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On August 23rd, 2018 I started the 100 Day Walking Challenge with my Girltrek sisters. This challenge was to walk at least 30 minutes per day for 100 straight days. I had completed this challenge in the past, so it was a no brainer to accept the challenge and push myself to stay off the sofa and move more. Initially this was an easy challenge as I was preparing for the “Stress Protest” in Colorado and needed to increase my endurance to ensure I could participate in the various hikes available in Estes Park, CO.

This challenge forced me outdoors to walk to places I would normally drive like the post office, drug store and my mom’s house which are all are within a mile of my house. Walking in my neighborhood has allowed me to engage in conversations with my neighbors instead of the usual wave as I drive by and an occasional hello.

I had noticed earlier this year around April or May, that I would experience some significant pain in my hips and lower back when walking and even more so when at rest. I chalked it up to post workout pain (no pain – no gain) and ignored it for the most part. I continued to compete in various 5K walk/runs and the pain would intensify but again “no pain – no gain”. During my time in CO, I was able to complete an intermediate level steep hike in the Rocky Mountains which was both challenging but invigorating as well. Upon my return home, I continued to push myself to walk daily either at home or at work during my lunch hour to ensure I would be able to complete this challenge.

By day 56 of the challenge I just couldn’t push through the pain enough to walk my 30 minutes that day. I made an appointment with the doctor to try and figure out what was wrong. After all, “I am doing everything right by watching what I eat and daily exercise so why I am having increased pain?” After several x-rays and evaluations, it was determined that I have arthritis in my spine, hips and knee. My doctor referred me to an orthopedic doctor for treatment and physical therapy which is pending currently.

I feel so much better now knowing why I am experiencing such pain, after all I am 54 years young and age-related aches and pains are par for the course. I’m back at it now, walking my 30 plus minutes per day and pushing through the pain. Although I failed to complete the challenge straight through, I am not a failure. I will continue to push myself to be active everyday doing something, whether it is walking, pilates, yoga, weight training or water aerobics, the most important thing for us all is to keep moving.

One of my favorite quotes by the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. states:

“If you can’t fly, then run,

if you can’t run, then walk,

if you can’t walk, then crawl,

but by all means, keep moving