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

Photo by Jennifer Scheidies

 

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 a 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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Trust the Pattern

 

    Trust the pattern. These words have been echoing in my ears and my heart for many days now. Trust the pattern. Trust the pattern of Creation: the cyclical pattern of the Seasons, the ebb and flow of the moon, the pattern of all life on Earth, the pattern of death and birth seen in the Universe. 

    We experience this pattern with our bodies as we travel around the Sun in our yearly pilgrimage through the seasons. As the Sun begins to warm the air, we see Spring with our very eyes as new shoots spring forth from what appeared to be barren ground, we smell Spring as the scents of blossoms are released into the air, we taste Spring in the clear run off as melted snow becomes a mountain spring, we hear Spring in the excitement of the birds. Likewise, we experience the heat of Summer, the bounty of Fall, and the quiet of Winter. Each Season offers its own qualities, its own beauty, and its own lessons. We can trust this pattern.
    This pattern of the Seasons is repeated, not only yearly, but daily as well. The Sun rises in the East. The Sun travels through the day from East to West and dissapears allowing the quiet of the night to reveal the glory of the moon and stars. The Sun rises again. We can trust this pattern.
    We see the universall pattern of death and birth in the natural world: A seed is planted, it germinates, a new plant grows into maturity, there is harvest, the plant fades, dies, and becomes part of the Earth where it nourishes new life--the cycle repeats. We can trust this pattern.
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10 Steps Together

Over the last few weeks, one of our AMAZING leaders, Robin Truesdale, has put together a fun way for all of us to stay connected.

We would LOVE to get 10 Steps Together (walking or rolling) from all over the United States & across the globe of your unique moments with nature during these challenging times. Check out the details below & we need your help to get the word out! 

  • Take a video of your feet or wheels & send it to [email protected]
  • Invite your friends (near or far) to play along. 
  • Get creative & have some fun 

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How Are My Extroverted Introverts Doing?

I find it hard to label myself as an introvert or an extrovert, so what characterizes me is that I'm somewhere in between. I'm a people watcher, but longing to meet new people; I don't like small talks, but intrigued about conversations. I like to be a fly on the wall, but I also like to be center of attention; I prefer to stay home and relax, but feel so good and full of energy after taking a walk! So how have the recent restrictions and stay-at-home recommendations affected me? Unexpectedly!

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Let's Get Dirty!

Nature Connection During COVID-19 Times!

A backyard meander was just what my 3 year old grandson and I needed last week. His life has changed quite dramatically over the past few weeks--no more school, no more friends, mom and dad are at home trading off working and caring for him, AND he doesn't get a break from baby brother. No wonder he was crying on the floor when I arrived an early morning last week to spend some time with him. A change of scenery was just what he needed. How fortunate that we just needed to open the door to the world of Nature in his backyard. Though we didn't go for a walk, running around on the grass, listening to the birds, smelling the bark of his cottonwood tree, and creating a magical forest was just what we both needed to feel more grounded and connected with the healing power of the Earth. Perhaps some Nature Connecting activities are just what you and your family need too! Try these out and observe how your state of being is transformed.

Sit Spot--Find a spot in your home or your yard where you can sit with Nature. Sit quietly for at least 20 minutes, sensing how your presence blends with the presence of the Natural world around you. Open your ears to listen to even the smallest sound and also the farthest sound you can hear. Observe the colors and textures around you. Open your eyes in Wide-Eyed Vision to absorb every movement. Take a moment to realize that you too are being observed. Allow yourself to settle and remind yourself that you are not separate from the Natural world, but that you too are Nature. 

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Wide Eyed Wander

As I wandered last week behind my "tree house", I felt the urge to create. These times of "social isolation" are unleashing a frenzy of creativity: businesses are sending employees to work remotely from home, fitness studios are uploading workout videos, Walk2Connect is creating virtual walking experiences for their community of walkers....  We are finding ways to create and connect despite the call to isolate ourselves.  

I followed my urge. The vision of a Nature Mandala came to mind. I've been making these mandalas lately and I had seen some unusual dry oak leaves now revealed under the receding snow. I thought they'd be perfect for today's mandala.

Walking like a forager, I asked the Land to provide me with what I needed for the mandala. Suddenly my eyes caught sight of juniper berries laying on the ground underneath their mother plant. With excitement, I realized they were saying, "Pick me, pick me!"  I stooped with gratitude to pick the delicate yet firm berries and put them in my pocket. With a chuckle at the playful encounter with the berries, I began to envision what else the Land might provide for the mandala. What else would crave my attention and make itself know to me?

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COVID-19 Walk2Connect Announcement

Update May 28, 2020

 

We are excited to announce that we will reinstating some walking events with appropriate social distancing guidelines starting June 1, 2020. We missed you walking alongside you and while we still can't hug, we will be happy to walk in your presence.

We invite everyone to follow these simple steps in order to keep each other safe when in each other's company during our walks:

Please visit each Chapter's Meetup for most up to date list of events.

To view our more comprehensive guidelines for walkers and Walking Movement Leaders, see our List.

 

 

Update April 23, 2020

 

We continue to suspend our walking in-person events due to the pandemic, until further notice. We will reevaluate in a month or when new guidance comes is released. Stay safe and follow your local guidance for outdoor activities.

Please join us on in our Walk2Connect Community facebook group for frequent inspirations and walking challenges. We can also find us on our facebook page, instagram, twitter, youtube, newsletter (scroll to bottom of this page).

How can you help keep our MOVEMENT go forward? Join our Cooperative as a Supporter Member TODAY to get first access to our future events and other perks or donate. Our monthly expenses have not been canceled and we need your help to keep all our tools up for when we can gather at the start line. THANK YOU!

 

 

Update March 28, 2020

 

We continue to suspend our walking in-person events due to the pandemic, until further notice.

Please join us on in our Walk2Connect Community facebook group for daily inspirations and walking challenges. We can also find us on our facebook page, instagram and twitter.

Join our Cooperative as a Supporter Member TODAY to get first access to our future events and other perks.

 

 

 

 

Update March 16, 2020

Effective, March 17, 2020, all Walk2Connect events (walks or gatherings) will be suspended for a period of at least 15 days, according to the White House guidelines. We will update our announcement as instructions and decisions are made available after this period.

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Des's Story

Des has a passion to bring people together, to experience belonging and to celebrate the rich diversity whenever people come together. This is probably deeply rooted in his own experience, having moved to London in the mid-sixties as a six-year-old boy with his siblings and parents starting a new life in a new city and culture, having to learn the language and how to find a way to belong. 

 

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Learning to flow....

Sometimes life can be like standing on the edge. Growing up as a "third culture kid", standing on the edge was a familiar feeling. Not belonging to either my parent's culture (Spanish and Ecuadorian), nor the one I was currently immersed in, was a confusing experience. Like many third culture kids, I grew up thinking of myself as the "stranger, the "outsider." I had to adapt to multiple languages, traditions, foods, landscapes, values, music, new friends, new schools! While that may seem exciting and exotic, I never felt like I fit in. I was always the observer. Even when I periodically returned to our "home country" of Spain, supposedly where I belonged, it was difficult for me to jump in and get into the flow of life. Was I Spanish? Was I Ecuadorian? Was I Ugandan (or from Honduras, or Chile, or, or, or.....)? 

I realize how much my "third culture kid" life affected my adult identity of "not belonging." Making the conscious effort to belong is not easy. Walking and Walk2Connect created an important pathway for my connection to "belonging." 

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