I knew I could make it. 
There were a lot of bikers on the road but no other walkers or runners.  I had it to myself for the afternoon.  Under the trees it felt familiar, all the walking I've been doing has had shade like this. 
Finally I passed the little landmarks I know.  The two little gravel roads, the other paved road and finally the first of the bridges.  I knew it was close now.  I heard the voice on my tracker tell me I was past six miles .  I had walked my farthest distance. 
It is hard to describe the elation I was feeling.  It spurred me on to make it home. 
I passed the final bridge and turned to the streets toward home.  I had been walking for over two hours.  My feet weren't sore, my legs didn't ache.  I turned the corner and my house was in sight.  The front door opened and my husband came out with the dog and put his arms over his head in celebration. 
The dog didn't recognize me and started barking until I got close. 
My husband hugged me and told me how proud he was.  I was sweaty and thirsty.  He had a lemonade waiting for me by my chair.
I did it.  Something that even a couple of weeks ago would have seemed crazy.  I am still discovering my potential.  What I didn't know during this trek was that I had people cheering me on.  On Facebook my friend Michelle was keeping our exercise group posted on my progress.  She watched me and updated my status.  My friends gave love and support. 
I will be 43 in about six weeks.  I want to do something big for that day.  I want to start my 43rd year as a year of change and transformation.  I want to see what I am capable of.  

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