Keep Walking


“I considered my options
There was only one I knew
There was always only one.

To keep walking.”

from Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed



So simple, yet so profound. Trapped in my royal blue funk, regretting, lamenting, mourning for all the things I can no longer do, I take comfort in the words of a woman who walked the Pacific North Trail solo and chronicled her journey in her best selling memoir Wild.

I can’t ski, skate, bike, play basketball, or pickle ball or any kind of ball game. I can’t hop, skip, or jump. But I can stand tall. Shoulders back, chin up, head high. I can put one foot in front of the other.

Why is that so hard to do? I feel like rigor mortis set in while I sleep. When I wake up each morning, I am caught by surprise. So I roll out of bed, crawl onto my yoga mat, stretch my stiff limbs and marvel.

I am still here.


Each new day is a clean slate. A chance to get it right.

I remember to smile, be kind, offer encouragement. Someone else is in much worse shape, facing far greater trials, struggling to survive in tougher circumstances.

Today I had an epiphany.

I am an athlete. Still. Only now I am training for life.
Though I will never again play my beloved ball games, I can raise my arms, clap my hands, stomp my feet, wiggle my hips, shake my booty. I can still dance.

I inherited the iron will of my ancestors whose footprints I try so hard to emulate in spite of setbacks.

My father and grandfather, good sportsmen, great coaches, dedicated their lives to helping others find their way and offered me stellar examples of resiliency. They remained athletes at heart, determined to stay as active as their bodies would allow until their final hours.

I can still move.

I may be slower, stiffer, clumsier, but I can sit, stand and even roll over like Rover.

I’m lucky to be here!

Right now.


We, human beings, take so much for granted until it’s gone.

Aging can be a losing game. Combined with bad luck, terrible accidents, and bizarre ailments, no one can perceive what challenges await.

Today is our only guarantee.

Seize the moment.

Be brave enough to take another step.

As a child I hated to walk, I would rather run. Walking was too slow, too boring. Now walking saves my soul.

We are all just walking and walking, trying our best to find our way.

To stay the course.

To step forward.

To believe.

Eventually all roads lead to the mountaintop.


Posted in health, inspiration.


  1. Yes, keep walking and keep smiling, Pat! Very encouraging post for all, no matter what their struggles!

    • Thanks Barb and I sure hope that you have totally recovered from surgery and are able to walk painfree again.

  2. Hang in there, Pat! We don’t get to chose everything Life deals us, but in large part, we do get to decide how we’re going to deal with whatever’s thrown at us. Keep moving. Regardless of how boring it might be, regardless of how much pain it might cause. Sitting still, as you so aptly said, only “stoves you up” so you get stiffer. One benefit of having a dog is having to walk it!!

    • Absolutely Debbie. We can’t know what might hit us, but we can control how we handle life’s curve balls. That said, I sure wish I had a dog to walk.

  3. This is so beautiful and inspirational. And I loved that you ended with the mountain. You are so right that it’s all relative.
    (Remembering our friend Kathy Pooler.)

    • Thanks Lynne. Sure wish we lived closer to cheer each other on and yes I often think of dear Kathy when I am walking.

  4. Hi Pat. during my “baller-time” I hated running in practice, now I’m 75 and I still hate walking. But I do it! Your words are inspiring!
    With love your “Oma” Renate

    • Ha Ha ha Yes, move it or lose it, dear Oma. So nice to hear from you. Hope your aches & pains are tolerable & that you can keep stepping out. Lots of love right back at you.

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