Sunday, October 19, 2014

Walking for Heart and Right on Into Autumn

Today, the day after the annual Heart Walk, was just about perfect for walking -- temperatures starting in the 50s, rising no more than the 60s, and a cool breeze blowing. Thus it was that October 19 was the first true day of fall as far as my faithful walking companion, Superdawg, and I were concerned. We took a long walk with ease, and instead of dwelling on the wooded area the developers have recently leveled, concentrated on all the good slices of Nature that remain. May they continue to survive and thrive.

Heart Walk day itself on Saturday the 18th brought just about perfect weather; however, it was just a tad on the warmish side, with temps eventually rising to about 80. No matter the heat, the annual Waccamaw Area Heart & Stroke Walk, held this year at Myrtle Beach's Broadway at the Beach, was a big success as a fund-raiser for the American Heart Association and all its educational and research programs battling the nation's No. 1 killer. And it was a whole lot of fun with all the bands and creatively attired walking teams representing area businesses, organizations, and clubs. At least a couple thousand people turned out, and some of us celebrated afterwards at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville restaurant, a lively place.

Our Mended Hearts team met all its fund-raising and walking goals. Big Mama staffed our informational booth and gave out caps and pins for heart-surgery survivors, along with superheroes' capes for mended little hearts -- the precious children who have had heart surgeries, some of them more than a few. It was so good to see their sweet faces and to find out how well they are doing.

As for myself, a runner of marathons back in middle age, the event was also something of an athletic test of how my efforts to stave off assorted age-associated orthopedic problems are faring. With adrenalin pumping as I walked briskly alongside a great many college and high school-age kids, I discovered that walking without stopping is not exactly consistent with my usual training routine nowadays. Good ol' Superdawg, a senior herself, likes to stop about every 30 seconds to smell the roses. Walking nonstop is a different proposition. I managed to make it around Broadway and to the finish line, but I was mildly fatigued. It felt good to sit down.

As I begin training for the 2015 Heart Walk and other challenges, I realize that in addition to a walk daily for Superdawg, I need to do at least three or four a week for myself, perhaps around a school track listening to Patsy Cline tunes. The important thing is to keep moving. Having completion of an event such as the Heart Walk or the Walk to End Alzheimer's is helpful for motivation.

                                                          © Robert G.Holland  2014

Big Mama and I at conclusion of 2014 Heart Walk. 

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