I was born on Father’s Day, and it added to the special connection I felt with Papa. I enjoyed baking special treats for Papa and delivering them to him on Father’s Day morning. Then, I’d join Papa for a walk. Papa walked about 2-3 miles each day. He was ahead of his time in recognizing the benefits of physical activity and made exercise a daily routine. I recall Papa telling me that, “Being healthy and staying in shape is an advantage in life and in business. To stay in shape, you gotta exercise every day.”
While I took many of Papa’s pearls to heart, his habit of daily exercise has been the most difficult for me to emulate. I marvel at the discipline Papa had to get outside and go for a walk every single day. I use excuses like, “I’m too busy to exercise regularly.” Really? Papa had an incredibly busy schedule, but he made time for exercise. The truth is, you can make time for anything if you think it’s important enough.
My haphazard efforts at regular exercise over the years have been frustrating. Committing to an intensive exercise program or going to a gym seem impossible to work into my schedule, and I’m not sure I’d have the stamina for it right now. But there’s nothing easier than going for a simple walk. Papa showed me that by inviting me to take a walk with him almost every time I saw him in my adult life. It was invigorating. It made me feel good to get outside, soak up some sunshine (or rain), observe nature, see the seasonal changes in the neighborhood where we walked, and enjoy the connection I felt to it all.
While I can’t walk with Papa this Father’s Day, I’ve decided to honor his memory by committing to a full year of walking daily – starting with my first “Papa’s Walk” on Father’s Day, June 16, 2013. My intention is to walk every single day through June 15, 2014. I hope it will become such an enjoyable habit that I won’t want to stop.
I wanted to announce taking this “Papa’s Walk” challenge here, to keep me accountable. I’ll report my progress on this blog and on the Papa’s Pearls Facebook page. Care to join me?
Go for a walk with your Papa on Father’s Day, or go for a walk in honor of the father-figure in your life. If you enjoy it and want to continue, keep me advised of your progress here or on Facebook. Let me know where you walked (neighborhood, park, trail, etc.), the time or distance you walked, and what you enjoyed most about it. Let’s do this!