...Begins With A Single Step.
Today marks a milestone as big as any I've passed. Today I finished walking One Thousand Miles!
Two years ago I couldn't walk 200 feet, or stand on my feet for more than 5 minutes without being in excruciating pain. I simply did not go anywhere or do anything that required being on my feet that long. If there was any doubt, I'd take my two canes with me to assist me.
I remember taking a milk crate with me any time I went shopping, so that I could pull it out of my cart and sit on it any time I needed to. And I needed to a lot. My wife new my favorite places to sit and rest in our local grocery store. A typical shopping trip consisted of me sitting on that milk crate most of the time, with mad dashes of rounding up items in my cart before I had to sit down again.
I remember never walking to the mail box, even though it is only about 1/10th of a mile away. It was simply too far.
I remember making sure my landlord wasn't home when I walked over to pay the rent. Not because I didn't want to talk to my landlord, but because the 100 feet there and 100 feet back was the limit of how long I could stand and walk. I didn't want to get delayed should the landlord feel like chatting.
I remember my first real steps around our neighborhood. We had come home from somewhere, stopped off to check the mail, and rather than get back in the car I decided to walk home from there. I did it! I was so proud! This was early in my journey and by that time I had lost about 25 pounds. But it was enough to make it possible to walk home from the mailbox.
In the following weeks and months I continued to lose weight, and as I did it got easier and easier to be on my feet.
I remember the first time I walked around our block. It is exactly 1/4 of a mile, and I walked it very slowly, using two canes. I remember working up to 1/2 mile. I remember not needing both canes. Then I traded my remaining cane for a walking stick. Then I mostly carried the walking stick, but not using it.
I remember the day I first walked a whole mile! The more weight I lost the easier it was to walk. At some point it started to hurt less and less.
Now, putting one foot in front of the other, walking what I can each day, I've worked up to where I routinely walk two miles at a time and most days walk at least 4 miles in a day and some days even more. The most I've walked in one day is 8 miles. I can walk further than 2 miles at once, and I'm sure I can walk more than 8 miles in a day, but those are good limits for me. Even though I'm capable of so much more than I used to be, my body still reminds me of all the abuse I've put it through over the years. I still have a bad back. I still have a bad knee. I still have two hips that complain and remind me I'm not likely to ever run a marathon. The more I walk the more I feel it the next day. But I can walk! I CAN WALK!
As I lose more weight I expect I'll be able to walk further and with even less pain. I'm so looking forward to those days ahead!
-Norm aka John Smith