A walk in the park and other pursuits

Nothing pleases me more than to hear from a reader about a column I wrote that they particularly enjoyed or that struck a chord. It also makes me happy to hear from folks with column ideas, and recently I received such an email. It, in turn, sparked a corresponding chord with me. More about that in a bit.
I received an email from Mr. Jim Green, semi-retired teacher and coach at Britton Middle School and director of the South County Basketball Academy. If the name sounds familiar, it should. I remember “Mr. Green” from the days when my two daughters attended Britton, so I was happy to hear from a reader with strong ties to our South Valley community.
Jim wrote that as an “aging baby boomer” he has “reluctantly” taken to walking for fitness although his preferred pursuits are playing softball or golf, shooting hoops or tubing the Sacramento River, although he admits the tubing goes back to his days at Chico.
A couple of Jim’s walking courses in Morgan Hill include a hilly 2.4-mile stretch from East Dunne/Saddleback to Thomas Grade and back. His other route proceeds down Saddleback with a left on Fountain Oaks, then to Barrett with a right turn to Hill Road and back, also 2.4 miles.
Now I admit that THIS baby boomer (me) is woefully out of walking condition, which is distressing because our valley abounds with beautiful places to walk – or hike if one is committed to more of a challenge. But a recent trip to a mega-mall left me panting – and that’s not because I was excited about the new boots I bought.
That’s the corresponding chord I mentioned. To be living in an area with such an abundance of fantastic places to walk, I recognized that I need to re-motivate myself about getting out more. And I’m not referring to the mall.
So here is Jim’s idea – and perhaps we can view it as a little challenge. Tell me what YOUR favorite walking path is. Starting from any point within your community, choose a route 2.0 to 2.5 miles in length, and then tell me about it. You might describe the walk by indicating scenic or hilly areas – or maybe there are other aspects to your walk you enjoy. At this time of year the changing colors of the leaves are stunning, and some streets are lined with such trees. Heck, you could even bring your camera.
Another great thing about walking is that you can bring along a friend or choose a more Zen-like approach and go for a quiet walk alone.
Therefore, I’m committing to a new walking habit. Fall is a great time to start. Even in winter, our California climate blesses us with mild temperatures while folks in more frigid states are fighting blizzards. Granted, I have a temperamental right ankle, but the beautiful fall colors and changing weather will take my mind off that.
Perhaps we can begin a conversation about our walking pursuits. With that in mind, I began a new Facebook page dedicated to our South Valley walks. You can access this Page by typing “South Valley Walks/Facebook” into the search bar at the top of any Facebook page and selecting it from the dropdown menu that appears. By clicking “Like” on that page, you’ll be able to leave comments and read what others have to say about their walks.
If Facebook isn’t your thing, just email me ([email protected]) and let me know where you like to walk. And if you’re not currently walking but would like to start – I’m especially excited to hear from you.
Age and ability don’t matter – just give it a go. You don’t have to be an “aging baby boomer” like Jim Green and me – even teens benefit from walking! And, since it’s post-election season, I’ll paraphrase President Ronald Reagan: Age isn’t an issue; we’ll not exploit your youth or inexperience.
So look for a follow-up here in a few weeks noting new paths or trails you might enjoy. What do you say, South Valley friends? Are you up for a walk? I’d love to hear from you.

Leave your comments