Back to school…

That is always how I think of September regardless of how long I have been out of school.  Mind you, Saturday was still full-on summer weather but there have been hints of cool since. I love the fall but it is a bittersweet kind of love knowing what comes next.

But enough of that – there is lots to look forward to, including an upcoming trip to Calgary/Banff for the Melissa race that a group of us are doing. Huge thanks to our wonderful organizers, B and R,  who have thought of everything, including pre-testing the 10K hill (conclusion – we can all do it, no probs!).

I confess I haven’t trained all that hard this summer but that is okay. We all have to judge our own energy level at any given time and remember,  just getting out is a win.  As we have all read in many studies, the combination of exercise and congenial company is what helps keep us healthy both physically and mentally.

Enjoy the long weekend and keep walking your own distance!

The foot bone’s connected to the heel bone, etc, etc….

Lately, for a variety of reasons, feet have been on my mind.

For one thing, I have been having discomfort in my arches for the last month or so (it is plantar faciitis and I have an appointment with my foot guy coming up) and, for another thing, I just finished taking an anatomy-based art course that demonstrated the wondrous construction of those hard working parts of our bodies. So many little parts that can hurt!

Having anything wrong with my feet or legs troubles me, as I know it does others. I depend on walking as my principal form of exercise,  a major contribution to my sanity and a source of friendship and joy so it does worry me to consider there might be a time when I can’t walk. Hard as it is to believe, our hearty band of walkers isn’t impervious to the passage of time.

So, what to do? Well, look after ourselves as best we can obviously and, if we can’t walk long distances, try shorter ones and, if we can’t walk, we can do other things together – as we already do.  One of the wonders of the group is that there is always someone who shares your interest be it biking or movies, coffee or wine!

That brings me to a reminder that we are going to the island on Sat, Aug. 27. For those who aren’t up for a long walk, we can set up a ‘base camp’ near the cafe and meet up after walking.

Here are some details for those who like to plan ahead (we will repeat them closer to the date).

Ferries leave from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal at the foot of Bay St at Queens Quay. We take the Ward’s Island ferry and the current consensus is to aim for the 8:15 (thereafter the schedule is every half hour starting at 9am, the return is on the quarter hour). The website is a bit contradictory saying you can only purchase tickets online but also saying you can buy them in person at the terminal (and one of our group has done so) so it is your choice.

 

Celebrating green…

My theme for this blog is the colour green.

We were sipping our beverages of choice sitting in the church park after our Saturday walk, chatting and unwinding  in the beauty of our surroundings.  One of my fellow walkers drew my attention to the myriad of shades of green that were represented in  just this  little oasis in the middle of the busy city. We both agreed that, although green wasn’t our favourite colour in decor and clothes, we loved it in the natural  world – from the lemony green of new growth to the dark, dusty green of the fir trees.

Realizing that just looking was refreshing me, I decided to explore a bit further. Turns out that green effects you physically. It calms and reduces stress while – oddly – also invigorating you. We associate green with nature and growth (duh) and, by extension, vitality, freshness, health and youthfulness. It would seem that ‘forest bathing’ owes much to the positive impact of green!

A reminder to all that CS is hosting the annual pool party on Sat., July 16 starting at 10:30 – please respond to the email/Doodle poll that PS has sent to all if you are planning to come. Some of us will be walking at the cemetery that morning and leaving from there.

Summer is almost here…

Saturday was a perfect day for doing whatever you wanted or needed to do. I had errands and had to miss walking (and sadly the breakfast barbeque) but still savoured the incredible multi-shades of green that now make up the world. Such a transformation from the bleak monotone of winter. The days will continue to grow longer until June 21, the first official day of summer, and the weather will get hotter so let’s enjoy this in-between time while it lasts.

A reminder to all that next Saturday we are going to meet up a half hour earlier at 8:30am. Many of us are going to go to High Park and try parking on the side streets (there is no parking inside the park on the weekends). We will still meet at the restaurant so plan your timing accordingly. Remember to use sunscreen and to bring water as the sun gets hotter!

Spring, sunshine and races…

Last week was the Toronto Marathon (congrats to M on his speedy time), this week is Sporting Life, June 18 is the Waterfront Race, there are a bunch more during the summer and fall, and Banff  on Sept. 24 (if you are interested in this last and haven’t been in touch with our fabulous organizer, B, please do so soon).

For those participating tomorrow, we will meet up in the last corral between 8:20 and 8:40. Remember that the TTC opens at 8 and that various bus routes will be affected so govern yourself accordingly! Also remember to  fill in your COVID questionnaire first thing.

The forecast is for sunshine and 7 degrees at 8am going up to about 13 (perfect racing weather but a bit chilly to start).  We will collect the gang at the finish line as each one comes through and, once we are together, we are planning to head to the Aroma Express Bar in Liberty Village for a well-deserved cuppa and a bite to eat. Please let someone know at the start of the race if you won’t be joining the group.

Can’t tell you how excited I am to be doing an in-person race again. I have always considered Sporting Life the real start of spring  and am looking forward to being part of that big happy crowd heading down Yonge Street. Hip, hip, hooray!

A bit of this, a bit of that and the importance of stretching…

It was a busy week for TPW starting with last Saturday’s  first in-person business/social meeting in 2 years (thanks P) and wrapping up with a walk under crisp sunny skies this Sat followed by another of our delightful out-door picnics (thanks B).

We are back in race season with 3 TPWs in London and others signed up for various local races (Toronto Marathon/May 1;  Sporting Life 10K/May 8: and the Toronto Waterfront 10K/June 18 as well as an ‘away’ race in Banff in Sept.

Conversations during Saturday’s walk (and my own aches and pains) prompt me to remind everyone of the importance of STRETCHING!  Several of the gang have experienced injuries (who knew Pickle Ball could be dangerous?) or have chronic issues. We tend to overuse our walking muscles and under use others. There is lots of stuff online (see example below) and, of course, the group is the source of knowledge on all things so let’s share what works.

The 3 Best Stretches for Walking

How about we restart doing stretches before we walk and add in some after – everyone invited to contribute! We did agree at our meeting that we would explore some expert training using our TPW reserves. We will start by asking about our regular coach’s availability but are open to other kinds of training suggestions too so bring it on!

Sanctuary, silliness and safety….

In a world beset with a pandemic and an escalating war, I increasing find that walking with the group is my sanctuary – a time for reflection with other thoughtful people and a time to share moments of hope and joy – and even welcomed silliness.

A while back we started a new tradition with the inaugural crowning of a member on their birthday with the TPW Official Birthday Hat. This Saturday saw the second bestowing of said hat – a very tasteful chapeau as you can see in the accompanying picture . I know you are all envious but never fear – your time will come (hard to tell if that is a promise or a threat, eh?).  I await my turn with great anticipation!

There was a robust turnout and it was great to welcome back some walkers we hadn’t seen for awhile. We collectively agreed to donate some of our TPW funds to the Red Cross for the Ukraine and to think about collecting needed items for those we hope will land safely on our shores in the not so distant future.

Please put March 26 in your calendar for our long delayed winter social/business meeting – one of our members has volunteered her place (huge thanks). Details will be shared by email.

Best laid plans and wishes for the New Year…

Let’s admit it – planning in the time of COVID is really just sort of hoping.

You may remember that, in my last blog a month ago, we were planning a TPW Resolution Run and breakfast on Jan. 8 and our winter business meeting and social on Jan. 29th. Well, given the rising infection rate, both of these are now on hold until the spring (and that, of course, is hoping vs planning so stay tuned).  Until we know more, we will continue our regular Saturday walking schedule at the cemetery with outdoor tea and coffee when the weather allows.

As we say goodbye to 2021, I want to acknowledge that the group has experienced personal loss and sorrow over the past year as well as the joy of new unions and new life.

I want to wish everyone the very best for 2022 and to offer thanks for all of you wonderful people – your support, kindness, sharing and occasional silliness have made this endless pandemic bearable.  I don’t make resolutions but will do my best to carry on the best of our traditions throughout the new year. Happy, healthy New Year!

The TPW Social Calendar…

We have had good turn-outs for the last while. I think it may be because other outdoor activities, like golf, are ending for the year but, whatever the reason, it is great to see people we haven’t seen for awhile.

And because we enjoy each other’s company so much (and because we all like eating!), we have a number of special events upcoming. Obviously, all are dependent on how the world turns between now and then but put them in your calendars and cross your fingers.

Dec. 18 – Holiday Goodies in the usual courtyard after our morning walk. Everyone is encouraged to bring a baked good of their choosing – and those who are known to be talented bakers/culinary creators (you know who you are) are particularly urged to bring their specialties.

Jan. 8 – TPW’s very own Resolution Run starting at our regular Saturday time of 8:30am. We plan to do a 5K walk in the ravine near the Brickworks with breakfast at Eggspectation at Greenwin Centre. The Sherbourne subway is nearby and there will be free parking at a members condo.

Jan. 29 – TPW Winter Business Meeting and Social – We have a new host this year (names will be named in emails to protect the privacy of all), her condo is central and she has a piano so those of you with talent, please start practicing. More details will be sent by email as we get closer.

In the meantime, we carry on with our Tues, Thurs and Saturday schedules. Thanks to all you wonderful TPWs for contributing your time and input to keep us going.

And a reminder to anyone reading this blog for the first time, we welcome new walkers – just turn up on a Sat morning at 8:30 and introduce yourself to the gang  just inside the gate of the cemetery.

Reporting back and planning ahead…

Awhile back we asked everyone if they wanted to volunteer to take over various roles in keeping TPW running. Several of you did respond (thank you very much) but, in chatting with others, it became apparent that most people were happy with the rather casual way we have been carrying on. So, the end result is we are going to continue to muddle through pretty much as we have been doing.

‘And how exactly is that?’ several people asked, so a little history and clarification.

TPW came into being  when a group of JeansMarines’ walkers decided they wanted to continue on after that organization became inactive. That original group loosely delegated various roles to those who agreed to take them on and TPW was born. It was never intended to be very formal – no hierachy, no titles, just things that needed doing and people who undertook to do them. Some took on more than others and now want to step back a bit – and that is fair (huge thanks, you know who you are!). Others are content to continue doing what they have been doing and we know that others will step forward as needed.

We have always had people initiate ‘passion projects’ and run with them and that will continue. It seems to be the TPW way so, as the sages say ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’

So, announcing our first project for 2022, we are going to have our own Resolution Run on Sat, Jan. 8, a 5K route in the ravine around the BrickWorks (details to be revealed as we get closer), followed by a breakfast at Eggspectation (345 Bloor E).

And we will be planning to hold our winter social at Harbord House (our wonderful sponsor) sometime in February assuming it is safe to do so.

Isn’t it grand to have things to look forward to!