Since my high school years I’ve always loved walking with friends. We used to walk on the boardwalk at night, then grab a snack, or hang out at someone’s house. Walking in the summer evenings was a great way to move our bodies (I wasn’t fitness centric then, though) and relieve the stress of those high school years. We didn’t have much more than a regular cell phone then, so there were few distractions and lots of friendly chats.
Over the years, I’ve always sought out friendships with those who love the idea of “let’s meet up for a walk.” Whether it would be on the boardwalk, around a paved trail, or on a hike through the woods. Many years I met with my friend Keith to run every Saturday morning at a local 5 mile trail. It was great and the miles flew by.
That past few years I’ve come to adore my friends who suggest a walk over going for dinner and drinks. We can go for as long as we want, it’s free, and it’s so relaxing. It’s easier to meet up for walks, as it’s something almost everyone can do comfortably for even a half hour. When I was more of a runner, it was more limited to few who wanted to run; and oftentimes we’d find our paces just didn’t quite match up (except for Keith who was cool to go as slow as I wanted).
Four years ago my friend Rebecca got me into hiking. By chance while talking with her, after we met doing a group triathlon through my friend Karen, at her pediatrician office I mentioned I’d love to eventually do serious hiking. Well, she’s an avid hiker! She’s gone all over the world to hike. It’s in her blood and she was happy to take me for a hike any time.
Since then, we’ve been getting together at least 2-3 times per month to hike, walk, bike ride locally, or paddle board. As my training plans have changed from more running to more hiking/walking it’s been even easier to meet up. She’s always game for 5+ miles anywhere, and even midweek!
Rebecca’s taught me a lot about hiking. I have learned how to read trail markers, what to carry on every hike (we’ve even helped with first aid while out) and what to pay attention to. She’s encouraged me to get my kiddos out on hikes, and go for family hikes, too!
In the past year, I’ve been able to convince my friend Sue to go walking. We met up mostly in the past, pre-pandemic, to go out to eat. Since the pandemic, she’s been willing to meet up for a walk, and I think she’s enjoying them! She recently suggested we try to do this every Saturday morning 🙂
Our first Saturday out together it was 20 degrees and freezing, and we walked the wooded trails. The next week, we couldn’t pass up a warmer sunny day down by the beach.
Typically, my Saturday and Sunday mornings have been reserved for working out and/or cleaning my house for the past 16+ years. So, Sue’s goal of making this a weekly habit fits right into my lifestyle and plans. Plus, we have enjoyed chatting with each other for 5+ years now. Amazing how time flies!
My goal for 2021 is to walk with a friend at least once per week if possible. Rebecca is always game, as she walks a ton every day with her dog. Sue is game to try to fit it in as well, so I hope between the two of them any anyone else who wants to join in the fun I’ll be able to make time weekly for friendships and relaxation out in nature.
Want to go for a walk?
Do you walk with friends? Would you prefer to walk or run with friends?