Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fast Forward

It's February... the glitz and glam and sparkling lights are all put away.  Holidays are SO over. You toasted to the new year and set your resolutions in motion.  Hmmm, what were they?  Winter's chill has settled, darkness hovers...Now what?

Fast Forward Further: a gentle breeze, warm soft sand, the ocean's soothing pulse, a cliff walk with bird's eye views, sun dappled trails, whales cruising, seabirds sailing, waterfall rewarded hikes, and at night a sea of stars...

Now what were those resolutions again? 
Walk more - check
Hike a new trail - check
Eat fresh and healthy food - check
Take a "ME" vacation - check
Meet new friends - check
Take a cooking class - check
Art appreciation - check
Try a new skill - check
Learn a new language - Hola! check
Laugh more - check, check, CHECK!

As the sun melts into the Pacific and your Baja vacation with the Walking Connection sadly comes to an end your thoughts linger, cherishing the tranquility.  Feeling renewed, recharged and energized you are ready (yet reluctant) to return to reality...

Look Forward...Come Walk Todos Santos With Me!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Thank You Note

Last weekend Gene and I hosted an event in Phoenix called Will Walk For Food.  Just a simple event where we lead a walk and ask people to bring non perishable food items to donate to a local non profit to help feed  hungry families here in Arizona.  Whether we are here at home or on an adventure in some distant land, we have always believed in giving back. As a matter of fact our business was built on that vision. (more on that in future blogs!)

eeing many of our friends on Saturday, got me to thinking...I have been walking with some of you for 10, 15 almost 20 years!  Thank you for the years of support and encouragement.  YOU all motivate and inspire me! 

Some of you have been volunteers and guides for the Walking Connection, always ready to help out. No "whys?"  Just dos!!!  YOU are awesome!

With some of you we have shared the world together from our first trip to Rocky Point in 1991 to our most recent adventure in Peru with just about everything in between New York to Africa, New Zealand to China.  The unwavering trust and confidence that you place in Gene and I keeps us going and planning and ready to do and see more of what the world holds for us. YOU are very much appreciated!

And as I have always said, "If it wasn't for all of YOU, I wouldn't be able to do what I love."  Many thanks to YOU!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Guiltless Goals

No Guilt Allowed!

I don't set artificial or overblown goals to achieve certain things I want to do or accomplish in my life.  (Been there, done that). I find that in the long run, they are contrived, short term in effect and generate needless stress. 

The things I value and want to accomplish aren't so much arbitrary and artificial benchmarks. For me I find no need to self-prove my self worth day-after-day and keep an ongoing tally of needless results. Rather, I find that my self-efficacy and fulfillment comes from me simply extending and adding to the positive things I am already doing each and every day.

Take exercise and walking for example. I recently completed one full year of doing a purposeful walk, everyday, for 365 consecutive days. It's not a heroic feat by any means, but it contributed greatly to the quality of my life. I didn't start out by setting some huge goal that would consume my thoughts and create guilt every time I looked out the window at crappy weather and think to myself, "I still HAVE to walk today, and the weather stinks and [enter more excuses here]." Goal Guilt! That would be a horrible way of motivating me to do something I enjoy so much.

My approach was much more organic. On Day One of my little journey, I simply did what I had been doing most everyday for a good portion of my life. The next day, the same. And then the day after, and so on, and so on, until on one particular day while Gene and I were hiking in the desert, I said to him, "today is my 27th day in a row walking or hiking." He congratulated me and thought to pull out a new little Flip video camera he had bought a few days before. He had me walk up the top part of a hill we were on and past the camera and shout "Day 27, woo hoo!" We laughed over it because I hate being in front of a video camera, but it was short and actually kind of a fun way to remember that day. Other than that, it was no big deal.

The next day, I walked like usual and then the next day, and so on, and so on. Sometimes by myself, with Gene, my walking buddies Connie Jo, Romy or Donna. Sometimes for work like in the Andean Mountains and Amazon Rainforest in Peru or along the beach in Baja California Sur or Central Park in New York City. Sometimes around the block of my neighborhood and sometimes on miles long treks through the desert by my house or along the rim of the North Rim at Grand Canyon. Each day, a new adventure, a new piece of my life unfolding and another step building toward my ultimate goal - enjoying my life as it comes to me, without driving myself crazy with "Goal Guilt."

So as Day 365 got closer, through the magic of Facebook, and Gene with that pesky Flip video camera, I decided to share a part of this journey with my friends and invite them (you) to join in on a celebration of this day with a "Just Walk For You" event where you only had to spend a minimum of walking for 10 minutes where ever you live, work or play, anywhere in the world.  I was overwhelmed as well as inspired by all of those of you who chose to participate. Nearly every corner of the world was represented. People of all types, shapes, colors, ages, abilities with interests that range from simple neighborhood strolls to adventuresome mountaineering joined in and then posted some amazing comments on the Walking Connection Facebook page. All starting from a simple goal of enjoying one of the purest things life has to offer, a walk…a Walk Just For You …a walk with no guilt!

So as I continue to pursue my goal, and I am up to day 376, know that I will continue to share my journey with you. And I hope you will join my blog, and share yours with me and other friends. And know that should life throw me one of those curve balls and knock me off my consecutive streak, I will simply get up, dust myself off, and just as happily proclaim once again, Day One -- Woo Hoo!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Overwhelmingly overwhelmed

Today I feel speechless, but blissfully so.  A simple walk of only ten minutes turns into a global inspiration.  As I hiked up "little hill" (Day 366, maybe your Day 2) I am thinking "what next?" How do I keep everyone walking?  What motivational words do I use or program do I promote? On the downhill momentum it hits me - just do what I do and keep it real...LEAD BY EXAMPLE like I've always done one step at a time...right, left, right, left....Come Walk With Me!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The finish line will keep going...

All of the support that I have received from around the world for walking everyday has been incredible.  Many have said that I have motivated them.  The more I motivate the more I am motivated!  So you might think my finish line is quickly approaching with November 1st being my 365th day, but this is hardly the case.  How can I stop now?  How far can I go? Right, left, right, left, right, left...Come Walk With Me!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day 340

Today I marked Day 340 walking the surrounding hills with my friend Connie Jo.  It is hard to believe that we have been walking together for over 25 years now.  Our walking is our friendship.  We have TALKED over thousands of miles.  Though our lives go in separate directions and we don't see each other for extended periods when we walk we are right back in sync, same rhythm, same beat...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Welcome To Day 336 of JA Walks!

Today is Day 1 of this blog and the 336th consecutive days of me walking! Welcome to my world.