Deborah Baker

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Always Surprised on the Walk

Friday 16th Oct
Where else would I see a small brown squirrel scurrying across the dirt road in front of me?  

Where else would I see a flock of seagulls hunkered down in an empty farmer's field, and who would just barely take flight to widen the distance between them and me?  

Where else would I be slightly startled by a flapping female peasant as she, too, took flight  seeking safer ground from the creature coming upon her?

Where else?  No where else but where I am walking this morning.  It's a bright cloudless day, and warm enough for just a jacket.  Windy has blown just enough of herself to make the exercise comfortable.

Man! I feel so good afterwards.  I feel better about myself.  I feel like I can conquer whatever I am faced with today.  I feel like I am complete after a good walk.

It starts my day.  It starts me.  It gives me new perspective and renewed hope in being me.  I am so glad I walk.  

I am so very glad that I have walked with a definite purpose these last four weeks.  Strides for Obesity is worthy of our support.  I am glad I could walk in their name.

No where else but here in this moment are we given the opportunities that open before us.  Take hold of right now, and give it all you've got.  It's worth the walk.

Let's take the chance.

Let's keep walking.


Wish Upon a Life

Thursday 1st Oct
Well, what a glorious morning for a walk, and no jacket! I stayed true to myself this morning.  I walked 5.63 km.  That's as close to 5 km that I got.

As usual, the walk was wonderful.  The birds, the fields, the tractors in the fields.  It's harvest time and the corn is coming off.  

I ran about 750 meters.  I did it in two parts.  The first was a quarter km and the second was half km.  I like running but I am in no shape for anything serious. I find it exhilarating and in it, I am freer than ever.  I feel lighter and relaxed.  I wish I have is to be able to run a 5 km in some official race for some good cause.  I am far from achieving that goal presently.  It's just a wish right now.

I am glad that wishes are sometimes born out of necessity.  I had to do something eight years ago.  I decided at the bus stop while waiting with my child, that I would walk as soon as the bus rolled away.  And walk I did.  I haven't stopped. 

I am so glad that I took those first step in those first days that turned into weeks and months and now eight years later.  Wishes do come true.  I'm glad this one did.

Liar, Liar, Shoes on Fire

Monday 28th Sep
I lie! I lie! I lie!  I meant to walk about 5 km today.  Five if I was lucky.  Other commitments pulled me away from my usual morning walk.  I was tired. It was hot and sunny and windy, and did I say hot?  

The walk was wonderful as usual except I was battling fatigue and then more fatigue from the heat.  It's  27 degrees Celsius today.  Today Monday THE 28 September 2020 in my part of Nova Scotia.  I slugged through it.  I was determined after all.  So what if my steps were slower.  So what if I stopped a couple of times to get rested and for the tractors pulling the liquid manure.  So what.  It doesn't matter.

I got out into the wonders of Mother Nature.  I worked my body, my mind and my soul. I enjoyed it after all just as I usually do.

It's just that I think I'm an addict.  I'm an addict to the walk.  Send me on a walk, and I will find a way to stretch it even more.  But no matter the distance, a walk is a walk regardless.  So, get out there, and walk.

Walking = Bliss = Joy

Friday 25th Sep
No wind.  Little puffs of white in the sky; mostly blue skies. No sounds; only the occasional cawing of a crow and crickets at the fifth kilometer of the walk.  Total solitude.  Alone with mother nature.  Peaceful.  Beautiful. 

I lied to myself again.  I said I'd only walk 5 km if I were lucky.  Instead I went 100 meters more than I did yesterday.  My legs were sore from yesterday, and I thought I would take it easy.  When I started, I fully intended to keep it short; to get a break.  The call of the walk beckoned me, and I kept going.  It feels so good in so many other ways.  I'll stand the soreness in my limbs for the joy of the walk.

It is so worth it.

Walking, the Best Medicine

Thursday 24th Sep
Mornings are the best time for me and walking; the earlier the better.  I have seen deer on the dyke at 6:45 am and one morning I watched a lone coyote stare at me as I walked closer and closer to him.  I was wondering where his people were because at the time I thought he was a dog.  He disappeared as quietly and as quickly as he appeared. I have listened to the wind and felt the rain on my face.  I have walked under the warming sun, and made my way through snow and sleet.  Nothing is more invigorating than being whipped with snow pellets as you try to finish your walk in a timely fashion.

I realize that it's my time for me.  I take in the sights and sounds and sometimes the smells.  After all, I am walking through farm land. I can't forgot the beautiful views I have seen throughout the years.  Most of the time it is the same area, but everyday the view is different in some way, shape or form.

 I am master of my route.  I decide how long I will be out there, and which way I will go.  It's wonderful.  No competition.  No timelines written in stone.  No commitments except to enjoy the journey I have taken myself on this morning.  I have come to realize in the eight years of walking that in fact walking is the best medicine.

I enjoy it.  You will, too.

Rainy Day Happiness

Tuesday 22nd Sep
Riding.  That word is fairly generic until you think about what you are riding.  A bicycle? A mopad?  A four wheeler?  What exactly? 

 I am riding a horse these days.  My filly is a sweet natured Fjiord named Stella.  She knows the routine, and she allows me to learn at my own speed.  She is so good to me.  I have learned to keep my balance in the saddle.  I have learned to turn her left or right with both reins and my legs.  I am learning to post, and to stand in the stirrups.  She is so patient with me.  My greatest challenge, and I think it is because I am so stiff at the end of the hour, is getting off the horse by raising my leg behind me.   I have a renewed sense of respect for both horse and those I've watched taking their lessons during these past few years.

Horse back riding is possible for anyone.  I have watched three youth with different challenges take therapeutic riding.  I thank them for making it look so easy.  It gave an ole gal like me the inspiration to try my hand at it.  My hat goes off to them as they have faced the same sorts of things I face each time I am in the saddle.  

I am very grateful for the opportunity to learn the basics of horse back riding.  I am grateful that we have stables nearby that are inclusive and that provide lessons for anyone.  

I am happy with the progress I have made in these last few weeks.  It has been life changing one step at a time in the saddle.

Who Would Ever Believe....

Saturday 19th Sep
Who would ever believe that I can do a short walk of 2 km and never go on a busy highway or even a semi-busy country road.  Nowhere else have I been able to do a walk like today that took in the periphery of at least two farm fields, and a multi-million dollar view.  It was beautiful! No where else (I am sure) would one have to watch out for the tractor and the manure spreader in the next field spreading that wonderful stuff that makes the crops grow.  Did you know each manure has its own unique scent.  Today it was the liquid black gold - cow manure.  It spreads like water being sprayed from the back of the tractor.  It covers quite a bit of land and it provides an aroma you don't soon forget.  Where else can you walk and admire the sheep in the front field of a big farm house.  Where else would you walk through a barn yard, and around empty hay wagons and other equipment.  Only in the Valley; or, places like it.  The best part of the walk is that my child came with me so that she could complete her strides for obesity walk.  It's wonderful to walk with someone you love.  It's always great to get outside and let Mother Nature have her way with you.

Celebrating 8 Years

Friday 18th Sep
Today I celebrate 8 years of making walking a lifetime habit. In celebration, I set a goal of 10 km, and accomplished it by doing 12.10.  It is exhilarating and life changing.  This morning I saw hundreds of seagulls on a farm field.  It had been prepared for the winter.  As I continued my walk, I counted ten eagles with an eleventh one flying to them in another farm field.  The skies are grey today.  A storm is brewing and they know it.  Walking on the dyke provides me with silence, solitude, and mother nature's many different sounds.  I enjoy the wind on me and the singing of the birds as I pass through.  When I had to walk on the public road, motorists were kind enough to give me a little space.  After all, country roads are not always conducive to walking.  So, here I am eight years into my life with walking very much part of who I am and what I do.  I love walking!!  It is revives the soul and refreshes the spirit.  I am glad I can do it.

First Day! Lovin' to Walk!

Thursday 17th Sep
I walked a total of 7.58 km in 1 hour 34 minutes.  It was a beautiful morning to take this walk.  It's always so refreshing and peaceful.  There's always a variety of things to see like a caterpillar crossing the road, the first bunch of maple leaves already turned red, an artist painting a picturesque scene from the viewpoint, farmers combining corn and preparing the land for winter, and other walkers. 

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Deborah Baker

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