Saturday, March 13, 2021

One Year

It is so hard to believe, it was a year ago today that my kids attended their last in person school day of the 2019-2020 school year. The state was starting to enter shut down mode. First was the schools, just two weeks for now. Then came restaurants, bars, gyms, and more. Each day we tuned into the press conference our governor held to update us on the cases, the precautions, the closures. Needless to say, it was stressful.

That next day, I decided that if I was going to make it through this and be ahead of the game when (I figured it was beyond if) the gyms closed, I decided that I was going to commit to walking at least 30 minutes each day. It was my decompression time, a chance to get away from the constant barage of news about the virus and what else was closing. My chance to get out and clear my mind and just be alone with my thoughts. A chance to watch the cycles of the seasons with the changing appearance of grass, bushes, trees and flowers.

I don't know that I had a plan for how long I would stick to the committment but here we are 365 days later and guess what -I got out and took at least a 30 minute walk each day for the last 365 days. I walked over 775 miles. My best month was May with just under 100 miles. My longest walk was 5 miles, my shortest walk was probably about 1 mile. Most of my days were between 1.9 and 2.8 miles. All but one day I got outside and walked - that one day was Christmas and we had 10" of snow and with the holiday, I didn't want to venture out so I looped my house, upstairs, downstairs, circle the basement, circle the main floor, walk to each of the rooms on the 2nd floor and repeat. I walked as early as before sunrise and as late as sunset to fit them all in...with most taking place in the middle of the day. I walked in the heat, the cold, the sunshine, the rain, the snow. There were days I looked forward to taking a walk and days where I couldn't get done fast enough.

I feel like I am in better shape as a result of my daily walk. We live in a hilly area so there was always a mix of up and down on any route that I chose, so I always was pushing myself. I have always been active but the activities have varied and although routine, were never every day. Unfortunately my eating (and drinking) were off for much of the pandemic and there were a lot less 'everyday' steps as a result of going no where, so I didn't lose weight but didn't gain any either, which is a win in my book. Maybe I can get back to normal with other activity and better eating and see the benefit of walking.

It has been a tough year. I wish that the original estimates of "two weeks" to stop the spread had been legitimate. In our area, things are mostly open but there are still restrictions and still a mask mandate (even though so many other states have or are opening up). I'm ready for real normal not new normal. I'm ready for people to start to understand what worked and what didn't, to understand how two states that reacted completely different arrived at the same spot with similar case rates and death rates. I'm curious to see how long it takes to reach herd immunity and what this virus looks like as it becomes endemic like the flu and common cold.

I do know that I will keep walking. Will it be every day? I don't know, it has sort of become a part of what I do. I think that if I don't fit in a walk I will miss it.

How have you been coping during this past year? What was your escape?