The first walk was hard. There was snow on the ground, my boots weren’t insulated, I wasn’t sure how far we had gone, and my nose was running (which was more than I could say for the rest of me). The second walk was a little better; I had better boots, a Fitbit, and a bottle of water. The first walk was made with uneasy chatter, as my almost-friend and I tried to come up with something to talk about. The second walk was filled with free discussion about nonsense and perhaps a little gossip about people that we both knew. By the end of the first week we had gone walking three times, and I considered her a friend.
The first walk was hard. The cold air stung my lungs and I imagined that I could taste blood every time that I exhaled. My legs burned, and I had to force myself to speak normally so that my almost-friend wouldn’t see that I was so terribly out of shape. By the end of the month I was able to draw in deep lungfuls of air, but I didn’t really need to do so. We started going further in our walks…our original path wasn’t as challenging as it had once been.
By the time summer rolled around, we had doubled our walking distance and halved our time. We no longer rewarded ourselves with Burger King and soda when we were finished with our walk, but rather sat on the porch and snacked on fruit and filled up on water. The thought of wasting all of that work on a single doughnut was unbearable, and we started choosing a salad instead of a burger. I felt good. The pounds weren’t falling off like I had envisioned, but my energy level was unbelievable, and my confidence was growing constantly.
The last walk was the hardest. My walking partner was moving…far, far away. Our almost-friendship had deepened, and she was now my best friend. Over the 14 months that we had walked together, we had shared more laughs and tears than I would have thought imaginable. At the end of the walk, we hugged, and I bid her goodbye.
The first walk was hard. It was hot, and I finished my water by the time we made it back to the cars. My new co-worker hadn’t been with me from the beginning, so we halved our distance and doubled our time. I didn’t mind though. The slower pace made it much easier to get to know her.