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Debi's Gift Story

Walk2Connect is the permission and definition to strengthen relationships, solicit ideas, and explore new beginnings without guilt or explanation. While I have practiced these concepts from the time I could walk, I had no name so it was hard to believe that what I was doing was helpful to me or others, yet the end results were the same: stronger relationships, including a deeper understanding of my mom, and she to me; self-reflective thinking, solidifying ideas, strengthening concepts; and always mind-clearing along with the inevitable benefits of exercise and being outdoors.

Walk2Connect appeared during a lost time for me. Retired, a loss of self-value and a recognition of my mom’s slipping consciousness led me to soul searching on the web. It jumped out at me, grabbed a piece of me, and I was hooked. A place that encouraged connection at its core, it softened the loss I was feeling with my mom, my life-long walking buddy. And my self-value would begin a restorative healing process.

I signed up for a few walks and never looked back. My journey is right here, one foot in front of the other. No matter what direction this retired journey brings, the familiarity of foot travel comforts the most horrific life trials.

Since I could walk, my mother and I traveled. Walks to the local hardware store, post office, or dime store were common territory. School became a journey of learning and exploring, which later included the library. And through each journey would be our chatter, “How was your day? What was the best part? What brought you joy? Why the tears?” On days when she wanted an extra adventure, we enjoyed burgers at the local Burger Chef. Our chatter lessened and our walks shortened toward her demise. Up until the final two weeks of her beautiful life, we continued our ritual of chatter and walk. She introduced me to a life of “Walk2Connect” that I continue to cherish. One she would approve of whole-heartedly. That I practice daily. My life is fortified by the ritual of walking, sharing with others, and exploring new territory. I thank my mom for this gift. It is a gift I continually share with others. I am a most fortunate person to have not only been exposed to a plethora of Colorado’s walking treasures by Walk2Connect buddies, I have shared these riches with others, for what is a world of riches worth if not shared?

I believe Walk2Connect is a bridge that connects people to others, to places, and most importantly to ourselves. Some bridges are long and winding, some cross treacherous feelings, some crumble and cause detours, some are lined with exquisite memories, some propel us forward, and each is filled with momentous adventure. What I failed to realize until recently, is that each bridge needs to be not only crossed but fully experienced. That amongst an atrocious detour, the bridge will miraculously appear, painted with colorful, thoughtful language and glimpses of harmony. That it will connect to calm, peace and forgiveness, gratitude and sanctity, with voices of encouragement. And others. “Walking with gratitude, sanctity returns.” This is Walk2Connect.

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