Thursday, August 16, 2012

Benefits of a Walking Partner

My NYC sister is in town this week with her three boisterous, fabulous boys.  After a summer of travel and eating disaster, I've been determined to not let this visit derail my plans to get back to raw.  And it hasn't.  She is a willing participant in all things healthy, eating better and exercise being among them.  Each day we begin with a long and rigorous walk along the lakefront, riverfront or park.  My corner of Chicago is a great place to walk, for sure (f'shur! to all you '80s gals out there).

Day 1, Grant Park
During the week, I've suspended my Couch to 5K program because my sister is struggling with her knees.  No problem, I've been there many times before.  So I thought this week of walking would be a synch.  Nope, not at all.  My calves are sore.  My butt is sore.  My hips ache.  Not in a bad, injurious sort of way, but in that healthy, I know my muscles are really working sort of way.

Day 2, Columbia Yacht Club
In the five days that she has been here, we've walked every day.  Today, awaking to the sounds of thunderstorms, I thought would be the one day we would miss it, but we managed to squeak it in between showers.  It was a lovely walk, too.  I love the lakefront on a rainy day, with the grey sky reflected in the water.  So tranquil.  Except for the trucks and golf carts setting up for the "Elvis is Alive 5k".  I'm going to run this next year.  I said it here, so hold me to it.

Day 3, somewhere along the lakefront.
From our daily walking routine, I've enjoyed many benefits.  I see my sister only once a year, so our walks have been a peaceful respite from our temporarily shared household of manic kid activity.  We get to catch up with each other.  Gripe about the world.  Confess our weaknesses.  Support one another.  Share our passions.  Love one another.

Day 4, Chicago River, Lakeshore Drive Bridge
We also get the benefit of the extra endorphins from all that good exercise.  Believe me, we need it to keep up with all these kids.  After we're finished, I've got health on the brain, so I've been whipping up some delicious smoothies for breakfast and I'm geared up for a healthy lunch to keep up the momentum.  And with all this good movement and natural whole food fiber goodness, my bowels have cleansed themselves thoroughly.  Okay, I'm talking poop here, and if you're my age and had a few babies, you know what a great thing it is to start the day with a good poop.  I am definitely lighter on my feet.  Speaking of being lighter, I've released six pounds this week.  Much of that is the product of having started the week being bloated and backed up.  But six pounds lighter sure feels great.

Day 5, Buckingham Fountain
In a nutshell, the benefits of having a walking partner, especially someone you like...
  1. Motivation to get up and out.
  2. Great bonding time.
  3. Emotionally therapeutic.
  4. Increased energy.
  5. Focus on better eating.
  6. Better Poop. 
Day 6, Shedd Aquarium
I do enjoy the meditative solitude of walking on my own, but I will miss having my sister as a walking partner much more.

I love you, sis.


  1. I love this post. As I continue walking every day, I realize I don't have the vast scenery you have, but I do have trees and a lake.

    Keep walking! Love you ; )

  2. Thanks, Thea. Your trees and lake are so beautiful, and tranquil. That I miss by walking the lakefront. And I miss walking with you, a lot. I've kept up the momentum, though, since you've left. We'll both be giving clothes away when we meet next summer!

    I love you, too.

  3. You guys are way too cute !! You inspire me with your walking. It's almost 7:30 pm and I'm going to get my shoes on for a walk after a long day of working.

  4. Way to go. I miss my runs in Prospect Park. There was a day when I'd loop it three times. Wow.

    We've been texting our walking photos to each other for daily inspiration. It's great motivation.

  5. I loved reading this post! I just returned from visiting my little sister in California who is consistently super-healthy (none of this yo-yo stuff that has been MY life), even with a very active 2-year old and a full-time master's degree workload. I know that if we lived closer, she would keep me in check.

    And a big WOO-HOO! on your 6 pound loss! That is awesome!