All over the world, people are facing these challenging times in different ways. In our EverWalk Nation, we are walking through it. Together.
Some of us are in lockdown, some in shelter in place, others stay at home. But we are all respecting that we have been asked to stay in as much as possible. And when we do get out for a walk, we always avoid crowded places, and keep at least six feet distance from others.
This blog is a two-part glimpse at how our EverWalk Nation is finding our way through this global crisis.
Part One of this two-part blog shares where our EverWalkers are —and what they’re doing when they’re not walking.
Part Two will be all about walking and the huge positivity and hope that our EverWalk Nation continues to exude and share no matter what.
(EverWalk Ambassador Resources Maven Laura Petersen with her next-door neighbor, Doris. They had been having trouble finding time to walk together, but one silver lining of the current situation is that people are more available now ❤️)
Who and Where We Are
Twenty-four EverWalkers contributed to this blog from all over the United States: New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Houston & Austin, the Washington DC area, Maryland, three Ohioans, Reno NV, four Californians, two from the Seattle/Tacoma area. And three in more rural locations in Western Massachusetts, Missouri and Western North Carolina.
Of those, about half are working from home, and two have unfortunately become unemployed due to the crisis. One has a small business that is still open. And two are essential workers.
Of this group, the majority are with other people as they ride out this storm. But seven are alone.
Although most are still out walking every day, when they can’t get out and walk, most are doing yoga, stretches, weights, and trying to walk around their houses or apartments more and more.
As more countries have gone into lockdown and more major cities have asked people not to walk at all, we’ve had to find new ways to “walk”.
But EverWalkers always try to walk — inside and out.
Heather Buyers in Westchester Country NY is a huge fan of a program called Walk at Home, which is indoor-based low-impact aerobics based on walking. She’s a certified master instructor and it has proved hugely beneficial to her! Especially now.
When Lisa Joy Phillips can’t walk because or rain or restrictions, she walks in her house and tries to get in 20-30 extra flights of stairs in. She says, “ It’s a great opportunity to listen to podcast too!”
But we can’t help but wonder if she drops pennies all over her house so that she feels like her indoor walks have a purpose! (For those of you who don’t know, Lisa is our EverWalk coin collector par excellence. She rakes in big bucks on almost every walk she takes through the streets of Philadelphia!)
But quite a few have also taken the rainy days and restrictions as an excuse to relax. Because as all EverWalkers know, sometimes we just have to give it a rest. So we can go out again another day!
What We Do When We Can’t Walk
As anyone who has been on an EverWalk event or visited our group Facebook page knows, we are a very interesting and interested group. We are travelers, readers, seekers, and learners. And that’s just in our free time. So when we can’t walk, we find something interesting to do.
Jigsaw puzzles seem to be very popular — which is a trend all over the world. So much so that jigsaw companies are having to hire to keep up with demand! So there’s some good news for you! Zoom or FaceTime meals with friends, family and co-workers are a lifesaver as well, especially for those how are staying home alone. As is reaching out by phone to friends far and near. Podcasts are also very popular with our group. So if you’ve been wanting to get into podcasts, but haven’t gotten around to it, you might try asking EverWalkers on our group page for suggestions. You’ll probably have enough to listen to for years!
EverWalkers are full of great suggestions for folks who have run out of things to keep them busy. Here are some of their ideas — ranging from the pragmatic to the more esoteric.
Beth Brooks from Austin is on a mission. She suggests: Clean one closet or drawer a day. If you haven’t done your taxes, do them now. Clean out those paper files you’ve had for years. Purging our clutter is healthy for the mind and space!
On the other end of the spectrum is Red DeBord from Akron, who says: “I ordered some carving tools from Amazon to try my hand at carving avocado seeds. Now I just need to get avocados!”
Speaking of food, many are trying out new recipes and baking up a storm. Others are gardening. And those that have gardens seem to feel that working with the soil and being outside weeding and seeding is a huge gift right now.
Quite a few people have undertaken projects. Karen Osit from Westchester County NY suggests that you digitize your photos. She’s been having fun going down Memory Lane and sharing the pics with her grandkids in Colorado. Heather Brady from New Jersey suggest: “Use the good craft supplies you’ve been saving for a special occasion!” Sabra Kurth in Maryland is cleaning out her daughter’s bedroom to become her office.
Many people are focusing on spiritual practices such as meditation and prayer and heart-centered practices like gratitude and counting your blessings. Ken Steinman in Tacoma adds in Tai Chi to his daily practice of walking and meditation.
Entertainment options are huge: Virtual museum tours, music is sweeping the Internet these days in glorious ways, sweet and silly YouTube animal videos, catching up on streaming, and movies. And reading books — both digital and physical — and joining book clubs. (Speaking of which, stay tuned for some fun news from Diana on this front very soon. . .)
Nate Spiller, Lisa Joy Phillips and Toria Price are purposely trying to take in less and less news. Rachel Hollander has made it her mission to fill her Facebook feed with only good.
The new and improved EverWalk website has gotten some attention during this time. Particularly popular are the weekly blogs — especially those written by Diana. Diana’s Facebook Live events every weekday are also well attended. And the Facebook Group Page Social Media Scavenger Hunt seems to keep people busy finding photos to share from their walks past and present! The outreach from Diana and Bonnie in videos and newsletters as well as the activities and connection through the Facebook Group page have been extremely important to many of our group!
The advent of EverWalk’s new Virtual Walking Program has also been really popular right now. Of those who contributed to this blog, most are participating in one of the challenges: Cuba to Key West, Paris to the Pyrenees to Portugal, or Mindful Movement.
The walks seem to be keeping folks motivated to get out and walk more than they might have, and for those who are walking only alone, they feel connected.
Joan Tierney of Seattle feels that the walks fave her a goal and sparked her to challenge herself. She shares, “It gives me hope when I read Diana’s stories about her experiences and Fortitude. It is keeping me upbeat!”
Quite a few people have been amazed at our UberEverWalkers. Especially the unbeatable Peggy Paul. Even on a day when a normal walker feels like they have done themself proud, they will never ever match Peggy Paul. Most of us believe that Peggy never sleeps! She says that she just walks in the early mornings. How early, we want to know?
Laura Petersen of Culver City says, “Even though I don’t consider myself to be a competitive person, I think it’s fun to see where I am in the standings. For example, for about one second on one day, I was ahead of Peggy Paul, so that’s a feather in my cap. LOL!”
Thank goodness Peggy finds the virtual walk challenges “lots of fun. Very well crafted milestones and good sense of camaraderie.” Because she is the lone figure in the distance who one day we all aspire to reach!
But. . . at the end of the day . . . we are EverWalkers!
So despite the fact that we’re puzzling and praying — and Red DeBord actually managed to find an avocado seed and create art — and then more art (see below her brilliant museum art recreation ). . .
our next blog will be all about our walks and what walking means to us — and the positive thoughts we want to share with the world. So tune in next week for Part II of this EverWalk Nation blog. . .
Thank you to Peggy Paul, David Ascher, Kiril Kundurzieff, Laura Petersen, Nancy Hanauer, Jade Mortimer, Joan Tierney, Nate Spiller, Lois Ann Porter, Robert Kraml, Heather Brady, Heather Buyers, Karen Osit, Lisa Joy Phillips, Red DeBord, Melissa Grosvenor, Rachel Hollander, Sabra Kurth, Ken Steinman, Sally Mistretta, Bonnie Schulman, Bill Wulff, and Sally Mistretta for contributing to this blog. If you’d like to be in Part Two, it’s not too late. You can take our survey here: bit.ly/EWSurveySD