I’ve done lots of walking/hiking over the decades, though in all likelihood not as much as during the past nine years. I had open-heart surgery back in 2009, and subsequently, over time, I realized that I was “Walking Scared,” as I called it. I guess that’s not hard to understand.

Up until two years ago I never kept track of how far I walked, even though I knew the number of miles on any given day. Then, at the start of 2017, I decided it might be fun to set a goal for the year and keep a record of every walk. And so, the WALKING DUDE was born. Guessing that I could easily walk fifty miles in a month, I set a goal of 600 miles for the year. I wound up hitting that number in mid-August! And for all of 2017, I came a few miles short of 900! Goal accomplished, and then some.

Since then I’ve been putting my monthly updates on Facebook, and the encouragement from folks has been awesome. It continued throughout all this past year, when I set a goal of 750 miles and surpassed that number early in November. I’ll continue to post updates right up to New Year’s Eve.

And then, the WALKING DUDE is going to retire.

Say what?! No, not that kind of retirement. I’ve been enjoying that for a few years now. And I’m not going to stop walking, not ever. But I’m no longer “Walking Scared,” and I don’t feel the need to set any more goals. I’d rather just enjoy the walks. Being of an, uh, advanced age, I’ve taken walks with arthritis troubling one knee or the other, one foot or the other, and I sure as heck don’t want any of that to get worse. So, goodbye WALKING DUDE, hello leisurely walks. And again, thanks for all the encouragement, and especially for saying that I’ve been an inspiration.


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