Well, today is my 80th birthday! And I have something to celebrate! Recently I spoke about the walking setbacks that my friend and I experienced. We didn’t stop walking but did need to slow down a bit. Then, as I mentioned in the last Fitness Update, we were on our way to our usual challenging walks. We have really progressed – now we are back to challenging walks we were doing before.
Our Walking Routines
We continue to walk three times per week for at least an hour first thing in the morning (6:30). And unless it’s raining, I always take my walking sticks along. (You can’t manage walking sticks and an umbrella) Our rule is that we walk regardless of the weather. We have noticed that it works best to alternate days so that the body recovers in a healthy, gradual way.
My friend has her iPod set for a rigorous walking pace so she sets our pace – just so we are not out of breath. She tells me that I seem to walk faster when I am using walking sticks. This may be because they seem to help set up a rhythm.
We both have noticed that we need interesting places to walk, and we have some favourites – a trail beside the beach and a beautiful city park. These work best when we are limited in time because they are handy. We have great philosophical discussions to keep from getting bored. And then, of course, we stop for a cuppa java before the rest of our day begins.
Because we know that our weekend walk will be longer and more vigorous, we usually go for breakfast before starting out. We have a list of great breakfast places that serve healthy fare. During this COVID time that has been a challenge, but we have found places where we could dine outside safely and comfortably.
Conversation over breakfast usually involves what we just learned about our new smartphones and where today’s walk should be. We have discovered a phone app called All Trails that lists many interesting trails in our area. And with GPS enacted, it guides us through some interesting trails.
Many of these trails are more challenging and interesting than our beach and park walks during the week.
For the fun of it, we created a list in our Google Keep of all the interesting walks we have done. This morning I found 43 trails on that list. This list is useful when we can’t decide where to walk.
We took advantage of some good weather to walk Royal Roads University and visited their Japanese garden.
You can take a tour of the campus here
I always take my walking sticks in their pouch so that I can choose the right type of tips according to the trail we are walking. One tip is best suited to forest trails where I need more stability than what would be used on a flat, paved surface.
These walks usually take the better part of the morning so that we often also stop for lunch and a well-deserved beer.
The Most Challenging
Over the summer and fall, we have walked a few challenging trails and even got lost when the trail signs did not match up with the maps we had.
We did a 30-minute forest trail to Whitty’s Lagoon. It’s always such a bonus when the trail ends on a beach. This beach has lots of sand bars and tide pools when the tide is out, so its really nice to take a barefoot walk. For this reason, Whitty’s is one of our favourites.
While exploring Royal Roads earlier in the summer, we noticed a ravine trail that we wanted to explore. So this past Sunday we decided to give it a try. You can see the trail here. We found a waterfall and followed the river right down to the ocean. It was challenging due to all the tree roots and rocks, but a beautiful walk. It was a great day to enjoy the beach and surrounding buildings This was the site of a First Nations settlement at one time so the building commemorated that. We loved the carving on the outside wall:
Now here comes the real challenge! We had parked just inside the campus property and now had to walk back up the road from the beach to the highway. We kept our pace but had to stop quite a few times to catch our breath. BUT WE MADE IT!
What you see here is just up from the beach. As we passed the building you see here, the road becomes much steeper and LONGER.
When we reached the car, we were both rather wobbly, but we went for our usual lunch and beer to celebrate. We now know that we can go back to all of the trails on our list without fear of not being able to make it. If we could make this hill, we can do most any.
You Can Do It Too
On all our walks, making use of the walking sticks helps with balance on wooded trails, and helps increase cardio and stamina on shorter walks in preparation for those wonderful weekend walks.
I suggest you find a compatible walking partner and get yourself some walking sticks. If you want to read everything you ever needed to know about Walking Sticks, do some research (Like I did not – see my article The Value fo Research)
I found a great site that will tell all – Why Use Trekking Poles
How has your walking experience progressed? Please share your experience in the comments below.