By Amy Tittle
My mornings started with walking everyday for 20 minutes before the regular breakfast and school routines began with the family. My motive in the beginning was to relax by a little cardio in the great outdoors. Walking outside, Mississippi does frequently have its perks. My morning sightings em-braced fields of whimsical purple wildflowers, several wild rabbits and one particular shy brown fox.
Notice I did not mention the incredible, calf wrenching hills; they are very undesirable and currently my nemesis. Despite these hills, I quickly began loving my morning walks and looking forward to them. A couple weeks later I found myself setting realistic goals with my mileage and time and easily obtaining a few of the goals I had set with my walking. After gaining confidence and some type of endurance I decided to enter the 2013 BorgWarner Crappie two-mile walk. After signing up online officially, I decided to collaborate a detailed training routine that I was very serious and consistent with so I would be properly ready for the race.
Three weeks into my very pleasant routine, my four year old, who I refer to as “Dennis the Menace” or “Peanut,” fell during a very intense light saber fencing match with my ten year old son, “Huck.” As I examined his busted lip severed by the sharp corner of our TV console, I imagined then I would have to hit the pause button on my daily outdoor escape of walking until his recovery. Days later, after a trip to the dentist and the treasure chest, his sore lip and top gum slowly started to heal.
Several days later my swollen-lipped four year old decided to imitate curious George by stepping on a nail to see what it would feel like. Again my walking routine was shifted further into the shadows unknowing when I would be able to return to my peaceful routine. After a very sporadic appointment with one of the local docs, a tetanus shot and sticker for bravery, I anticipated that I could hopefully, fingers crossed, resume my normal training schedule.
A week or two later, I was finally able to get back into the swing of my training and be ready for the two-mile walk. Besides a few scrapped up knees and normal daily bumps and bruises on my little ones, I seemed to be clear of most monkey wrenches flying my way. I began to see a clear view of hope for victory in the race.
I was definitely not the fastest or most conditioned one in the walk but I did finish seventh over all and second in my age and gender. The festival was a great way to celebrate my first race. This town knows festivals and my family and I relished every moment from the great live music to the talented local vendors.
Almost four months later I managed to build my endurance up to five and half miles in an hour walking around 5 miles per hour. This outdoor escapade is no longer just a stress relief but is now a fun challenging competitive sport. Its fun and helps me stay healthy, strong and energetic for my family of five.
Looking forward to the race in this year’s Watermelon festival. And, yes, I am already training, despite all the monkeys and wrenches I will have to hurdle in the process.