Resolution Reflections

Even though I did miss a few days of walking, I am calling my Walk Every Day in 2013 resolution a complete success.

To be honest, I’ve never successfully completed a New Year’s resolution before this one. And to think it only took me 50 years! At this rate I won’t complete another resolution until I’m 100 years old. Wait, I guess I wouldn’t have made any resolutions until I was at least 10, so at this rate I won’t complete another resolution until I’m 90. Either way, I really don’t want to go that long before completing another resolution. So before I make any new resolutions, I’ve been reflecting on what made this resolution successful:

  • It was pretty specific–I resolved to take a daily walk in 2013.
  • Despite that specificity, I allowed for variety within the parameters of the resolution–I walked on trails, through my neighborhood and other towns, on a treadmill, and even on a meditative labyrinth. I biked a few times too.
  • It had regularity–even though I got really sick of titling each day’s post with a number (and even messed up a couple of times), it really did make me write something about each day and make up many of the days that I missed by walking twice on a later day.

Some things that surprised me during the year of walking–in addition to actually completing the resolution–were:

  • The Illinois prairie is beautiful. Flat to the horizon, waving grass and fields of wildflowers took my breath away.
  • Even though I did not see my 2013 grail bird, the pileated woodpecker, I saw a variety of new birds, many within just ten miles of my home.
  • I’ve learned a surprising amount of local history.
  • I feel like I am more observant of the world around me. I see color, lines, shapes, and structures with new eyes.
  • I like being outdoors–even in the winter.
  • Walking, hiking, and biking has been a great activity for our youngest son (who’s fourteen and has autism). Moving on quiet trail has been a great way for him to expend some of his energy, and he loves the outdoors.
  • My family got into this far more than I expected. They voluntarily joined me often.

In fact, this year of walking worked because my family supported me and wanted to walk with me, which means it was really more than just about walking.

I set out doing all of this because I felt some nondescript need to be creative in my mid-life. The creativity part was certainly rewarding. I have really enjoyed writing, taking pictures, and learning about photography. But so much more rewarding was spending time with my family and seeing new places and things. And that’s why this resolution has been a success.

I think that this walking thing has become enough of a habit that I will continue to do it almost every day. (I have walked each day in 2014 so far, despite some horrible weather.) I’m sure that my family will still join me on a regular basis, and I’ll keep posting about my walks too–just not every day. I’ll post about the interesting walks and will attempt to take The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge each week.

As for a 2014 resolution, I’ve decided to keep it really simple this year–I’m giving up potato chips.

Day Three Hundred Sixty-two

Winter Takes a Welcome Break

We had a second consecutive day of unusually warm temperatures and bright sun today. Thank goodness too; we needed it after the cold, harsh winter we’ve had so far this year.

I did have a little trouble deciding where to walk. We didn’t have a big block of time, so we couldn’t travel far. Also, I did not need another fall this week so I wanted to avoid slushy, slippery snow-covered trails; I needed a plowed paved trail. I chose to go back to Frankfort Square’s Island Prairie and Indian Boundary Park. My husband, daughter, and youngest son joined me.

Island Prairie and Indian Boundary Park

I really like this neighborhood park (and not only because it’s plowed). It has a small lake and wetlands with a boardwalk through it. I’ve seen numerous birds each time I’ve visited. Today was no exception.

Indian Boundary Songbirds1I especially enjoyed the two hawks that circled for about half the time we were walking. When one flew directly overhead, I was glad I had my camera ready, because this hawk put on a show.

IMG_2541We had such a nice walk today. I am so thankful to have had such a beautiful day for one of the final walks of my 2013 resolution.

Day Three Hundred Fifty-nine

Black Ice and Taking a Break from a Raucous Good Time

I woke early this Christmas morning and figured I should head out for a walk in the event that the day’s festivities would prevent me from walking later. It didn’t, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

Boy, is my neighborhood quiet on Christmas morning at 6:45! We had gotten a dusting of fresh snow overnight, and the only footprints that I saw were the squirrels’, the rabbits’, and mine. I saw a car drive by on a distant cross-street, but otherwise had the entire outdoors to myself.

I was really enjoying myself until I felt my feet go out from under me on some black ice and found myself sprawled on the sidewalk. Ouch!

I got up, brushed myself off, and continued my walk. By the time I got home though, I realized that my left wrist was awfully sore. I determined that it didn’t hurt enough to be broken and went on with my Christmas. (I got enough sympathy from my husband that he volunteered to peel potatoes for the side dish that I was bringing to my in-laws’ for dinner.)

Later in the afternoon, I went for another walk with my youngest son, who’s 14 and has autism spectrum disorder. We headed out in the woods behind my mother-in-law’s home. It was nice to take a break in the middle of a long visit that got a little loud for him. I’m glad we brought our boots along!

As for my wrist, I’ll keep monitoring it, but I think it’ll be okay. And to think that I had almost made it the whole year without a fall!

Day Three Hundred Fifty-eight

Well, that’s a first: I actually closed down the health club on Christmas Eve.

With the temperatures below average, possible snow in the forecast, and a full to-do list, I thought it might be best to just plan a workout for a certain time and get it done on a treadmill.

I did get it done, but I was surprised how crowded it was. What surprised me even more though was just how nasty people were about the club closing early on Christmas Eve. Yikes.

Good walk!

 

 

 

Day Three Hundred Fifty-seven

My sub-resolution to not miss a single day of walking in December has been a real challenge. I’ve come up with a few equations to help explain today’s reasons for needing to schedule a make-up walk.

  • full house + no food = grocery shopping + cooking + delayed walk
  • last minute gifts + mall traffic = delayed walk
  • wind chill of -14º = no evening constitutional around the neighborhood
  • full house = warm heart + vow to make up a walk

Day Three Hundred Fifty-six

One Less Goose?

We were headed in the same general direction to get a gift card so we stopped for a walk around the Monee Reservoir, a Will County Forest Preserve. Most of the preserve is water, and the Canada geese really like the place. There had to be hundreds when we arrived, and wave after wave of noisy new arrivals landed while we were there.Monee ResevoirThe unpaved trail was quite muddy so we stuck to the paved trail, driveway, and empty parking lot. We enjoyed looking around the preserve which seems, not surprisingly, to be used primarily for fishing.

As we turned to walk towards the large picnic grove, my husband saw two coyotes running across the field, likely looking for a goose dinner. I was lucky to get a few shots!
CoyotesIMG_2437Good walk!

Day Three Hundred Fifty-four

I actually dragged my carcass out of bed early this morning to make up yesterday’s walk. I walked through the fog and saw only commuters making their way to the train. (A walk really is a nice way to start the day.)

In the evening, my husband and I walked to a restaurant in town to celebrate our anniversary. Twenty-eight years of wedded bliss!