This Day

Today, the day you have, is a good day to think of as this day. As in THIS DAY.

For instance, THIS DAY I will do one thing I’ve been putting off until SOME DAY.

By now most of us know that mythical SOME DAY will never come.

Unless we claim THIS DAY to be that SOME DAY.

And if one of the things you’ve been putting off is to go for a walk, today is the perfect day.

THIS DAY. The perfect day, not some day.

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The Five Ws of Women Walking, Part III

In Parts I and II of this blog series, The Five Ws of Women Walking, I shared the WHY, WHEN, WHERE and WHO of women walking. In today’s post I’m excited to share WHAT walking really is and HOW to transform your health and life with walking.

WALKING IS THE ULTIMATE WAY TO CARE FOR YOURSELF EVERY DAY.

That’s what walking really is--the ultimate way to care for yourSelf every day. Walking creates health for your whole Self , (that capital S means body, mind, and spirit), which means that all of you benefits from walking in ways too numerous to count.

Just walking? Yes. Walking.

The Surgeon General recommends adults do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity like walking to meet the guidelines for optimal health.

And did you know walking is the #1 doctor prescribed exercise? Doctors don’t prescribe exercise that isn’t “real exercise” or exercise that “isn’t enough”. Doctors prescribe highly effective, scientifically proven, doable exercise that works. If you are one of the 80% of women in this country who are not getting the recommended amount of exercise for optimal health, walking is the best place to start because you can start right now--right where you are!

Unlike grueling gym workouts or classes you have to squeeze into your overwhelmingly busy schedule, walking fits in wherever and whenever it best suits you--like right now!

YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CREATE TRUE HEALTH FOR YOURSELF ON YOUR TERMS, STARTING TODAY.

Walking is that power--your power to take care of your Self in a deeply meaningful, scientifically proven, incredibly effective way. That’s WHAT walking is for women.

Next, HOW to walk--the bonus I promised!

Before I get to specific How-to’s I want to share one of my favorite things about walking:

WALKING ADAPTS TO TIME AND PLACE, MOOD AND NEED!

If you find walking boring, become walking partners with a friend or group of friends and walk together. You’ll be amazed at how the time flies when you’re walking and chatting with pals.

If you’re working your way through some troubling problems, take a walk by yourself to let your inner wisdom bubble up. I recommend a walk in nature--in a park or by a river or stream to destress, relax, and listen to yourself.

And if you’ve decided that you hate walking, try walking with your 5 senses engaged vs focusing on your resentment. Again, get out into nature and drop into what you’re hearing, seeing, smelling, feeling and tasting. Really focus on your experience to have a different experience. You won’t know if you like it until you try it.

HOW to get started:

Members of the One Million Women Walking movement follow a simple, proven 3-Step Practice to create whole-Self health by walking. Follow these Steps or, better yet, simply join us for $1/month.

The 1MWW 3-Step Practice:

  • Step One: Move More Throughout Your Day

  • Step Two: A Brisk Daily Walk

  • Step Three: Your Superpower

Moving more throughout your day offsets the damage done by sitting. This is mission critical for 9-5 desk workers.

A brisk daily walk creates whole Self health for you and your life. Walking. Simply walking.

Your superpower is your caring. Women care about other women. Have you ever stopped your entire life to go help your BFF when she needed you? Dropped everything to help your sister through a crisis? Organized the meals for a woman and her kids who found themselves in deep need of assistance? YES YOU HAVE. That’s your superpower.

THE CONNECTIVITY AND CARING OF WOMEN IS AN UNTAPPED POWER--A VEIN OF UNSTOPPABLE ENERGY THAT RUNS THROUGH WOMEN LIKE NOTHING I’VE EVER SEEN OR EXPERIENCED. I BELIEVE IT’S OUR SUPERPOWER. WHEN WE CONNECT AND CARE IN COMMUNITY, WE CHANGE THE WORLD.

Community is what makes Steps One and Two of the 1MWW 3-Step Practice sustainable. When we focus our caring deliberately, first on ourSelves and then in a community of like-minded, like-hearted women who share the same journey and same goals, our superpower expands exponentially. For 1MWW members that exponential expansion goes beyond our walking community, a percentage of 1MWW’s annual post-tax profits goes to women whose walk of life needs our support. Members vote on where these funds go. In this way our steps count not only for ourSelves and the 1MWW community, but for a bigger vision that needs our superpower. In this way . . .

WE KEEP THE GOOD GOING AND GROWING

Please join us at 1MWW and walk your way to the happy, healthy, long life you deserve. I can’t wait to walk with you.


The Five Ws of Women Walking, Part II

In Part I of this blog series, The Five Ws of Women Walking, I shared WHY women have to walk. (WHY tidily encompasses WHEN and WHERE, illustrating the multi-tasking magic inherent in walking.) In today’s post I’m going to share WHO walking is for. To cut to the chase: EVERY WOMAN!

Walking is for every woman!

Having said that, here’s some questions for you:

  • Have you ever said, “I want to workout but I don’t have the time”?

  • Have you ever confessed that you actually hate they gym?

  • Have you ever despaired that you’ll never find a workout that works for you?

  • Have you tried yoga, Pilates, hot boxing, etc all to no avail?

  • Do you feel guilty and ashamed that you aren’t getting the workout you want and need?

  • Do you sit at work all day?

  • Do you feel lethargic, depressed, brain-fogged?

  • Does your body ache?

  • Has your doctor prescribed walking?

  • Is every day of your life packed full to the point of bursting?

  • Do you yearn for a break from it all?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, then walking is for you.

Walking solves all these problems, obstacles, challenges and more!

I can hear you now saying, “Oh I know I should walk but . . .

My rebuttal is, “But what?”

  • But walking isn’t real exercise?

  • But walking isn’t enough?

  • But, you’re thinking, “I hate walking”?

  • But walking is boring?

I hear you still but no worries! In next week’s post, where I wrap up this series, I’ll address your “buts” by sharing WHAT walking really is. (And I’m throwing in a bonus HOW.)

In the meantime, sign up for the 1MWW newsletter, This Beautiful Walk, to stay updated on walking tips (for instance, a recent study showed walking backward improved short-term memory; I cannot make this stuff up), my own walking thoughts (walking increases creativity by 60%—it'‘s my moving muse), and news from the One Million Women Walking movement (how your $1/month membership is powerful beyond measure!)

The Five Ws of Women Walking, Part I

The Five Ws (who, what, when, where, why) are frequently used as a formula for information gathering, problem solving, or getting the complete story on a topic. In this 3-part blog series, I’ll be sharing the five Ws of women walking, but I’m beginning at the end: WHY. I’m starting with WHY because, as you’ll see, it’s the logical place to start and because WHY very neatly encompasses WHEN and WHERE when it comes to women walking.

So, WHY walk? A great question with a wonderfully layered answer.

First, because walking quite elegantly solves the problem that most of us women have with getting a daily workout: we want to workout but we don’t have the time.

(DYK 80% of women aren’t getting enough exercise for optimal health?)

Instead of trying to squeeze a yoga class or gym visit into your already overwhelmingly busy schedule, you can walk WHEN and WHERE you already are: over your lunch break at work, when you’re waiting for your kids at their piano lesson or football practice, or take mini-walking breaks throughout the day.

(9-5 desk workers: DYK that taking walking breaks every 30 minutes has been scientifically proven to be more effective than a hard daily workout?)

Walking fits your life vs you fitting a workout into your life.

Second, because walking solves the problems women have with the health and wellness industry:

  • Despite all the workouts in the world, our health and wellness needs are not being met.

  • We feel underrepresented and underserved in the health and wellness industry.

  • Much of the messaging in the health and wellness industry is inherently shaming and blaming for us and makes us feel self-conscious and ashamed.

  • We want accountability and support without competition.

Walking is all-inclusive, non-competitive, no-gym-membership required.

(DYK 80% of people who have gym memberships never use them?)

Third, because walking creates whole Self health for women. That capital S is no mistake. It stands for your whole Self--your body, mind, and spirit. What we do to create health must nurture our whole Self to be sustainable, otherwise it will just become yet another item on our endless TO DO list--something we must do vs love to do. Here’s what walking does to create the love:

For your BODY: Walking treats or prevents over 100 diseases including heart disease the #1 killer of women and walking is the #1 doctor prescribed exercise. This alone is WHY--walking is an “entry level” activity that can’t be matched for effectiveness, efficiency, ease, doability, cost or time commitment. It’s what you need to get the exercise you want on a daily basis so you can live the happy, healthy life you deserve.

For your MIND: Walking boosts self-esteem, is a natural anti-depressant, and increases creativity by 60%. Women battle low self-esteem, depression and anxiety for a variety of reasons. Walking effectively combats these issues and creates a time and space for a mental break. Caring for your mental health in a meaningful way is as important as caring for your body. Walking does it all--it’s your multi-tasking miracle--part workout, part timeout, part moving mediation (see below).

For your SPIRIT: Walking is spiritual renewal. We ignore our spiritual health at our own peril. As women we possess unique knowings and intuitions that get snuffed out in our overwhelmingly busy lives. The simple act of walking opens those inner doors and helps you to feel connected and whole--tapping into your innate wisdom that this world desperately needs. Historically speaking, walking is a spiritual practice. From the pilgrimages to walking the labyrinth to taking a break from work, walking is a moving meditation, a much needed method of renewing your spirit so you are living from a place of true wholeness.

Summary: Why Walk?

  • Walking fits your life vs you fitting a workout into your life.

  • Walking solves your problems with the health and wellness industry.

  • Walking creates whole Self health. Your body, mind, and spirit benefit from walking in amazing, transformational ways.

Walking works wonders for women.

It’s been said, “You can handle any HOW with a big enough WHY.” (That’s WHY I started this series with WHY). Next week I’ll cover WHO walking is for. In the meantime, sign up for the 1MWW newsletter, This Beautiful Walk, to stay updated on walking news, tips for walking women, and the scoop on the One Million Women Walking movement.

Wondering Where I've Been? Well . . .

It’s like this: I’ve been gone for the past months due to mold poisoning.

The good news is that I am detoxing successfully and recovering. I cannot fully express how profoundly grateful I am to share that good news.

These months have been terrifying, confusing, frustrating beyond words and extremely humbling. I found myself disabled by a silent, invisible enemy that had the audacity to maliciously invade my body and brain and wreak havoc. The worst of it has been the impairment of cognitive function. That’s a fancy way of saying I couldn’t think or remember or strategize to save my soul--thus the terror.

Blessedly for me I have a phenomenally supportive family who circled around me with some really good group decision making, much needed resources, and endless amounts of patience. Thanks to them I got to my sister’s home in Florida where I have been detoxing and recovering.

Recovery has been slow, with a few setbacks. The setbacks are almost always brought about by my impatience with the process and my frustrations at not being able to do what I used to do. It won’t surprise you to know that when I hit a setback, I go for a walk. I walk a lot. In fact walking is once again saving my life--literally.

I’m also following a detox protocol with doses of activated coconut charcoal, which bind with the mold mycotoxins and remove them. I’m taking very high quality supplements to support the process. I walk, I eat live foods, I drink at least a gallon of water a day, I meditate, I swim, I sleep as much as I can. And I’m healing.

Recovery time from mold poisoning can be anywhere from 6 months to a year or more. (I’ll keep you posted.) For now what I want you to take away from this post is this: if you suspect there is mold where you live or work, do something about it. If you suspect you have mold poisoning, get help now.

I am not an expert on the subject matter, just a woman deep in detox and recovery. That being said, here’s two excellent resources where you can learn more. I highly recommend that you do:

Dr Ann Shippy, MD. Check out her “Could It Be Mold?” Fact sheet and her book, Mold Toxicity Workbook.

Dr Mark Hyman, MD’s Broken Brain Podcast with Dr. Shippy: Is Toxic Mold Causing Your Symptoms?

I’m on my way back now, I’m working a bit again, the 1MWW movement is growing, and I’m grateful. That’s where I am now. Next week I’ll be back to talking my walk! In the meantime, please take a moment to sign up for our newsletter.

This Beautiful Walk, the 1MWW newsletter will arrive in your inbox twice a month filled with walking news, walking inspiration, and most likely some of my truly awful puns. I’ll see you there!

Your Opinion Please!

One of the most entertaining activities on the 1MWW public Facebook page is voting for the cover for the upcoming month. I create at least two potential Facebook page covers and ask fans to vote for their favorite.

The photos I use are ones I’ve taken in years past, but they all correspond with the month they represent. I decided to broaden the monthly decision making by posting the choices here as well. Once you’ve chosen your favorite, jump on over to 1MWW on Facebook and vote. And while you’re there, LIKE our page!

Here’s the two contenders for March, 2019. The first is a photo I took in March, 2014 of a late snow, which stunned just about everyone, including this redbud tree. The second photo was taken in March, 2013 on a Sunday drive through the country south of Nashville. In a beautiful twist of fate, this same drive with this view is one I take frequently as my horse is boarded at a barn just down the road.

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There’s the back story on these two photos—the rest is up to you! Thanks for voting.

A Blog About Blog Posts

One of my great pleasures as the founder of One Million Women Walking is interviewing walking women. By sharing our stories we connect and inspire other women; it’s the, “Wow, if she can do it, I can do it,” response. I love that!

Sharing these stories is one of the foundational pieces of the 1MWW movement. We become a community when we share our stories and know one another’s challenges and transformations. And we build a walking consciousness around that community. That’s important because . . .

Walking is not an “it” athletic activity. Walking hasn’t been commercially sexualized like yoga and Pilates and hot boxing. Walking is frequently dismissed as “not real exercise” because it’s free, doable, not grueling and it doesn’t require special equipment. So walking is the underdog of the workout world yet it deserves its place in the sun and its benefits need to be sung loud, proud, and often. Hence the Walking Women interviews here on Solvitur Ambulando.

This quick post is to invite you to read my last three interviews.

For Valentine’s Day I interviewed my friend and 1MWW member, Rachel Aldrich Rader, who just published the book you’ve all been looking for:

Read the interview  then  buy the book  and in the book, read Rachel’s interview with me!

Read the interview then buy the book and in the book, read Rachel’s interview with me!

Earlier this month I interviewed Walking Woman and 1MWW Member Peggy Hubbard, who was losing her sense of Self prior to taking up walking. Her story will move you, inspire you, and make you reflect on what you’re really doing for Self-care.

This is Peggy being hugged by a hollow tree shaped like a heart. February is heart health month. The synchronicity of this makes me smile. Happy Heart Health Month Peggy!

This is Peggy being hugged by a hollow tree shaped like a heart. February is heart health month. The synchronicity of this makes me smile. Happy Heart Health Month Peggy!

Just before February, aka Heart Health Month, I wrapped up January with an interview of my friend, 1MWW Member and brilliant artist Karla Deal. Karla was unable to walk for years due to chronic pain. Read her story and you’ll never take walking for granted again.

Here’s Karla in her studio! Visit her at  Copper is My Canvas  to have your mind blown by the beauty this lady creates!

Here’s Karla in her studio! Visit her at Copper is My Canvas to have your mind blown by the beauty this lady creates!

These three ladies—an artist and passionate dog owner, an insurance agent with a new hip, an author and mom with three boys—all have stories that inspire, that we can relate to, that we discover a bit of ourselves in when we read them. In that recognition a connection is born, an inspiration flares up, a sense of possibility comes to the surface.

Follow those feelings with action. Join 1MWW and start transforming your life today.

Author Rachel Aldrich Rader!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

In honor of this special day, allow me to introduce Rachel Aldrich Rader, author of the just released, Stop Making Yourself Miserable, How to Climb off the Diet and Exercise Hamster Wheel and Step Into Authentic Wellness. I’m especially thrilled to be bringing this interview to you on Valentine’s Day because Rachel is all about Self-love and Self-care and how these are the absolute starting point to authentic wellness. Welcome Rachel and her timely message!



Q. Rachel, I love the title of your book. Where did it come from?

A. I am glad that you love it because coming up with the title was the hardest part of writing the book for me!

I spent 7 years working as a personal trainer in gyms, studios and people’s homes. Most of my clients were women. They were different in many ways but the one thing that everyone had in common was that they were unhappy with their body in some way and hoped that a good fitness routine would be the thing that finally clicked for them.

It made me realize the subtle messages that women receive from our culture. We have this vague notion that our bodies aren’t quite right and we need to fix them. We do that with some combination of diet and exercise and when we don’t see the results that we think we want, we change that combination a bit and try again. Over and over and over again. The result is that we’re stuck in this cycle of thinking “I just have to get it right, this time it will work!” In the meantime, we remain unhappy in our bodies convinced that the problem is us trying to force ourselves through diets and fitness plans that are not authentic.

I wanted to wave my arms, jump up and down and yell “Stop!” There is so much noise out there in the fitness and wellness world. Women spend a tremendous amount of energy on trying to change their bodies. And most of the time, it doesn’t make them happy! My message is all about noticing the patterns that we are stuck in and intentionally opting out.

Q. There truly is so much noise out there—I completely agree. To that point, you let us know right off the bat that we’ve been lied to and worse, that we’ve bought into the lies. What are the lies that are really aggravating you these days?

A. One big misconception is that fitness or wellness has to look a certain way. That it has to look like a fitness routine and a diet. Generally when a woman feels unhappy with her body, she’ll start thinking about one or the other. Or if she already has those things as part of her life, she’ll try to tweak one or the other to make it just right. Again, getting stuck in the cycle of looking for “The Answer” in one of these places. What happens is that she adds to her stress and takes away from her wellbeing. The truth is that wellness is individual. “The Answer” looks different for everyone.

This leads to another misconception. That is that if something works for one person, it will work for someone else. We are so connected with each other through social media. It is an easy trap to see what someone else is up to and think, “Oh, she looks great, I should do what she’s doing,” without considering that her lifestyle, her body, her goal is completely different. Any habit that you set out to create has to be in line with who you are, not based on someone else’s life.

Another major myth is that diet and exercise are the big pillars of a healthy lifestyle. And if you find yourself believing this one, you’re not alone and it’s not your fault! Weight loss is a 60 billion dollar industry. Just think about that. This is an industry based on convincing you that your body is wrong and you need to fix it - and they have just the product or plan to help you out! It’s easy to see how we have come to believe that if our body looks a certain way and we’d like it look different, we just need a new diet or workout. The truth is that of course nutrition and movement matter, but they are only two pieces of a big puzzle that, again, looks different for everyone. Stress plays a huge role on how the body’s systems work. Sleep makes a difference. How you monitor your thoughts and manage your emotions matters. It’s worth taking the time to look into all of the things that affect your health. You are a whole person, you’re not just your calorie count or your workout schedule.

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Q. Rachel, you’re so clear about addressing the whole person, the whole self on a very personal journey to health and wellness. What are your specific steps for us to stop making ourselves miserable?

A. The first is to take a realistic look at where you are now. What types of messages are you internalizing from outside sources and from your own thoughts? Is your inner monologue empowering or discouraging?

Next is to sift through those thoughts and weed out which are the messages that you’re receiving from this weight-obsessed culture and which are your own voice. This sounds easier than it really is! When you’ve been internalizing these message for years, or decades, it takes a bit of introspection to decide what you really, truly want for yourself.

With that internal guidance, it’s then possible to create an authentic goal or vision for your life and your health and decide what you’re going to do to get there.

Setting the strategy involves looking back on what you’ve done in the past and pinpointing which elements have worked well and which haven’t. It all requires being very, very honest with yourself and recognizing that you really are the boss. It’s not your trainer or your friend or even your doctor. You are the one with the power to unapologetically live this lifestyle that you want, and it really has to be what YOU want. Oftentimes, women are stuck in “shoulds”. It takes a little bit of time to be really real.

Don’t rush and don’t give up on whatever it is that you truly desire for your life.

Know that things will not work out perfectly, they never do, and that’s ok. There will be times when you’ll have to regroup or even completely change your plans and neither of those things equal failure.

Q. Rachel, your message and your method are so inspiring and so hopeful! What’s your hope for your readers?

A. My hope is that my readers will feel empowered. A lot of women go through life with this vague notion that whatever they are doing in terms of fitness and wellness is wrong. They are pretty sure that they know what they’re supposed to do, what they’re expected to do, but they just can’t quite get it together enough to get it done and reach this magical place where all is well and they are at peace with their body. The message of my book is to take notice of that thought pattern, to stop it from continuing and to build the lifestyle that brings them joy.

Q. Rachel your book needs to be in the heads, hearts, and hands of every woman in this country--where can we get a copy?

A. The book is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Rachel, I can’t thank you enough for sharing your wisdom and caring with us on this Valentine’s Day. Your book is a loving gift to give ourselves and I’m so grateful you wrote it! Thank you!

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Rachel Aldrich Rader is a Wellness Coach, ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and a former perfectionist. She is a lover of Mexican food, red wine and crime novels, and is grateful for a career where yoga pants and sneakers are considered professional. Rachel lives in New England with her husband, three boys and one judgemental cat.

Follow Rachel on Instagram or Facebook, or join her fabulous Facebook group, Wellness Over Weight Loss!

Walking Women: Peggy Hubbard!

Today’s Walking Women interview is with Peggy Hubbard of Lewisburg, Tennessee.

Q. Peggy, what inspired you to start walking?

A. Several years ago I was working a full time job and caring for a disabled husband. Each day melted into the next and I was losing my identity to my roles in life: business owner, caregiver, volunteer. One way to squeeze out some private time was to wake very early before the day’s caregiving duties began. One morning the sun was out and spring had arrived to Middle Tennessee. So, I leashed my beloved dog, Pepper, and we took off walking up a country road that led to our home. I discovered sights, smells and sounds I had not noticed from the car. I knew I had to give myself this gift over and over again. A habit was born! 

Q. How long have you been walking?

A. I’ve walked/hiked consistently for 6 years.

Q. What changes have resulted from walking?

A. Naturally my body changed as my legs and lungs became stronger. My soul opened to the joy of a sunrise, the smells of fresh hay, and the sounds of nature waking for a new day. I found joy in the baby goats at a nearby farm and took time to stop and watch their prancing and playing. I happily waited for the neighbor’s horse to exit the barn and head to the fence to greet Pepper with a quick snort. So, patience, a badly needed trait, was gained. The sound of my feet and Pepper’s paws hitting the ground became nearly hypnotic as I thanked God for all His goodness and grace.  

Q. What happens if you don’t walk?

A. Recently having a hip replacement has helped me understand how central walking is to my life. After a couple of weeks of being unable to move much I became stiff and unable to sleep well. Now that I can once again walk I’m limber, feel stronger and sleeping better. Mentally I find that walking keeps me grounded and causes me to take the time to practice gratitude which keeps me in tune with my blessings - which are many.  

“This photo is from Henry Horton Park. I love the walking trail there and love that this hollow tree looks like a heart...heart healthy walk!” ~ Peggy Hubbard

“This photo is from Henry Horton Park. I love the walking trail there and love that this hollow tree looks like a heart...heart healthy walk!” ~ Peggy Hubbard

Q. What does walking mean to you?

A. Walking is so much more than getting from one place to another.  It’s the opportunity to take in nature.  It’s the opportunity to find the path less traveled and saunter down while taking in the delicious sights, smells and sounds.

Q. What are your biggest walking challenges/obstacles?

A. Like most people, time and weather are often challenges. But now that I get the senior discount at our well equipped Rec Center I have many options for rainy day walking and the hours give me a safe place to walk after dark. Sometimes my heart wants to tackle trails longer and steeper than my body desires! 

Q. What advice would you give to women who know they should be walking but aren’t - yet?

A. Take it one block at a time. Start by perhaps thinking of things that bring your life joy and voice gratitude for them. Use the time to experience your own breath, the feel of your body moving and the sounds of your feet connecting with Earth.

Peggy, thank you so very much for sharing your walking story with us. You’re an inspiration in every way!

Peggy Hubbard is a State Farm Insurance Agent.  She maintains an office in Lewisburg, TN and conducts business throughout the state. She is also an adjunct instructor of Criminal Justice at Columbia State Community College, a Rotarian currently serving as an Assistant District Governor, a volunteer for several charitable organizations, a lover of nature, and a member of One Million Women Walking!

Peggy is married to the marvelous Paul Kingsbury who is her frequent hiking partner, travel companion and all-around best friend. They have two adored kitty cats, Libby and Lizzy. Peggy loves music of all kinds, reading both fiction and non-fiction, and exploring nature.  

Peggy’s passion is using her skills and talents to help others be their very best. She loves to be surrounded by positive, happy friends and believes in a hands-on approach to charitable work. 







Walking Women: Karla Deal!

Today’s Walking Women Interview is with Karla Deal of Nashville, Tennessee.

Q. Karla, what inspired you to start walking?

A. Mostly, my dog. He requires daily exercise, like myself. ☺ But due to my chronic pelvic pain, I was unable to walk him for years. We had to default to dog parks, where he could run and I could watch from the sidelines. Not the life I wanted but had to learn new skills to find ways to exercise with the pain. Since that has become more manageable, my walking has taken on a whole new meaning.

And my feet taking me to new places that I can photograph. Photography is a huge passion for me and I see so many photo ops while out walking.

Q. How long have you been walking?

A. More consistently, about 2 years now.

Q. What changes (body, mind, spirit) have resulted from walking?

A. My body is much more mobile, my mind is a lot less cluttered and my spirit feels much more connected, especially to nature. I love nature and it fills my soul to be out in it. My level of gratitude has also increased since my body is allowing me to get out and walk. Walking was something I completely took for granted, until I was unable to do it for 15 years. Now I get out and walk as much as I can because…….I can. In my case, it’s a privilege that I absolutely no longer take for granted.

Q. What happens if you don’t walk?

A. I think I start feeling depressed and sluggish. You know what they say—”A body at rest stays at rest and a body in motion, stays in motion”! My body craves the movement.

Q. What does walking mean to you?

A. FREEDOM!! Just for the fact that I can now incorporate it into my life. And it is a part of all I do on a daily basis to bring my Body/Mind/Spirit into alignment. Walking is now an integral part of my overall healing and it is very healing for me to walk. And it’s my way of being able to connect with nature in an uncomplicated way. No reservations are required. No walking partner is required. Just pick a place and Maverick and I are off and walking. In addition to all of the mentioned benefits, it allows Maverick and I an opportunity to bond even more.

Q. What are your biggest walking challenges/obstacles?

A. Finding trails that allow Maverick to walk with me. I prefer ground trails to asphalt, as I like feeling the connection of my feet to the earth. The heat and humidity here in the South can also be challenging. My body has apparently never adjusted to this heat and humidity, even though I have lived here my entire life.

Q. What advice would you give to women who know they should be walking but aren’t—yet?

A. Walking is healing. Nature is healing. And both create alignment for your Body/Mind/Spirit. Give yourself the gift of healing and connection and start walking. You will discover new things about yourself and the world you live in.

Karla, we must be Soul Sisters! Thank you so much for sharing your walking story with 1MWW!

Karla Deal is a Copper Artisan and owner of Copper is My Canvas, where she creates gorgeous custom copper for both residential and commercial clients. She is also a student of Buddhism and a lover of life. Most importantly, Karla is Mother to Maverick, her 7 yr. old rescued Standard Poodle, who lives the good life! “My BFF,” says Karla.

Karla is a lover of all animals, nature, photography, sunrises and sunsets, walking, hiking, exploring, traveling, art, waterfalls, theater and volunteering with rescued horses. Her Self-Care practices include daily meditation, walking, hiking, Pilates, swimming, restorative yoga, silent meditation retreats, breath work and dharma talks. Karla is also a member of 1MWW.

Karla’s passion is working with copper and surrounding herself with people and teachers she can learn from.

Her 2019 Word: Curiosity.

“Peace and Metta”~ Karla Deal