I have been on this site for a while now. At first I joined, jumped in with a strict diet and exercise plan, dropped about 30 pounds and then quit. A year or so later, with my tail between my legs, I quietly rejoined SP. I decided no more drastic dieting. No more quitting.
I don't do snails pace well. I want to see results. I want to feel results. I want some instant results to keep me motivated to stay the course.
On one of my spark teams someone started a challenge called virtual walk. Pick a destination. Download walking directions on google. Each day, log your mileage and work on getting to your destination.
I set my destination far away. I live in Michigan. I have a friend in Phoenix. I walked to Phoenix. I googled where I was, learned lots of things about the path to Phoenix! I walked through Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona. I spent fourth of July in Saint Louis watching the fireworks by the Gateway Arch.
Well, I finally made my destination. When I got there I thought I'd quit the virtual walk thing. However, I found it motivated me. It kept me moving. I couldn't wait to see the ground I covered. I'd set goals like hitting a town or the state line by the end of the month.
I couldn't just quit. I plotted a new course to a small town on the California/Mexico border where the Pacific Crest Trail begins. I walked from Phoenix to California in a few months. Then I started the big challenge. The Pacific Crest Trail. 2,689.5 miles. I'm not sure I ever thought I'd really finish it - but maybe it would keep me motivated to keep walking just a little longer.
Well, I found this great site called Walking 4 Fun. It had a virtual walk of the trail, complete with photos taken by some hikers who actually walked the trail. What fun. I walked through the hot California desert, the snowy Sierra's, beautiful Oregon and now am finding myself in the rather wet state of Washington!
I am at mile 2,440.9, with only 248.6 more miles to go to finish the trail. I must admit I am sad that this journey will be ending. My average miles per day has decreased to 6.7 with the winter season challenging me. I don't like to walk outdoors on ice, so I had been sticking with the treadmill most of the time. Hoping to see that number climb with the onset of nicer weather here in Michigan!
I am at stage 52 heading to Stevens Pass. I think it has rained the past week. The hikers are struggling with the slippery path, their packs getting wet and heavy, difficulties finding spots to rest and remove their packs because of the wetness.... not to mention wet squishy clothes and shoes. Yuck!
Here are photos from my walk yesterday (about 9.5 miles)
Yep, narrow, slippery path with a nice drop down the side of the mountain! Careful stepping!
No easy stepping, rocky path.
Up here on the ridge, windy, wet and amazing!
This is Joe Lake. Not nearly as many lakes in this section as there were in Oregon.
Sometimes the fog/clouds make it difficult to see your path (kind of like the obstacles in this journey to a healthier lifestyle)
Another scary spot, this section of the trail was blasted through the rocks. More careful stepping.
It's these views that make all those fearful moments worthwhile!
Trying to stay dry for the night.
I find it kind of ironic that the end of the hike seems to be the most frightening part! However, the hikers confront those fears and push onward to reach the end of the journey.
Two years ago when I started virtual walking, I was recovering from knee surgery. Walking 100 steps was a challenge. I never imagined that I would have walked the distance I have walked.
At times I feel discouraged when my runner friends leave me in the dust. However at my weight and with knee replacement, running is not really in the cards for me. I could sit in my chair and watch tv saying "I can't" but instead I choose to do what I can. Even though my feet have not been on the PCT, it has challenged me to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Who would think that all those little steps would add up to thousands of miles? I will be sad to reach the end of this trail..... but I am already trying to figure out where I will be walking next!
In fact, I am going to get out on my lunch hour and try to get a mile in. I really want to reach that staging point by St Patrick's day. It'd be nice to camp with the other hikers and perhaps have some Irish stew and a beer (even if it is only virtually).
OK, gotta go.... walking time!