Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

When a walk doesn’t count


We walked a lot while on vacation. Most days five miles, sometimes as much as eight. Now that we’re back home I feel I should try to keep the momentum going. Plus I get a kick out of my Fitbit numbers when they’re good.

So this morning I decided to go to my favorite park and take a walk. I figured I’d do two or three miles out and then walk that same distance back to the car. The whole way around the lake used to be eight miles, back in the days when I trained for marathons out there.

Goldenrod and milkweed filled meadow.

Eight miles is a lot, and I wasn’t expecting to do that much, but in the back of my mind I kind of wanted to walk all the way around the lake. I wanted to see what had changed, what was the same. I wanted to reminisce about those days, so many years ago, when I used to do my weekly long run circling the lake in all kinds of weather.

So I figured I’d walk a couple miles and see how I felt. And after two miles I felt fine, so I figured I’d walk another mile and then decide. I knew that I should probably turn around after three. If I was smart anyway.

The bike path circles the lake through all kinds of terrain.

Logically I should stop at six because my back would start aching somewhere between miles five and six. It always does. So a sensible person would turn around at the three mile mark. Still. I really wanted to walk the whole way around the lake.

It was a beautiful sunny day, 74 degrees. The maple trees were relinquishing summer, way too soon in my mind, becoming turn-coats in bright reds and oranges. The locust and choke cherry trees were beginning to yellow too, but the oaks were standing firm in their belief that there is more summer to enjoy, their strong arms still clothed in shades of deep green.

The maples are giving up too soon!

Virginia creeper had long since turned bright red, climbing up the trunks of trees and running along the ground. The white pines were sporting yellow needles against the bright blue sky.

Creeping up the tree trunk.

Everywhere there were memories. Here’s the spot where I once sat down on a hillside next to the path and took my shoes off with more than a mile left to run. And here’s where a friend tripped over something and landed in a snowbank.

Here’s that hill that always made me stop running and walk up to the crest, and the spot where I slipped on black ice during one winter long run and fell, resulting in me limping four miles back to the car in a blizzard.

Magical morning at the lake.

There’s the boat rental place that will soon close for the season and where I keep meaning to rent a kayak and explore the lake, and there’s the peninsula where Katie and I had a picnic a couple days after my retirement two summers ago.

Over there’s the place my dad stopped to watch the carp in the pond when we were exploring the nature trails, I think of him every time I pass this way, and here’s the spot where I came across a whole passel of artists one winter, out painting the landscape on a frigid morning.

Geese behinds.

So many memories triggered by this park that I love. When I got to mile three I pondered what to do. Should I turn around? Or continue on to mile four when, by default, I’d have to walk all eight miles around the lake.

I bet you know what happened.

A little sweaty, but so much fun to see the whole lake.

And I’m glad I did…so many memories, so many pretty things. White puffy clouds, a blue sailboat. Purple asters.

Along the way I thought about Robin’s annual walk in October. She calls it Walktober and people from all over take a walk (this year anytime from October 1 to October 18.) then describe it in a blog post, linking it to Robin’s blog. Walktober makes you pay attention to the details of your walk, the better to describe it to everyone else. And it’s fun to read about everyone’s walk; each is so different but so beautiful.

Pretty in blue.

You should think about participating this year. When Robin posts about it at the beginning of October I’ll remind you. Meanwhile…think about where you’d like to take a walk. We’d sure like to go along with you.

And you know what? I forgot to put the Fitbit in my pocket! So those eight plus miles didn’t count. Sigh.

Intensely purple.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

22 thoughts on “When a walk doesn’t count

  1. I know what you mean about knowing your limits but pushing them anyway. I find my hips start to grind somewhere around the five-to-six-mile mark, but I always keep pushing. You took some great pictures. Have you considered riding a bike? My mother writes a blog where she writes about what’s on her mind. Many weeks it’s filled with photographs from her morning bike ride. You might enjoy it. I think you’ll enjoy it. -Tobias


    • I do ride my bike out there on occasion. Only once this year. I remember the first time I road my bike out there when I was newly injured and had just stopped running. I remember coming up behind hot sweaty miserable runners and feeling like biking was SO MUCH MORE FUN than running! Today as I was walking I was slightly jealous of those going by me on a bike, especially after mile 6. I’ll go check out your mom’s blog. Thanks for the info!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, those last couple sentences! Katie would have a thing or two to say about that……


  3. I’m thinking about Walktober but don’t like getting in the car to go walk somewhere, and our road has gotten really boring. We’ll see.


  4. It was a great pleasure to walk with you.

    It strikes me that I have been insufficiently ambitious. Miss Sadie likes to meander – unless she’s playing hide and seek with me – and is generally content with a mile or so. It would do me good to do quite a bit more than that. Maybe I’ll work up to a good Walktober.


    • Katie likes to meander too….she’s not, technically a ‘take a walk’ dog. She’s more of a ‘wander around here and there’ dog. And a good Walktober can be less than a mile. It’s all about what you enjoy on your walk…not how long it is.


  5. Loved your article! Great pictures. Felt like I was walking around the lake with you. Your inner dialogue regarding how far to go, and whether you should turn back before you’re sorry, is familiar to me! I’m going to “Follow” your blog so that I can experience what you see next time you take off!


    • I always want to go further than I physically should. Sometimes I regret that…sometimes I don’t. I always regret it if I turn around too soon. I’m following your blog now too, here’s to having lots of biking/walking/ whatevering adventures!


  6. Such a stunning walk, Dawn, in words and pictures. I love how you describe the changing (or not yet changing) trees, and give us hints of your history with the lake as you reminisce. The purple asters at the end are my favorite of your images. We don’t have purple asters in our fields here. I had lots of them in the meadows in the Bogs. I miss them. I did plant some last year, but they didn’t come back.

    Thank you for the Walktober mention and the links. I’m really looking forward to it this year. I don’t think I’ll be as ambitious as you and do eight miles, but maybe I should be working up to that much. Like Gerry, I’m usually content with a mile or so these days. It would do me good to build up my mileage again.


  7. Thanks for taking us along- such beautiful images and oh those clouds reflected on the water!! I know what you mean about the fitbit numbers 🙂


  8. Oh, those 8 miles counted all right, just not in the way you thought. You felt GOOD after the accomplishment, your body enjoyed the challenge, your weather was practically perfect. What’s not to love?! Yes, do remind us about Robin’s challenge — sounds like something I’d like to participate in.


    • Yes it’s a fun challenge. The walk can be anywhere…in fact it doesn’t have to be a walk…she says it can be a skip or a dance or anything you like! And it doesn’t have to be long..just a way to share your space with all of us.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The fit bit keeps us accountable for our steps. I am glad you were able to make it all the way around. If I have a beautiful view I will do the same as you did but if it is the treadmill or our area I will do 2-3 miles and call it a day. A view makes the biggest difference.


    • When I used to train for road races I often ran on a treadmill. We called it a ‘dreadmill’ because we all hated training on one. Yet some winter days it was a lot better than trying to run in the ice and snow. I know what you mean. One mile inside a hot gym is a lot longer than a mile out in a beautiful park.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. your post seems so relaxing, very calm 🙂


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