Today’s Walking Women Interview is with Karen Bacon of Queensland, Australia.
Q. Karen, what inspired you to start walking?
A. I am not sure that I had a bolt of inspiration to start walking, but I do know it started as time out on my own, when my kids were young. It was a mental reprieve from being Mum, a wife and an employee. Time to just be me.
Literally, I would sneak away to the beach to collect my thoughts, gain back mental clarity and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature, which I have always found so very soothing to my soul! In those early days I had to wait until my husband was home to watch the kids, to have the chance to be alone!
Q. How long have you been walking?
A. I have been walking regularly on that same stretch of beach now for 30+ years and I have such a love for it! I feel it’s my sacred place, comforting when needed and inspiring most of the time. It’s the place I also go to sit quietly to reflect and be in my own thoughts. I also love to walk in any of our beautiful National Parks here on the Gold Coast in Australia, and I’m happy to say I live nearby quite a few.
Q. What changes have resulted from your walking?
A. I think anything you love to do has the capacity to change you, not only physically but in mind and spirit equally. There is nothing I love to do more than walk away my problems, it is a great equalizer for me. I have in my younger years, suffered from mild depression, and walking, along with exercise in general has been a lifesaver. Physically it helps keep the weight down, particularly getting older, so I can have the extra piece of chocolate if I desire! Yes please!
Q. What happens if you don’t walk?
A. I feel very sluggish when I miss a day of walking. My attitude is off and I don’t have the same clarity at the start of my day. I feel lazy, and don’t have the same focus in my work. One day I will allow myself falling off the bandwagon (I’m human after all) and obviously when not well, but most of the time the benefits of my walk far outweigh the occasional day of apathy.
Q. What does walking mean to you?
A. Getting into nature and being surrounded by supreme beauty helps me understand that we are so small in the scheme of things. It gives me a perspective I can’t find doing anything else. It is empowering to understand the world and everything in it does not revolve around you. As a physical exercise there is no better; you need nothing special and it requires of you simply to place one foot in front of the other. It’s availability to all is simple and pure!
Q. What advice would you give to women who know they should be walking but aren’t--yet?
A. Definitely the mental health benefits are worth talking about. If more women walked, the reduction in stress, anxiety and depression levels would be noticeable. To any woman who suffers from any of the above, I would love to say please walk every day for one week and see and feel the changes within yourself. It is enough to keep you going back for more.
Make walking easy for yourself. Go somewhere close by, local parks, the beach, your neighborhood, anywhere you can get to quickly and easily, so you can incorporate walking into your everyday routine. If something is easy for you to do, you will choose to do it more readily, and then it becomes habit!
Being in nature involves all of your senses, it allows you to feel grateful in every moment, and alive! It has a way of wrapping you in its arms and carrying you forward with joy! It sets you up for the day and is possible for everyone. Fight your excuses and reap the benefits of walking. You’ll be so glad you did!
Karen, thank you so much for sharing your walking story with us, you’re an absolute inspiration!
Karen Bacon is a Certified Life Coach, Spiritual Rutbuster, Writer, Speaker, and member of One Million Women Walking. She lives in Palm Beach, a suburb of beautiful Queensland, Australia.
Prior to becoming a life coach, Karen was a partner in a six figure, all-female trade service business in the construction industry. She was also a wife and mum, with a family she loved very much! Despite her successful career and beloved family, she always knew she was meant to be doing something else, something that fulfilled her and gave her meaning and purpose. Karen found it by looking within! Now she helps other women find their life calling, “Finding their Mojo”, so they too can live and work feeling fulfilled, happy and successful. As Karen says, “Life Coaching from the inside out”! Learn more about Karen and her work at Karen Bacon, Rutbuster Coach.