When I turned 79 in May 2017, I set myself the goal of walking/hiking a minimum of 80 miles each and every month until my 80th birthday. Eighty miles a month is not a huge undertaking – it’s less than three miles a day. What can be HUGE is making the commitment to reach that goal of 80 miles each and every month for a year. How about the days I don’t feel like it or because of inclement weather it might be difficult, or for health reasons I cannot, or maybe I’m traveling or…?
I bought a Garmin Vivofit2 watch and after calibrating my steps to the device, I began tracking my walking/hiking on a daily basis. From May 14 through June 14, I covered 99.5 miles. We hiked in Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Parks during that time so gathering mileage was fairly easy. However, we also flew on planes and did lengthy drives here and there when I could not walk much. And each day, I managed to get some mileage – if no more than just walking through the house to do my daily tasks or walking to/from/in the grocery store or choosing to park far away from my destination so I could accumulate something!
And what’s really interesting about this goal is how my focus is on accumulating miles. That leads to being more active more often. I love to write on the calendar at the end of each day how many miles I have racked up.
My second month (June 14 through July 13) I tallied up 127 miles thanks to a trip to Maui to celebrate our youngest daughter’s 50th birthday. We chose a condo on what I have found to be the best walking beach ever – 2.5 miles long with virtually no one on it. Most mornings I awakened really early because of jet lag/early sunrise and headed out in my bare feet to walk the beach and watch the sun rise.
I was actually able to do a full five miles barefoot one morning. This is remarkable for me because for at least 20 years, I had to wear orthotics. The pad that should cover the metatarsal heads in the balls of my feet have slipped forward making it painful to walk and virtually impossible to walk barefooted. Now thanks to practicing the correctives of Nutritious Movement and integrating them into my daily life for better alignment, my consistent practice of whole-body movement, changing to negative heel and zero drop shoes, and hiking on natural terrain in Vibram five-finger barefoot shoes with a small metatarsal pad (https://www.correcttoes.com/shop/metatarsal-pads.html), my feet had no problem doing five fun-filled miles barefoot in Paradise.
Over the past five months, I have averaged 110 miles per month – well over my goal and well on my way to hitting 1,000 miles for the year – or more. (Eighty miles a month for one year would equal 960 total miles. My goal is to hit the 1,000 mile mark or more.) WOW! This is going better than I expected.
We live on a 9.5 acre ranch on a mountain. My husband, Willis and I, have created a system of trails that allow us to hike any distance we choose by configuring the trails differently. One configuration may be three miles, another five and another…whatever we are up to that day. And being on the side of a mountain means it is constant up and down.
Here are some photos of those with whom we share the forest:
We have named our trails for family members; e.g., my trail is called Journey Joan. It is the longest one on the Ranch running from the north to the south side with multiple switchbacks and a serious incline. It was a surprise for my 76th birthday from Willis.
Everyone in the family (children, spouses, grandchildren) has chosen a trail name relevant to hiking. It is very cool to see their names on the trail signs and, of course, they love the recognition.
For those days when the temperatures are in the 90s and 100s at home, we live within 25 minutes of a beautiful walking beach where we delight in the cool breezes and sounds of the ocean.
I don’t see walking as optional for me. With pelvic prolapse, exercising the muscles of the pelvic floor is paramount to strengthening and maintaining the healthy condition of that area. I don’t know if the prolapse will get better; however, at this time in my life, I will be happy if it does not get worse. Walking is not enough. Unless I walk in form (read: alignment – https://nutritiousmovement.com/mind-your-pelvis/), it isn’t going to get the job done. I have always been an avid walker/hiker and yet here I am with pelvic prolapse anyway. Someone recently asked me how I figured the prolapse occurred. At first I said chronic constipation and straining while toileting for 50 years. Then after working with Katy, I found it was really the result of many things including not being aligned, sucking in my guts, wearing shoes with heels, and oh so much more. Take a look at this post by Katy for a lot more information: https://nutritiousmovement.com/4-fast-fixes-for-pelvic-floor-disorder/. Bottom line (pun intended), without changing my shoes and how I hold and move my body, the constipation would probably have continued and the prolapse most likely would have been exacerbated leading who knows where.