Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

Through Thick or Thin(ner): Dedication

I think we would all agree that “dedication” ranks high on the list of goals when one sets out on a health improvement quest. I am getting to know this word because being dedicated to a new health routine lies just beyond my grasp. Last week I despaired the setbacks and missteps. You guys were awesome with your support and I learned from you. One week later, not much has changed except this: I realize that no journey of this nature happens overnight, or without detours. The realization is liberating.

I have made some progress. I stopped by the library this week. On the “new releases” shelf was the book Born to Walk: The Transformative Power of a Pedestrian Act. By a Canadian, no less. Really? Is this synchronicity or what? OK, I’m in. If my injuries keep me on the sidelines, I figure I can justify sitting still if I’m reading a book about walking. Can’t I? Of course I can!

I am enjoying the book. Here are my notes, thus far:

  • As a species, we evolved from quadrupeds to bipedal – walking is what distinguishes us from the rest of the creatures on the planet!
  • Sitting is the new smoking
  • Isolation is the new smoking [Damn! I struggle with feeling isolated – no work, no school, no kids, no church, a very small circle of friends]
  • There are plenty of studies that link activity to fitness. [To be honest: I was on the verge of considering all of this fitness noise as so much marketing and not really true. I wanted an excuse, I will admit it.]
  • Walking can be considered medicine and prescribed as such.
  • Some nations practice forest bathing – walks in nature have greater benefits than urban treks.
  • Though caution must be taken not to medicalize walking – it might lead to dosages and formulas that you might not achieve. [Like the author, I too was stigmatized by my failure to achieve the standards set out by The Canada Fitness Test.]
  • …walking is a way to push toward change at a sustainable pace, to leave one comfort zone and begin to forge another.

And that’s Chapter One! I’m glad that I found this book. Correction: I’m glad that this book found me. While my hip joints settle down and heal, I have this work to engage me.


More synchronicity! As I was formatting this post with links and such, I discovered that Dan Rubinstein’s webpage is here, on WordPress! However, the biggest, the woo-woo-iest , the single most compelling reason I’m glad that I chose to read Born to Walk, is the dedication.

For Maggie… [!!!] …and Daisy and Lisa.

Click for additional bullets about the benefits of walking

Click for additional facts about walking.

Categories: Personal Growth

Tags: ,

59 replies

  1. You do know there’s smoking, and then there’s smoking. Let’s see. Cigars, preferably Cubans. Pipes, preferably the Peace type. Joints, preferably in Colorado. Really doing great, as in “She’s smokin'”, or “He’s smokin'”. So which kind of smokin’ r ye talkin’ about-ski, Lass?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Maddie will be happy to hear that walking (her) is good for us. I do enjoy walking, and some days it’s the only exercise I get. I get up at work and walk around at least once an hour (unless in a meeting). It sounds like a great book Maggie and a perfect dedication.


  3. Maggie, I have an aging friend (the kind who realllly puts it on from the waist down) who walked slowly but faithfully halfway around her part of town once each day. That (along with no sweets at night) is all she did toward health and she lost 80 lbs in a few months and of course strengthened everything that had been sedentary for so long — which made her feel good about herself, which improved all her relationships and ultimately allowed her to believe she could do just about anything she put her mind to! (Plus, she got to know her neighbors and all their dogs!) Your chapter one sounds just about perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Maggie, I’m a believer in walking. Fast walking, slow walking, any kind! Hope your hip heals soon and you can get back out there on the road, so to speak! I’m going to check out this book! Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Synchronicity is a wonderful thing! It sounds like a very interesting book. I think our bodies were intended to be in motion … whatever that motion might be. Baby steps, Maggie 🙂


  6. Cue the Twilight Zone music – do do do do, do do do do…

    In further reports of synchronicity, MOSY is struck by the coincidence of a news item on the television news last night about a man who was very overweight and so decided to walk every day. He’s now walking/running from Perth to Brisbane. (He’s just arrived in Melbourne.) 🙂


  7. It’s a sign, Maggie! Be a tortoise, not a hare. Slow and steady wins the race. You’re doing great.


  8. Cool!! There’s a powerful motivator for each of us; we just need to seek it out. Sounds like you are making progress with some worthy mentors. Don’t firget pilates, yoga and stretching while you are resting your hips. I find I do them MUCH more iften if I ignore their names and think of them as alternatives to sitting. I might go do some ‘unsitting’ right now.

    Well right after I finish my gin and tonic.


  9. Sitting is the new smoking. Yesss.
    It’s been over a year since I quit smoking. Still, I’m not about to give up sitting.
    I enjoy walking and yoga more than other exercise. Walks in the woods, absolutely. Walks on nature trails, more likely. We walk a lot of our city’s trails, and when the weather is cooler, the canal. I didn’t know that it was better for my body to walk in the green, but I KNOW it’s better for my brain. Way too far to walk out of the city. I mean, it’s nice when we do, but I wouldn’t drive an hour to walk a few hours in the country. Forests in the city, no, woods, yes 🙂
    I really love swimming, and the summer I took the kids to the pool virtually every day was the slimmest I’ve been since babies, but I paid for it in scads with freckles — and moles that worry me, so indoor swimming sure would be NICE!
    I love tennis, too, but I have that sun issue. I smash the ball in the shade of my backyard patio, my garage wall is a good partner for me 🙂
    August’s expenses are insane, (back to school, license plates, state fair, anniversary…but I really want a good pair of roller skates… sigh
    Good luck with your goals — onward with walking! Thanks for sharing that page, Imma check it out!


  10. Just keep moving, Maggie. Baby steps ! ☺


  11. This book, already dedicated to Maggie, was a very timely find. The notes you made on the first chapter are all so sensible, and sitting and isolation resonate with me too. Hope you are healing well, Maggie, and not feeling guilty when you can’t get to walk. ❤


  12. My husband came up with our philosophy here, Maggie…..very simply, ANYTHING you CAN do is one step more in not losing (mobility and ability). Just think of that… doesn’t matter what you can do, only that anything you do manage to do is that many more steps away from the negative.


  13. Walking is great. I love it. I hope my new knee (seeing a doc on 9/2) helps me get back to spending hours on a trail at the pace that allows one to see the world on an intimate level. I’m glad you found this book and I’m hopeful your hip heals soon!


  14. I’m a firm believer that walking cures many ills, but for those who can’t, any motion is valid. We’re born to move. However, I do hate “trends” and the statistical blathering over just about any human activity. When I read the bit about nature over urban walking, I wanted to throw a walking shoe at someone.

    An experience is what you make it. I do both kinds of walking and find one is not more valid than the other. And if you are a “I only want to do the best option” kind of person, these comparisons can derail your motivation. I know from whence I speak and have had to learn to ignore “research” and do what works for my day and my body.

    Sitting is the new smoking. Snort. No. Sitting is sitting and smoking is smoking and sometimes I long to do both simultaneously with a stiff drink. I find it best to be minimalist in my approach – what will I do to get my body in motion today? Some days, it’s gardening. Others, it’s a couple of short walks. Do what works for you at a pace that you can build on. People who have successfully changed their health will often say is started with a 5 minute walk. The whole “journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” thing is a powerful idea.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. If you want, I will let you borrow Scooter for a week (month, year) or two. The little guy can keep you motivated by pulling you around.


  16. I love walking. I love how alive it makes me feel. It allows you to see the world around you, to feel the wind on your skin, and smell the neighbourhood. Through walking, I am always filled with gratitude.

    If there are physical benefits to walking on top of the emotional ones, great. But frankly, I don’t care. Walking makes me happy and feel free.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. OH, going to look this up right now, thanks for the recommendation so far! 😀


  18. It’s great to learn more about walking while you wait. My parents credit walking with helping to keep them active. My dad is 90 and still walks without needing a cane.


  19. It sure looks like you walked right into that one 😉 But I sense angst about your hip. This can be a big deal breaker. Have you ever tried physio for your hip to strengthen the muscles around the joints? If Reiner has extended health coverage take advantage of that. And get those good walking shoes, they will be a good investment. In the winter you may need to go to public facilities like malls or arenas to get nice flat surfaces with no ice to be safer, even if you have to drive there. Hope you find a groove that works for you to keep progressing in the right direction 🙂 Sadly good habits are harder to reinforce, especially if they cause pain. 😦


  20. Great start, if you ask me! 😀


  21. All that crap about isolation was written by Extroverts. They just don’t understand some of us love the solitary life, or as Throeau wrote, “I would rther sit alone on a log, than on a velvet couch in a sitting room!


    • And interesting point, because I’m an introvert, too. 99.99% of the time, I’d take the log over just about any other venue. But there is that remaining percentage that craves contact and if I don’t get it, I spiral down. Weird, huh?


  22. Maybe you should get a dog. That way you have to walk at least three times a day for at least half an hour each time. Write on and walk on – Craig Wilder


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