walk this way
Tonight was the weekly “dog-lbs” walking group. A group of folks meet every week at a local park and we walk about 4 miles together. Everyone is welcome to bring their dogs so there is generally a lil pack of four legged sweeties walking with us. We have walked every week since September 1st with a few exceptions. There has not been a week I have walked alone. Every time the walk was scheduled people showed up. In the heat, in the cold, in the poring rain. We have encountered wind storms, massive downpours, we have walked with pulled muscles, sore knees and colds. I know people showed up when they would have rather been at home, or out with friends, or doing some other activity that did not involve dog poo and sweating!
Walking is how I lost the massive amount of weight when I weighed over 600lbs, because when you are that big there is just nothing else you can do. When I first started it was a wretched sight and I would only walk at night or early in the morning when the sun had not peeked out to say hello yet. I did not want people to see me move, to stare at the rolls of fat dancing around my body like a well orchestrated waltz. I started out by walking one time around our small block, I could do no more. I was out of breath and pretty sure death was near, but death never came and I lived to walk another day. I was walking everyday and every couple of days I would add more, and when I could walk for longer stretches I walked the flood wall that surrounded our small town in Kentucky, it circles the high school and the little area where we had band practice when I was in high school. It is a beautiful walk, which took me right along the Ohio river, my dog at the time was a tan and white siberian husky named Azul. She never let me down, she never judged me but she did always push me to go further…and I did. I must have walked a thousand miles on that wall. Most of the time I would walk alone just me and my dog, walk-man on, trying desperately not to hear the cruel remarks of disgust as I waddled past people, even when I tried so hard to drowned out the sound I could still hear the words as they echoed in my head. “God, why even try if you’re that fat” and I can still see the woman’s face who said those words. Walking was my solace, it is the one thing that always gave me hope that I could change and I always had my zool-bug by my side.
Although my sweet Azul is resting at the rainbow bridge with my Dad, I still walk on the same flood wall today with Maggie and Tully and one day soon Tristan will come with us. Today I am able to walk the whole thing with little effort but it never fails that I am flooded with memories on that wall, of days gone by, of band camp, high school secrets and meeting up late on Friday nights after a football game to watch the world go by sitting along the dark shadowy waters of the river.
I am so blessed that I don’t have to walk alone now. I don’t have to dream about changing anymore. I am changing. I have changed. Thank you Sarah, Tony, Debbie, Big Al, Rachel, Kate, Deb, Jessica, Mary, Maggie, Pudge, Val, Rio, , Latte, Tully, Maggie H, Dukers, JD, Star, Bart, and any number of Recycled Doggie foster pups. You keep me on track, motivated, and in awe of your dedication to me and this project, and most of all…your friendship.