By Angie MacDonald
Each morning for the past four months, I have been walking about 12 kilometres along Hwy 105. I’ve struck up a waving acquaintance with many fellow travellers. While it’s not the ‘camino,’the journey has yielded some reflections I would like to share.
First, I hope I am an inspiration to any of you who have wanted to do ‘something’ for your health but thought you could not. I had not exercised for a couple of decades before donning my shoes this spring.
Now in my early fifties, I have decided to ‘turn the Titanic.’ Walking has become an easy start to exercise for me. Oh, and by the way, though not my motivation, and having changed nothing else in my daily regime, I have lost an astonishing 24 pounds.
Know also that I carry a cell phone and consider myself an on-duty agent for ‘neighbourhood watch.’ If I see anything suspicious around your property, I will call the police. Speaking of which, the police do ride up and down the highway more often than I would have thought.
Know that I wish my iPod nano had a built-in camera and speed detector. By and large most of you do drive the speed limit. However, some of you do not. Please slow down! It is our own collective, cherished, neighbours, friends and loved ones using the road – it’s not an impersonal speedway!
Know that I appreciate your gardens, pick up your lost keys and shoo your straying pets off the road (dogs, cats, ducks and even a bunny rabbit once). Please make sure your animals’ tags (and shots!) are up to date. Know too that I say a silent prayer for the numerous critters I also see killed along the way.
Know that I try not to sing out loud if I see anyone within earshot.
Know that I really appreciate your waves and smiles. Even strangers are now tossing out a nod or introducing themselves and asking questions about my walking.
Scuffing my shoes on uneven pavement and loose gravel on the side of the road more often than is safe or comfortable, I’d also like to remind the municipality that there are still two or three sections of the 105 that have not been repaved. Because they are missing paved shoulders, they are treacherous sections of the road for cyclists and walkers alike.
And to return to the why of my walking: There is an incredible video on YouTube that I’d recommend that everyone watch. It is called “23 and 1/2 Hours: what is the single best thing we can do for our health?”
Check it out: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUaInS6HIGo&feature=youtube_gdata_player
See you out walking.
Ed. note: Angie MacDonald is a Chelsea, Quebec,rresident.