Today's Walking Women interview is with Nashville's Monique Odom.
Q: Monique, what inspired you to start walking?
A: I’ve had a few fits of starting a walking regimen. I was inspired most recently after a significant weight gain. To be honest, I was trying to do the least amount of exercise possible to get noticeable results.
Q: How long have you been walking?
A: I actually started walking a little over twelve years ago when I was expecting my son. My Ob-Gyn emphasized the importance of exercise and healthy eating. “Exercise” up to that point had been a chore for me that had conveniently been left out of my schedule. With the goal of delivering a healthy baby, which I did, I started to incorporate walking into my lifestyle. I first incorporated it by parking as far away as I could from my destination when I was out. Then I started walking around the mall. Years later I started walking around the neighborhood where I work with a coworker. I also incorporated drinking my water into my lifestyle.
Q: What changes (body/mind/spirit) have resulted from your walking?
A: There is definitely a mind/body/spirit connection and walking brings PEACE to all of them. I gain so much clarity and perspective, get some of my best ideas, and can develop solutions to problems when I’m walking, especially when I’m walking outside.
Q: What happens if you don't walk?
A: I don’t feel right. I’m not at my best. It’s kind of like when you don’t start your day or have gone a long time without “being still”. I’m definitely not focused.
Q: What does walking mean to you?
A: It’s definitely an important part of my life.
Q: What are your biggest walking challenges/obstacles?
A: Carving out time to get it done, especially when I’ve fallen off the wagon or have a crammed schedule. I just have to do it.
Q: What's your favorite place (or places) to walk?
A: I really don’t have a favorite place, but I definitely prefer walking outside to indoors. Our recent walk on the Whites Creek Greenway was great!
Q: What advice would you give to women who know they should be walking but aren't--yet?
A: I should be the poster woman for women who know they should be walking, but aren’t yet. The return on investment of walking is invaluable. You owe it to yourself to experience. Just commit to fifteen minutes every other day and see how it makes you feel. I guarantee you’ll crave more. As women we are responsible for so much. Many of us find it hard to carve out personal time, but nothing is more important than you. Taking care of you, mind/body/spirit, needs to be your number one priority ‘cause if you don’t take care of you, you won’t be around for all the other things you have to do.
Monique, truer words were never spoken! Thank you so much for sharing your walking story!
Monique Odom is a native Nashvillian through and through. She is a graduate of Whites Creek Comprehensive High School, Fisk University, and Tennessee State University. Monique has worked for Nashville's Metro Parks since 2006 and is the Director of Nashville's Metro Parks Department. Monique lives in Nashville with her husband and son.
To learn more about Nashville's Greenways and Trails (over 190 miles in Davidson County alone!) visit: http://www.nashville.gov/Parks-and-Recreation/Greenways-and-Trails.aspx