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For the Love of #lifeat3mph

For the Love of [email protected]: Walking as Self-Care and Social Connection
We're halfway through February, and while you're reflecting on how fast 2021 is already going, experiencing the mid-winter blahs, or dreaming about life after the pandemic, there's a good chance you're also managing the stress of multiple obligations. This month's banner holiday offers a timely reminder to cultivate love where life feels hard right now. On Valentine's Day, plant the seeds of loving self-care by making a plan to move and connect in the week ahead using these three strategies: a fake commute, a walking reward, or a joyful delivery.
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Guest Blog: Sunday's Solo Strength

 

Lazily reaching for my calendar, I was dismayed to be reminded l was void of walking companionship. I lingered between the covers, struggling between going solo on a lengthy walk or being on standby with some walking buddies.  After a few unanswered texts, I reluctantly chose the former.

Reflecting on the recent past, I was disheartened to have appeased family members by agreeing to never walking alone. Ever.  Little did I realize at that time, how unique my walking ritual was: walking with a partner for eight, and solo walking for a remainder of ten miles. I was blessed to have companionship and the gumption to become my best solo partner.  As time moved forward, our morning walks were earlier in the day.  I would continue solo in the heat, relishing the quiet, reflective moments while swearing at the sweat droplets.  Walking solo was mind-cleansing.  An opportunity to reinvent ideas, projects - me.  

My worldview narrowed after July’s attack.  Walking temporarily stopped.  Thoughts were jumbled.  Safety (Wikipedia - Safety is the state of being “safe” [from French sauf], the condition of being protected from harm or other non-desirable outcomes) was a sudden, constant worry.  Pain, right arm sling, left-hand brace, and a headful of staples further compromised my reality.  Realistically, how far could I walk by myself, let alone walk period?  Who was I kidding?  The promise made in haste, to never walk alone, seemed oh so easy to keep.  

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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.

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Walk2Connect GIFT Story: Lindsey Sandoval

How has Walk2Connect been a gift to you?

"The most noticeable Walk2Connect gift is the connections I have made. It can be especially hard to meet and get to know new people here in our rural communities. We don't have a lot of activity options or things to do, especially for young people in the summer. I started out as a Caminos del Valle Youth Leader in 2018. At first, I had no idea what I was getting involved in but was excited to learn and give it a try.

That first summer really changed me. I learned so much about my community that I didn't know and I met so many new people. In fact, the Latino Foundation was the very first walking group that summer for our leadership team. Months later they came to Adams State, where I go to school. I went to the event where they were in attendance and they knew who I was. I loved that! I'll never forget it.

What have you learned throughout your involvement with Walk2Connect? 

Throughout that first summer and ever since I have picked up significant leadership skills. Halfway through that first summer, I became captain of our leadership group. In 2019, I became a program coordinator and supported the program throughout the whole year. As the coordinator, I really enjoyed the opportunity to make connections with new people in my home area of Conejos County and also from across the valley in Costilla County/San Luis.

Communications and public speaking are probably the skills I have gained the most. I started off fearing talking to groups of people. Now, I don't have a panic attack before speaking and feel much more confident overall. I also learned and connected with all that goes on behind the scenes to make a program like this possible. It is amazing to me how much time and effort goes into it. It's all so important!

What would you say to someone wanting to get involved with Walk2Connect? (join socially distanced walks, virtual events, form partnerships, become co-op members)

Go for it! Personally, I think there are too many of us that stay in the background to observe. I know, because I sometimes do it. If you are curious and thinking about it, go for it. I don't think anyone would regret going on walks with others. It starts off with something very simple, but by the end of the walk, it's incredible.
It has and continues to open my mind and I learn so much from others... especially while moving. All of the walks give you the chance to expand your horizon. Walk2Connect organizes that for you so you don't feel awkward and out of place. I'm so grateful for this program and how much it has impacted my life. I will never forget the people I have met."

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You can follow our Caminos del Valle work in the San Luis Valley by following our Facebook page here. Caminos del Valle and our San Luis Valley youth program are supported by the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area, San Luis Valley Great Outdoors, Move Mountains Youth Project: San Luis, and more!
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Greg Lorenz' Gift Story

Picture: Student Sara Main (left) and Professor Greg Lorenz (right) at 2019 Walk2Connect Summit

I am proud to serve as the director of the urban studies program for Wartburg College West – an urban semester program located in Denver, CO. I live and work here in Denver. Undergraduate college students from our main campus in Iowa and from our midwestern partner schools attend our program for summer or a semester to gain professional experience in their fields, clarify their personal and professional goals, and explore the dimensions and challenges of living in an urban environment – which is often quite different than they are used to (many grow up in rural Iowa). My connection with Walk2Connect has allowed me to provide transformational learning experiences for students so they can deepen their understanding of topics like sustainability, mobility, transportation, community, diversity and culture. These are topics that are challenging to “teach” but easier to “experience” with intention and reflection.

When you are gifting to Walk2Connect, you are gifting for educators seeking inspiration to “bring learning to life” for our next generation of students.

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New York Chapter: Sean Stampley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leader: Sean Stampley

Walk2Connect Chapter: New York

Passions: Walking through our natural/built environments and the communities that link them

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You Are Enough!

Sometimes, your to do list gets into your head so much that you end up in a competition ... with yourself. You create bucket lists with places to go, books to read, performances to achieve, but you forget to be YOURSELF. 

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Chapter Spotlight: Boulder Ramblers

The Boulder Ramblers is one of our very first official Chapters. Darcy has been the heartbeat of this thriving community. Check out how she continues to inspire to lead the Ramblers. Thank You for all of your heart and soul that you pour into your community. Get your copy of the Best Urban Hikes Boulder - https://cmcpress.org/products/the-bes...

Send your receipt to [email protected] to get the Bonus Hikes PDF with four more routes in Boulder County!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1F2KyOqAInQ

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A Jolly Good Fellow - A tribute to Longmont Street Walker, Mark Scheidies

Photo by Jennifer Schiedies

 

On April 30th, 2020, I lost a dear friend, Mark Schiedies, after a tragic fall accident a few days earlier. He was known to many as the Longmont Street Walker, as he walked every street of Longmont in 2013. 

He totaled 1,525,580 steps in 280 hours and 28 minutes, covering approximately 750 miles, one neighborhood at at time. His rule was that he would not use a motor vehicle to get to the start points (and back), but rather bike or more walking. 71 neighborhoods in 71 days. If you haven't met him it's because he was a solo walker and he did all this by himself.

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Walking Posture

As a personal trainer, one of my favorite topics to teach is the proper form and function. People are often shocked that there is far more to walking than just putting one foot in front of the other. Many issues can arise from poor form: plantar fasciitis, knee pain, low back pain and even getting out of breath easily. Some of these problems might be a structural issue (or the lack of regular exercise) but a lot of these problem areas can be alleviated by making a few minor adjustments in your stride. 

Check out this short (social distancing) video and review the very basics of How to Walk. 

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