A Summer of Walking Changed My Life
The beginning of summer brings high expectations for thrills and adventures. By the time fall rolls around, I’m generally disappointed I didn’t achieve all I dreamt about back in June. So this summer, I decided to take on summer’s expectations so that when the fall came around, I’d have fond memories of an unforgettable summer. I even developed a special tag in my social media so that I would be able to search my digital memories better. I created #SummerOfWalking.
Now that fall is upon us, it’s time to search #SummerOfWalking and see if my summer expectations played out. Oh my gosh, what a fantastic summer I had. Although technically, summer started on June 20, I started early by leading my first segment of the High Line Canal. This 71 mile adventure began on June 4 when 26 people followed me through Green Valley Ranch in search of the High Line Canal. I knew none of these folks, and by the time we reached segment 9 at mile marker 10 on September 18, ten of them had become my tribe.
So, first take-away from #SummerOfWalking. Made over 40 new friends, built a tribe of 10.
Walking Denver Brings Surprises
In between leading the segments along the High Line Canal, I took off on my own urban hiking adventure in Denver, which I called the 9 Creeks Loop. Over 8 days, I walked, documented, and discovered 41 miles of Denver via its regional trail system. From a lady in Aurora who thought I was crazy to be walking alone, to a family that loved the free Wallaroo hats I gave them, I shot footage of the entire loop (thanks Forest City for the GoPro!) What did I discover?
Take-away two from #SummerOfWalking. Denver contains fabulous people who are kind and caring.
The Summer of Love
Due to the #SummerOfWalking goal, my husband got to benefit too. Although he had been to Niagara and Toronto, I hadn’t. Thus, we loaded up our back packs, got off the plane in Buffalo, and scooted our way across the border. With the help of busses for the longer sections, we walked our adventurous selves to Toronto via the Bruce Trail. Having no agenda, no cell phones, and no time schedule, we got the chance to just hang with each other and enjoy our own company.
Take-away three from #SummerOfWalking. I married a great guy.
Steps Don’t Really Count, But They Are Fun
I am not much of a fan of counting steps; walking is about connecting and discovery. It’s the platform for life. But I do use an app called Walksome that runs in the background and only counts true walks, not ambient walking (like around the house and other steps.) Occasionally I would check into the app and discover big, giant numbers that I never thought I’d walk on a consistent basis. I’d have days and days in a row of 22,000+ steps.
Take-away four from #SummerOfWalking. When you’re connecting as you walk, the step counts add up to giant numbers.
Walking is the Platform for Life
My feet took me through wonderful art work scenes, along paths and trails in Denver that I never would have discovered, across the Canadian border 4 times, and into areas of my own neighborhood I’ve previously ignored. By bringing forward the simple act of walking into my summer expectations, I won.
Take-away five from #SummerOfWalking. Winning comes from small steps that add up to big steps, and in between each step is a friend, a story, and an experience. It’s not the amount of steps on the shoes, it’s the experiences had while in them.
Now that fall is upon us, I’m wondering what follows the #summerofwalking. What types of expectations do you have for fall?