I feel like I’ve walked literally every sidewalk in Flower Mound. The steps began after I had a surgery at the end of last year that forced me to quit my several-day-a-week running habit and scale back to walking (every day my joints still thank me).
At this point I am perfectly able-bodied to be back running, but walking has taken on a life of its own. It’s been a new source of connection for my husband and I. Although he’s an incredibly fast walker, outside of the tennis court he’s never been a runner so working out together hadn’t been an option, our new daily ritual has given us the time and opportunity we were sorely lacking to reconnect.
In early January, as I began to test my ability to return to exercise, Tom and I started walking about a mile a day. Between the cold temps (I am from Wisconsin; I HATE cold weather) our busy schedules, and my body’s gradual recovery, a short mile was all the distance I could take.
Tom was really patient with the early part of the year because I was walking very slowly. I think he understood if I pushed too hard it would be more weeks of sitting on the sofa asking for extra help around the house so he was happy to meet and even encourage my slow pace.
But it didn’t take long before we were fast-paced walking three, then five miles several days a week.
Life drastically changed for all of us in March, especially for Tom who owns Expedia Cruiseship Centers-Flower Mound. The first few weeks of quarantine were uber busy as he was processing cancellations, so at that time we had to work to find space in the schedule for our (at that point) daily ritual. We managed to hang on to the commitment and for the last few months we’ve had plenty of time to hoof it out.
To say we walk more for our mental health than our physical well-being would be an understatement.
One day, with the newfound extra time on our hands, we decided to walk 6.5 miles. And it stuck. As of this writing we walk every day from 4-6 p.m. The heat index is often over 100 degrees…trust me, we bring LOTS of water. We walk about 40 miles a week! Most days we walk 6.5 miles, some days we’ll walk up to 8.
Eight is definitely my limit.
Our route takes us from our home in Wellington around Twin Coves Park to see how many tiny cabins are rented. Some days we head through Bridlewood to the Riverwalk. We’ve walked to Lakeside and down the beautiful path past the “high rise” on multiple occasions. We’ve walked through the Rheudasil Park area and all of the neighborhoods to the north and south of it.
Most of the time when we walk, we’re talking about COVID, masks, social justice, the future… It’s hard not to worry about all of the changes that have taken place in all of our lives over the past few months. We worry about what choices we will eventually have and decisions to come in order to survive financially, especially with the continued ban on travel. You see, when Tom left Corporate America three years ago to pursue this dream of business ownership in travel, there was no Plan B, and he [understandably] doesn’t want to have to create one now.
I know we are far from the only family who worries about how we’ll survive financially and what our life might look like in the next six months or year. Truthfully, I don’t believe any of us will be left without some significant impact whether it’s financial, relationship challenges, mental health or physical illness… potentially a combination of these things.
Tom and I also spend a lot of time walking silently next to one another… sometimes there are just no words or we’ve exhausted the topics of the day. After being married 28 years neither one of us expects the other to be the entertainment and life’s pause has given all of us the chance to spend some time in self-reflection.
Ultimately each of us has to make the decision as to how we’ll weather 2020. I am the self-appointed family optimist which can get tiring at times yet I know that long walks are a part of taking care of myself so I can be there for others. Our kids are watching too and I’m aware that we’re modeling how to cope with change and adversity as we navigate this pandemic.
Tom and I aren’t the only people walking around Flower Mound these days, but if you happen to see a middle-aged couple (9 times out of 10 my husband is sporting his Expedia Cruiseship baseball cap) be sure and honk or wave (or share an ice cold bottle of water, lol). We’d love to know you’ve read this column and that you too are surviving this chapter in history.
Stay healthy and encouraged!