Tag Archives: walking

A Big Birthday

Some of you may remember a post I did about my mother-in-law, Myrtle, about a year and a half ago telling about her amazing walking achievements. In her 90s, she still walks about three miles a day and does all the  exercise programs available in her retirement home. To read the post, in case you missed it or want to refresh your memory, here is the link:


Today, Myrtle is 96 years old and still going strong. She knows that the secret to staying young is to keep moving.

Here is a photo of her outside her residence door just before Christmas 2017. I think she looks great.

Happy birthday, Myrtle.

96 years young today.





Walk Across Canada

Who would think that a 94-year-old woman could walk across Canada? Not only did she do it, but she’s on her way back.Of course it’s not as if she’s really out there on the Trans-Canada Highway in the elements and the traffic, but she did actually put the miles in, locally.

My mother-in-law, Myrtle, is living in the Berwick independent living retirement home in Comox. Berwick has an excellent recreation program which Myrtle just loves. They offer osteo-exercise classes and strength and balance classes and they encourage the residents to get out walking as much as possible. As we all know, the sedentary lifestyle is not good for our health.

In Berwick’s lobby is a map of Canada where participants’ names are pinned as they clock miles on their regular walks around the Comox neighbourhoods. The goal is to virtually walk across Canada. It is not a race, but an incentive to get out walking, and to have fun.

002a Myrtle loves to walk and always has. For her 94th birthday she got a pedometer so she could know exactly how far she walked each day. When she walked two miles, we told her not to overdo it, but she’s quite stubborn when she sets her mind to something, and the daily distance increased along with our fears that she would keel over one day, as she constantly tried to improve on her personal best. We’ve nagged her to slow down and she insists that she feels fine doing  sometimes five miles a day. We’ve given up now and will have to trust that she knows her own limits.


For the “Walk Across Canada,” everyone starts in Comox, on Vancouver Island. Each day someone on the recreation staff at Berwick calculates the distance each participant has walked and marks their progress on the map. The red arrows show the direction of the walkers. Congratulations to Lorna, Ruth, Marg, and Bill who are almost there, on the east coast. Special congratulations to Myrtle who is already on her way back.


My amazing mother-in-law.





Workout Patterns

Near my house on Vancouver Island I’m lucky enough to have a place to hike any time I want and get an excellent aerobic workout. The walk can be as easy or as strenuous as I want to make it. Down the path to the beach below, I go eagerly (downhill is usually easier than uphill). My goal is the far end of this spit of land where the buildings begin.


A set of stairs is helpful to keep from sliding on the steeper parts.


DSCF0794Puffing away, I look for things, other than the obvious stairs, to count and so kill time. Fence posts going down the length of the stairs make a repeating pattern.

More patterns! Hydro poles that I hadn’t noticed as I walked past them the first few times. Orange poles to support parking barricades add their own short pattern.

DSCF0799On the beach side of the road out to the end of the spit, more patterns – logs planted upright to stop the sand from coming right across the road in storm surges at high tide.


At the end of the road, I turn around. I’m halfway to my goal of burning off that piece of chocolate I ate yesterday and almost deserving of a new piece today. Huffing and puffing, I look for patterns. To my left, under the shadow of the Comox Glacier, sailboat  masts make patterns. Even the hydro wires make a pattern as if they were trimming a banner above and below the scene.


I inhale deeply and feel so fortunate to have a beautiful day. I know wind and rain aplenty will be coming soon.


I don’t even notice the power poles, now that they are neatly lined up almost hiding behind each other.


Almost there! I only need to get up that big hill in front of me. At the foot of the hill, the pattern of stairs is overwhelming and I let out an involuntary GROAN.


I took a few good breaths to gather up courage (and oxygen), dreading having to tackle the stairs.There had to be more steps going up than there were coming down. Sure looked like it, anyway.

Just then a young fellow, maybe in his twenties, raced up the stairs, taking them two at a time, and turned at the top while his friend stood at the bottom, looking at her watch. The young man nearly fell over his own feet as he tried to make them hit some of the steps as he practically flew down them.

I shook my head in amazement. “Why?”

“Aw!” he said, “I bet her I could do it in under a minute.” And the two of them left, arm in arm, laughing at the fun they’d had.

I thought, “Well, I don’t have anyone timing me, but I can certainly make it up there in five or ten minutes.”

I got to the top of the stairs, and only needed to go up one more short path to reach the road to my driveway.

DSCF0812By the time I reached the end of my hike, my heart was trying to leap out of my neck, but I felt so good. I had done it again – earned the right to indulge in some treat if I wanted to replace the fat I’d just burned off – but first, a big drink of water.

*** Please note two things: First, if there is a political message in the ads section of this blog, please remember that I did not put it there. I have no control over the ads placed in my blogs.

Second, please visit my other blog http://annelisplace.wordpress.com to read another adventure of Muck and Finn, two little boys from Saskatchewan in the “olden days.”