About fourteen months ago, I announced that I had a little more than a year before my 60th birthday. I declared I'd be SENSATIONAL BY SIXTY. I also stated that I had certain accomplishments I hoped to achieve.
One of the first things I did was begin walking a designed program. To walk sixty miles a month (on average), I figured, I would need to walk about 2.5 miles most days of the week.
I knew better than to start out there. I'd been an inside walker for years (the treadmill ... ) but hadn't done a serious outside walking program for the longest of times. Now, with my new plan, I knew I needed accountability. That's when I noticed my new neighbor (we'd recently moved) walked every day. So, one afternoon after spotting her outside, I asked if she walked daily and if she'd like a walking buddy.
"Sure," Joan said. "But I can't walk far."
"Not far" meant that she walked about a mile.
Understand, this was June of last year and most evenings the temperature managed to dip down to a chilling 90 degrees. A mile in that kind of weather was about all I thought I could handle.
And so we started out ... one mile a day except two evenings a week. During one of those evenings I lead a Bible study and during the other Joan has a commitment. (On her "commitment" night I walk with another neighbor, a wonderful woman named Donna.)
Little by little, our one mile became a mile and a half, then two and then two and a half. We left our cul de sac at about 7:00 (during the summer, 5:00 during the winter) and returned 45 minutes later, two wrung out puddles.
My Irish skin didn't lose it's red glow for an hour, and that was even after a cold shower!
By December I had a problem. I knew in my head that I was 59.5, but in my heart I was still a young girl who didn't need to stretch properly before walking. So ... I developed a heel spur. A big one. A painful one. One that eventually required a shot in the heel and about a week of rest.
Now Joan and I walk two miles a day (except Bible study night and her commitment night when I walk with Donna...)
I've lost about ten pounds, went down one size, but otherwise I've leveled out when it comes to weight loss. Not that weight loss was the point. Part of being sensational by sixty is becoming healthy, both physically and mentally. And so I have.
Sixty, here I come!