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How I got to over 20km a day

“Everywhere is within walking distance if you’ve got the time.” Comedian Steven Wright.

Most anyone in good health can walk 20 or more kilometres in a day if they want to. Talent isn’t needed. Athletic prowess certainly isn’t needed. I’m proof of that!

It’s really about falling in love with a good, long walk.

I don’t walk that distance everyday, of course, but I currently have a goal as you likely know if you’ve been reading my earlier posts. Tackling the 700km trail of The Island Walk in Prince Edward Island is a plan born in the depths of COVID isolation. The inspiration was a flick of a light switch in the dark. The process to get there, however, has been more like a succession of slow burning candles. While I’ve been into walking or fitness at different times in my life, this particular stretch began in March 2020, when my husband and I, like many others during the pandemic, craved going outside and doing something – anything!

It felt good physically, but also helped alleviate my anxiety and a lingering bout of depression. Before long, I was walking a lot more and as my distance increased, I set out alone more frequently. I listened to podcasts, audiobooks and music when travelling the same routes repeatedly. I didn’t listen to anything though if I was in new territory. I definitely didn’t need to listen to anything if hiking in the woods. When I missed my daily walk, I found that I didn’t feel as well. I began logging distance. I’m compulsive about documenting and tracking things. Two kilometres soon became 4, then 5, and so on.

The winter was the most challenging time, but the secret is a coat so warm you can’t stand being inside in it for more than a minute. Bundle up and it will propel you out the door! There’s something especially exhilarating about walking on cold, frosty white days. I also began walking with friends a couple of days or more a week, which was a great way to get some socializing done safely.

Over the past year and a half I’ve hardly missed a day and I’ve logged well over 2500 kilometres. That’s only since I began tracking my walks in July 2020, so the number is likely higher because I didn’t record my walks before then. I use an app on my phone called Sports Tracker. It’s cool to see the maps and routes of all the places I’ve since walked. The app, which is free, also tracks the time, pace, and the weather.

The majority of my jaunts have been in my own neighbourhood, in beautiful South Bay in Prince Edward County. A friend and nearby neighbour walked with me at least once a week here all through the cold months and we still walk together when we can.

As I searched for new places to explore in the County, I hiked various trails at Sandbanks Provincial Park (do you know there is almost no one there in the winter? haha!). Another treasure in Prince Edward County is the Millennium Trail, which runs from one end of the County to the other. Kudos to those who built and maintain that trail! To expand my horizons, I began to drive out of the County and found some amazing places to do some real hiking, rather than just walk. I love that. One of my favourite places is Sheffield Conservation Area. I made a 2 and a half minute video about my first time there. Also a short vid of my 9km at Presqu’ile Provincial Park. Two other hikes I highly recommend are at Rock Dunder and Goodrich-Loomis Conservation Area.

A video I made of what’s going to be in my backpack on my 700km PEI trek will be up tomorrow. Please follow the blog if any of this is of interest, and you can also subscribe to see future videos on my youtube channel.

Lastly, I am trying to raise funds for Lennon House, a recovery home for folks struggling with addictions and mental health challenges. If you’re interested in supporting me this way, the link is here.

I’m so grateful to all who are following along! Thanks again, Christine

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