Everyday I head out for a walk. Getting my steps in on my fitbit, as I’ve mentioned before I do well when motivated and the fitbit badges keep me going. I just got the Japan badge, woo hoo! That’s just over 3,000km.

It’s pretty easy to head out for a walk when the reservoir is so close, it makes for a beautiful walk and I love the nod other people out exercising give each other. It’s like silent encouragement, a subtle thumbs up. The weather has been unseasonably warm and still no sign of snow, this I can live with while I wander along and think about my next move.



Last year I bought a fitbit to track my steps and then made a New Year’s resolution this year to do 10,000 steps a day. So far I have kept that resolution except for one day when I was feeling under the weather but I made the steps up the next day.

Still not a habit I want to get into, the goal is to do a minimum of 10,00 steps a day and if I do more GREAT! Otherwise I could see myself getting lazy and trying to make up all 70,000 steps for the week in one day, which would take about nine or ten hours of constant walking.

It’s been pretty easy, the winter has been mild so weather hasn’t been a factor but even on cold days I just head to the mall and wander around until the 10,000 steps are done. Once I’ve done them I always feel so much better for having gotten off my ass to do something.

Walking is also my favourite time to think. If I have a problem or am working out a plan of action I find walking helps me straighten things out, brings me clarity, often brings me insight into a situation once I’ve taken the time to relax and mull over whatever problem I’m trying to sort out. It calms me down and the fresh air always makes me feel better.

I also like walking because I don’t need any special gear, I just throw on my hikers or in the summer my sandals and head out the door. For 10,000 steps you need comfy shoes but not anything heavy duty. If I’m planning on 20,000 steps or more then I find socks, correct support and such becomes much more of a factor.

Walking is also nice because I can take a cup of tea or pick up a coffee to drink while I walk. In the summer it’s nice to walk and feel the sun and I’m looking forward to the weather warming up when I can go farther distances and make an afternoon of it. Taking my camera along to document the world around me. After Kingsley (my basset hound who passed away last October) passed away I wasn’t making the effort to get out and walk. With him around I had to get up and get out because he required, demanded, that we go out.

There was once a quote that said “Walk the dog everyday, even if you don’t have one”.

Or something like that, I’ve probably butchered the original quote, my apologies….

I’ll buy into that, walking does your mind and body good. If you’re like me and work well with validation try getting a pedometer like a fitbit, since I’ve gotten it I haven’t needed to search for the motivation and the thought of missing a day of statistics on my tracker causes me anxiety. Seeing how far I’ve walked and collecting the badges keeps me motivated.

Whatever works for you get up and get out there. Happy walking everyone!

10,000 Steps A Day

Rainbow Nanimo

Just before I left for Nanaimo back in July I bought myself a fitbit, a little step tracker that simply counts the number of steps you do in a day and uploads them to your computer. It’s a very easy, lazy way to keep track of how many steps you do.

In the summer and especially in a place as beautiful as Nanaimo, it was easy to get in 10,000 or more steps a day. When you can see a beautiful rainbow and walk along the waterfront it’s easy to get out.

Now I’m back in Calgary and the last few days have been snowy and cold. The good news is that I live close to a mall so I can go and walk in circles until I have my steps for the day done but it doesn’t make for a very entertaining walk. Suddenly those 10,000 steps seem more like a chore. Also it might be bad for the bank account, walking by all those sales.

When the weather is better it’s a great motivator to get out and enjoy the fresh air. It also goes well with my other hobby, photography. Armed with camera and fitbit I spent many lovely afternoons wandering around Nanaimo. When the weather improves here I’ll do the same here, I’ll miss the rainbows and sea walk but Calgary has a lot of great walks as well.

I made a New Year’s resolution to walk 10,000 steps a day. Now I’m wishing I was back in the land of rainbows when I made that resolution. The weather is suppose to warm up later this week and then I’ll be back outside where I find it much easier and much more enjoyable to get the steps done. Many of my long term goals involve hiking and in the big picture the 10,000 steps is nothing compared to what I will need to be able to do for the South West Coast Path or many of the hikes through out Europe. It’s a start though and one I plan to keep up.

If you don’t have one and want an easy way to motivate yourself, I love the fitbit. I find it motivates me to get off my ass and also to push myself to walk more. I just have the simple one that counts steps but there are also ones that track stairs and also your sleep patterns. The online support allows you to track your food and weight as well. I’ve been ever so pleased the little gadget and am curious to see how many steps/kilometres I do over the next twelve months!

In the six months I’ve had the fitbit I’ve tracked just over 900km’s and the fitbit rewards you with badges for the distances you walk. Daily badges for steps in 5,000 step intervals and also distance achievement badges, I just got one for 804km the Serengeti badge, next one is for 1,184 km and I find the badges to be a great motivator as well.

Anybody else have a fitbit? You can also connect with friends and walking groups on the fitbit site to provide even more motivation.



Yesterday I was walking along and was a little lost.

It happens to me a lot, I have the worst sense of direction and that coupled with often thinking that I know where I’m going I get a little off track occasionally. I was walking to a friends house and thought I knew the way. If I just kept Departure Bay in sight and kept walking in the right direction surely I would arrive where I needed to be.

I had printed off a map and the route was an easy one but I thought that it would be nicer to walk through the neighbourhoods instead of up the dusty busy road. At one point I ended up along the beach, which worked out and then had to cut back up into a neighbourhood. Suddenly I had no idea which way was which.

It was as I stood pondering which way to go that I came across the little bunny in the above photo. We had a lovely conversation, I took a picture and then the bunny was on his way. He seemed to know where he was going. Do bunnies ever get lost?

I eventually pulled out my phone to get back on track. Not as off course as I thought I was. Thank goodness for google maps as I was wrong in my estimation of which way I should go. For such a small place Nanaimo is surprisingly easy to get lost in. The roads sometimes change names, the roads curve and turn until you’re not quite sure what direction you are now heading. Sometimes though you find a surprise, I’ve found a candy store, a book store, a lovely park and now a bunny by taking the wrong way. Sometimes lost works out.

By the time I got back out to the road I caught the bus the rest of the way as I was running late. Getting lost is always best to do when you have lots of time.

Pipers Lagoon Hiking


After swimming at Pipers Lagoon I want for a walk.

Walking towards the end of the beach there is an area that has trails that lead to all sorts of beautiful views. It really is a wonderful place. The trails are all short and easy to follow. There is also a calmer bay on the one side that when the tide is in is a perfect place to swim in calm waters. While the tide is out you can walk across the whole bay or even see a deer:


Otherwise stick to the paths and discover lots of scenic lookout locations:

IMG_0083 IMG_0091 IMG_0089 IMG_0092 IMG_0088 IMG_0093

New Black Boots!

New Black Boots

Yesterday I wrote about the demise of my favourite black boots that had taken me everywhere. It was like the end of a relationship and looking for new boots I realized I wasn’t really ready to move on. None that I looked at seemed right. Too shiny, didn’t like the buckle, the sole didn’t look sturdy enough, the heel was wrong, the leather wasn’t right, they weren’t lined, they had too much lining. Plowing through the stores I dismissed one pair after another to the chagrin of the sales lady. Who kept looking at me like I was a looney, after all I was the one who had declared that I NEEDED a pair of boots NOW.

This was true, I did need a pair but I needed the right pair. Boots are not cheap and didn’t want to replace a pair of “I guess they’ll do” boots.

She pointed out one lovely pair after another but many knee high black boots are not made for walking long distances, they are made for show. To look nice, to get you from car to office or for strolling through the mall or whatever people do in pretty black boots. Or you can get the really beautifully made ones like Frye but they aren’t lined and the soles are terrible on ice. I wanted a really pretty pair of functional boots, they are hard to find.

Then I saw the new ones, at first I wasn’t sure. Did I want the zipper up the side? Would they go with everything? They were lined. The sole looked like it could handle walking. The leather was soft and not too shiny (shiny dies quickly with the salt on the roads and shows scuffs way more than a matt black pair) and as I kept looking at the others the I knew weren’t right I warmed up to them. Okay I’ll give them a try.

The wonderfully patient sales lady at Arnold Churgin’s went to get my size but they didn’t have my size which is 7.5, they don’t come in half sizes. Okay so she brought me a 7 and an 8, it was worth a shot.

I tried the 8 on first, I could only try the right one on because with the zipper broken on my old boots if I took that boot off I would HAVE to buy a pair of boots because I wouldn’t be able to get the zipper done up again. The sales lady was really nice and understanding. I liked her. The 8 fit perfectly. I was wearing thin socks and they were comfortable but there was easily room for a thicker sock for colder days. If wearing boots in the cold you must be able to wiggle your toes or they will freeze. The calf fit no problem, zipped right up! I once had a problem with boots that when zipped up were so tight my feet would fall asleep, they looked really good but I couldn’t wear them for long periods of time and they never broke in as the sales person had promised. I tried, oh boy how I tried to break those boots in. Now my boots or shoes must fit from the moment I buy them, I’m not falling for the “they’ll stretch” or “they’ll soften up and give” arguments. In my experience this is generally not true.

Although I do have some beautiful bottle green penny loafers that while comfortable with socks took a while to break in enough to wear them without socks but they were still comfortable with socks when I bought them and they were BOTTLE GREEN PENNY LOAFERS!!!!!!!!!!

I still love those shoes so much and the leather did soften, conform to my feet and now I can wear them with or without socks. The girl who sold me those had a pair on and told me it took her a month of wearing them with socks before she could wear them without and I would say that was about right.

Anyway back to the boots, they fit they had a bit of bounce when walking, didn’t slip at the heel and looked pretty great. The zipper blended in, instead of standing out.

I said I thought they were the ones and asked if I could return them for a different size if when I got home the other one didn’t fit but I was pretty sure they would be fine. The sales lady made me try the 7 on just to see how it fit.

Terrible, it was tight across my foot, the arch hit at the wrong place and the calf was so tight I didn’t think I would be able to get a pair of jeans tucked into them. I’d been down that road before so they were a definite no.

When trying on shoes or boots in my experience you know right away if they are right. Trust your instincts and don’t listen to the sales person trying to make a sale. They may look great but if they aren’t comfortable you won’t wear them, it’s not worth it.

When I got my new boots home I tried both on, after cutting the zipper on my old ones so I could take the left boot off. So sad, good-bye old boots.

I tried the new ones on with the dress I had worn to work, perfect. I tried them with jeans and they zipped up no problem! They even had enough room so that I didn’t get the balloon effect where the jeans bunch out over the boot, again perfect. I put the jeans over the boot and liked the way that looked, although knowing me I’ll always tuck them in. I tried them on with thick socks and again, perfect. Then I sprayed them with protector and put boot wax on, a clear wax that protects them way better than the spray against the salty, snowy roads and keeps the leather soft.

While I am still sad that I had to say good-bye to my old favourite stomping boots, I am warming up to the new pair.

Tomorrow morning I will head off to work to try them out for the long haul for the first time, 5km at seven in the morning.

It is what I hope will be the start of another beautiful relationship and I wonder where these ones will take me.

No Stop! Or Are People Still Playing Death Race 2000?

No StopThat seemed to be the theme tonight as I walked home from work.

We had the looking for cars coming and not seeing the pedestrian guy, who seemed to get  mad after I clapped and made him notice me. Umm I have the right of way and I walk quickly, so I get to go first. Clapping is a habit I picked up years ago after almost being hit by a car turning, I figure it’s more polite than an air horn but I might ask for one for Christmas. HONK, HONK ……. HEY I’M HERE! Then I would also have to learn how to do a fancy shuffle across the street, if you’re going to be loud might as well do it with style. Maybe a little tap dance across with big arms flailing, then I could blow them a kiss.

Then we had let’s run the yellow light, oh nope we’ll stop, nope we’ll speed up again and go for it now that the light is RED and the pedestrian has stepped out. If you’re going to run the yellow, run the yellow, trying to decipher what an undecided driver is going to do is frustrating and potentially life threatening. If you want to be confused and indecisive do so at the Starbucks and annoy the people there.

Then we have lets swing across a lane of traffic with barely enough time to not get hit by a car coming in the other direction and almost hit the pedestrian that is crossing the road. This one was probably one of the closest calls I’ve ever had. They hadn’t signalled, were not stopped to turn, they just swung across the lanes to turn left. They had been watching the cars coming in the opposite direction and hadn’t noticed me. If I hadn’t jumped back out of the way, the car would have hit me. She squealed to a stop just past me, then did the stupid smile and shoulder shrug while mouthing sorry. How sorry would you have been if you hit me? Do people know how stupid the smile, shrug looks to a pedestrian that you almost hit. Yeah that will usually get you a one finger wave and an avalanche of profanity that would make a sailor blush.

Most days it’s not this bad, today just seemed like it was a competition to get to where they were going as fast as possible and not look at who or what else was around. I even have a blinking light that hangs off my backpack to make me more visible, I try to pay attention and try to be courteous to drivers.

When out driving especially in winter conditions, please pay attention to not hitting the pedestrian, try not to hit the slush puddle and spray the pedestrian, don’t get mad at a pedestrian who you perceive to be in your way because they are crossing when you want to turn. OMG the NERVE of some pedestrians. Don’t pretend you’re participating in Death Race 2000. Watching the movie I laughed, yes what I find funny is occasionally questionable but in real life I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be funny for anybody involved.

Becoming Obsessed…..

Sidmouth South West Coast Path

The above is a picture of Sidmouth it is where my Mom is from. It was my Grandparents favourite place. It is one of the stops along the South West Coast Path.
I mentioned the path before, 630 miles, it starts in Minehead and ends in Poole. Passing through a lot of my families history.

Wanting to do a trip that would cleanse my brain, restart my ambitions this is the trip I want to do. It would take fifty-two days to complete and since I got the idea in my head I can’t stop thinking about it. I keep making lists for the trip, what to pack, lists of B&B’s I could stay at. Working on a budget, trying to figure out how to take two months off.

I could always do the path in segments over time. Or if I can only do a few weeks I could do the Jurassic Coast portion which includes Sidmouth, perhaps not as ambitious but I think would still get me the clear head I’m looking for. Also it would be much more affordable, fifty two nights in B&B’s starts to add up.

Whether I do all of it or just part it’s an adventure I’m going to do. Perhaps for my birthday next year, two weeks of walking alone connecting to my families history.

In the meantime I need to remember I have other things to accomplish now but it’s so easy to get distracted by a goal that feels so right.