As we circled the cemetery this crisp winter morning I thought of some of the great life’s lessons that I have learned from walking and from the group. I think of them as Walkers’ Rules. Here are my top five.
Rule #1: Just turn up
Sounds simple but it is more than half the battle. I never want to get up early on a Saturday but have trained myself to be on automatic pilot. Get up, get dressed in everything I organized the night before, get out and join the group. By that time you will find yourself walking whether you felt like it or not.
Rule #2: Set your own pace
We all have different goals and aspirations and we walkers respect that. Let the group motivate you to do your best but not decide what your best should be.
Rule #3: Leave no one behind
Because we walk at different paces, we almost always have company which is good for the soul and good for safety. But, in addition, we have a tradition of looping back if anyone gets too far behind. And don’t forget to tell someone if you are leaving early.
Rule #4: Be kind to each other
Okay, this one isn’t unique to Toronto Power Walkers but I think, as a group, we try to exemplify the golden rule. I regularly see great examples of the group embracing newcomers, celebrating our differences, commiserating with each other when we are injured or struggling with life’s downsides, listening when we occasionally just need to moan. Makes my heart glad.
And last but certainly not least…
Rule #5: Eat when you are served
This last one is directly contrary to what our mothers taught us about good manners. But we are hungry after a walk and we arrive at the restaurant at different times and good food should be eaten hot. So to heck with waiting for everyone to be served – dig in! After all, isn’t that why we walk?
Some reminders: you can now sign up for the Sporting Life 10K (make sure it is called Sporting Life and isn’t the other one that is at about the same time) and if you are planning to do the MORE race in New York the registration is scheduled to open on January 14 and you need to be quick as it fills up lickety split.