Me in the Middle of the World of Walking ~ Part 3

This is my third post on a course I’m taking.  Walking has been my exercise of choice whether at the fitness center, traveling, or walking around the neighborhood where I live.

When OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) with the University of Virginia offered the Fall Course ~ The World of Walking ~, I was totally on-board.  What could this instructor, Dan Kulund, possibly introduce us to about ‘Walking’ that would fill up a six-week, hour and half weekly class on The World of Walking.  My first post on The World of Walking covered some of the styles of walking and tips on good walking form.  My Second Post (here) covers some of the interesting history of City Walking and how things have changed.  This third post covers country walking and tips on using a walking stick.  

Dr. Kulund, a retired orthopedist, is an expert at walking and its health benefits.  The class is educational in both the slide presentations of the history of walking plus the experience of walking in a group and learning exercises and techniques along the way.

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Walking Stick

Walking Sticks

I bought my walking stick at the museum gift shop at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.  Now that I’ve taken this course and learned a few exercises you can do as your walking along the trail, I’ll be bring my walking stick along with me when I walk the Saunders-Monticello Trail. 

  • PUSH:  Up over your head ~ Out in front
  • PULL:  Curls; Half-jacks from waist up;
  • MIXED:  Squats using stick for support; Lunges (step back/drop knee to ground) 

In my area we also have a neurologist designed of special walking sticks called Neuro Staff.   (You can go to his website by clicking on the link)  You might be able to  find a similar product in your area.

The Staff of Asclepius is a medical symbol and refers to the Greek God of Healing:

 

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“The object of walking is to relax the mind. You should therefore not permit yourself even to think while you walk. But divert your attention by the objects surrounding you. Walking is the best possible exercise.”

~ Thomas Jefferson ~

Country Walking

Country Walking

Me in the Middle of My Third Year Anniversary

An Introduction

That’s Me in the Middle with my two brothers, J. and R.  I’m the official middle child in my family of five siblings.  This is the story of my journey in the middle of my awesome and challenging life and you can read more by going to my “About” page”.

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❤  022 - John, Me and Rich

~ And that was the beginning ~

 

 

Three years later and I’m amazed at how much satisfaction I’ve gotten from blogging and how much my posts have expanded into wonderful experiences and meeting wonderful bloggers.

My initial intention was to put my life story down in writing, the good and the bad, and from it to see all the life lessons along the way.  I did that!  I wrote and I wrote and I wrote until I had Eight Chapters.

One Year Anniversary

What a Difference a Year Makes (Here)

Looking over the first year really gave me confidence.  One of the major influences in making the transition from Pages to Blog was the A to Z Challenge 2016.  I used it as a way to bring together all the lessons learned through my life.  It was a real purging and letting go of the past.  So, what a difference a year makes!

And then my blogging became a once a week commitment for the 2nd and 3rd year.  Along with following my favorites on WordPress Reader, I also took on mini-challenges.  A few of those challenges are included here:

GUEST BLOGGERS

KINDNESS CHALLENGE

LESSONS LEARNED

MEMORIES TO MEMOIRS

ONE-INCH PICTURE FRAME

SIX-WORD STORY

MY ETSY SHOP

#MLSTL ~ MidLife Blog Share

 

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Me in the Middle of the Undertow

Three photos that I’d found in a big box full of old family photos sparked a memory long forgotten.  They were found while my siblings and I were cleaning out the attic after both of our parents had died.  I wanted to try to write about that memory in third person voice.  I gave my four-year-old self the name Nora.

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              Undertow       

The surf pounded with a roaring intensity and the huge waves rolled in one after another. 

They all stood together, four-year-old Nora, her father and her two older brothers.  Standing there, with the water waist high, she could feel the sand travel through her toes as it ebbed and flowed with the undertow.  Her brothers were leaping over each wave and fearlessly plunging into the larger ones that rolled towards them.  They were having fun … and she was frightened!  She struggled to maintain her balance and held tightly to her father’s hand

I want to go back to the beach!”  she yelled over the roaring surf.

No! Stay here!” he shouted back.  “You’ll be fine!”  

Nora hesitantly pulled her hand out of his and let go.  As she started heading back to the beach where her mother was, she heard her father call to her.  “Go ahead then!  You’ll have to make it back on your own.”

The waves and the undercurrent were stronger than she anticipated and she found herself being knocked off balance.  It was too late to turn back and she was determined to get back to the safety of the beach.

Suddenly she plunged into a deep hole that had been created by the undertow.  Instantly, she lost her footing and couldn’t find the ocean floor to stand back up again.  She thrashed about, feeling a sense of panic.  It was hard for her to tell where the top of the water was.  When she opened her eyes all that she could see was the murky salt water and the long pieces of her hair floating around her.  It seemed like she floated there for a while and she didn’t fight it.  A strange sense of calm came over her.

Then, in an instant, she was scooped out of the water by strong arms.  It was her father and he took her by the hand to lead her over to the blanket on the beach.  He seemed upset with her as she gasped and cried.  

Shaking and shivering as her mother put a towel around her, Nora was relieved that she was safe again.  Once she had dried her off, her mother gave her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and lead her over to a towel that was laid out on the sand.  There she sat eating and thinking about what had just happened to her in the ocean.  

As she gazed out at the vastness of the sea and the power that she had just experienced, Nora felt the warmth of the sun and listened to the sounds of the people enjoying the ocean.   Little did she understand that the ocean had taught her an important lesson that day.

Today, Nora has come to love the ocean and is humbled by the power and force behind it.  The ocean taught her about the ebb and flow of life and finding her balance in the middle ground.

Me in the Middle of Summer Reading

 

i-will-not-die-an-unlived-life-col

First Book

This poem moved me so deeply that I followed up with a Google search and found that Dawna Markova had written a  book by the same title.  “Why are we here?” is the question she asks both herself and the reader of this wonderful book ~ I WILL NOT DIE AN UNLIVED LIFE ~.  It’s written while Dawna is on a retreat to solitude in a cabin far away from the hectic pace of modern life.  Her story travels along different paths than mine has and that’s the whole point of her book.  We’re here to follow our own passion and dreams.

“Anyone on a spiritual quest, seeking to discover their own deep wisdom, and uncover their “calling” will be enriched and energized in a powerful and gentle way……”

(Forward)

“Like the rest of the natural world, human beings go through seasons.  At one point, we are in the full bloom of summer, harvesting, committed, in abundance.  Then, naturally there is an autumnal time of falling away, disillusionment, stagnation, a shedding of what has been used up.  Then must come the fallowness and dormancy of winter, death, rest.  Eventually, as is happening right outside the window of this cabin, there is a great melting into muck and mud, which, if one can persevere, opens naturally into an abundant yellow-green time, when everything is possible and horizons open.”

~ Dawna Markova ~

“In a similar way to A Gift from the Sea, the readers of this book (I Will Not Live An Unlived Life) are invited to accompany me on a journey to come to know more intimately the value and purpose of their lives.”

~ Dawna Markova ~

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Men, Women and Happiness Cropped (2)

Ink Sketch and Watercolor by Mary Lou Q

Second Book

Gift from the Sea #3

Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s bookGIFT FROM THE SEA ~ was shared with me by my mother back in the 90’s.  I packed myself a lunch and took a ride to the beach, setting up my chair in front of the ocean.  It was a restful day that I needed badly and I hoped to find nuggets of wisdom and truth from this book.  At the time it was difficult for me to concentrate on it.  I kept thinking ‘How can this wealthy woman whose life is so different than mine even relate to what I’m experiencing?’  It’s only been down through the years and coming across Anne’s various quotes from her book that I’ve decided to read it again.  Dawna Markova read it to inspire her book ‘I Will Not Live An Unlived Life’ and I decided to read them both this summer.

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anne-morrow-lindbergh-quotes-3

The Introduction to the Fiftieth Anniversary Edition of Gift from the Sea (2005)  is written by Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s daughter, Reeve Lindbergh:

“I read Gift from the Sea at all Seasons of the Year and of my life.  I never once had the sense that my mother’s 1955 book has lost its freshness, or that the wisdom contained within its pages has ceased to apply, whether to my own life or to what I’ve learned , overtime, about hers.”

“Above all, I think, Gift from the Sea offers its readers an unusual kind of freedom.  It is hard to recognize, or even to describe, but I think this freedom is the real reason this book continues to be so well loved and so well read after all these years.  I am talking about the freedom that comes from choosing to remain open, as my mother did, to life itself, whatever it may bring:  Joys, sorrows, triumphs, failures, suffering, comfort and, certainly, always, change.”

Thanks, Mom!  I get it!  

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A Gift from the Sea

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Third Book

Francis Friendship

Francis Mandewah is one of my Guest Bloggers

Me in the Middle introducing Guest Blogger ~ Francis

I was so inspired by what Francis wrote in his guest blog that I bought his book on Amazon Kindle and I’ve just begun reading it.  His story begins with his life as a 15 year old young man in the African country of Sierra Leone and in the heart of the African diamond zone.  His story too is a spiritual journey of trust in goodness in the world in spite of the hardships and realities that might come along.  It’s his trust in this goodness that makes it possible for Francis to be fully present when God opens a door in his life that leads him to the path of his dreams.

“As I chronicled my trials and tribulations I discovered my voice in between the lines of my story ~ a voice that was filled with faith.”

~ Francis Mandewah ~

“I suppose this dream has been the script for my life, because even as I sit, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, I always feel a tinge of uncertainty, as if I’m eternally looking for a flight itinerary. I have lived a life filled with the adventure of being ushered onto stage and the turmoil of being blindfolded and locked in a cage. Through my travels, my willingness to walk to and through the door, I discovered within myself a will to not just survive, but to thrive, no matter the circumstance.”

Blood Diamond ~ Sierra Leone

“There are people who are kind, and people who are not kind, among all races and cultures. It was a White man who gave me opportunity so I could realize the American dream.  Our friendship transcended race, and built a positive connection between the races. We can overcome racism through friendship and positive cross-cultural relationships.  “