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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sport or Fitness (02/15/07)

By Carol Krejci



My retirement came and went without fanfare. Seven days later, on a bright August morning, I celebrated by leaving Ohio and moving with my son and his three children to San Diego, Ca. As we drove across this beautiful land, fantastic vistas filled us with gratitude to the Lord for the blessed freedom of living in a country without barriers; one where we are free to travel from one state to another without question and to settle in the location of our choice.

Helping unpack the U-Haul truck and moving into our second floor apartment made me keenly aware of my lack of fitness, most likely due to my sedentary job of the last ten years and my poor eating habits. Climbing up and down the steps for two days, arms loaded with boxes, spoke painfully to me. I felt the extra body weight every grueling minute.

The following Monday was Scott’s first day at his new job and my grandchildren’s first day in their new schools. My responsibility was to walk them to and from their assigned schools, and so at 7:15 on a cool, brilliantly blue-skied San Diego morning, we were on our way.

With map in hand, we eventually found Christian’s middle school, kissed her goodbye and continued to walk toward the grade school where Celena and Justin were enrolled. We soon discovered the trek included a climb of about five blocks up an exceedingly steep incline, which reminded us that we weren’t in Ohio anymore. This was rough… and it was getting hot! With parched mouths, we agreed that the water bottles we’d seen so many others carrying were especially important items to bring tomorrow.

As we crested the hill, we finally saw the school. It was only a few blocks away. Upon our arrival and after meeting their teachers, I kissed the little ones goodbye and leisurely walked down the hill and back home, admiring the lush tropical plants and stately palm trees along the way. Back at the apartment, exhausted, totally covered in perspiration and completely dehydrated, I flopped onto the couch and instantly fell asleep. The pierce ringing of the telephone jarred me awake. It was the school nurse calling. Justin was sick and needed to come home. This, of course, necessitated another two-mile trip up that steep hill. After lunch, we both rested a bit and in no time at all, it was 2:00 and time to start the four-mile round trip once again to retrieve the girls.

First day…6 miles!

The following day, the younger kids only had a half-day of school. My muscles were even more sensitive to the two-mile walk, and the climb definitely felt steeper than the day before. I couldn’t wait to get back on the couch again. Two hours later, it was time to pick up the younger kids again. After lunch, we rested until it was time to meet Christian.

Second day…6 miles!

Gradually, of course, it became easier, and after a few weeks, I began to feel a little lighter, my muscles ached less, and bottled water became a pleasurable necessity. I was making better dietary choices, and it wasn’t long before my clothes were looser. I was healthier and happier than I had been in years.

Last year, when I returned to California for a visit, I realized how beneficial our two-year experience in southern California had been for my health. In Ohio once again, I have adapted to the Midwest where the climate can be erratic, even harsh at times. Each new day may not dawn with clear blue skies. and there are long months when the trees and plants take their winter nap. However, I have decided not to lose the healthy fitness I achieved during my stay in California, and am determined to apply myself with diligence in order to maintain my 30 pound weight loss and current state of health. An exercise DVD accounts for 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three times a week regardless of the weather, and drinking lots of water along with proper eating are still important necessities, though I falter at times. I want be healthy and happy, and I thank the Lord for His goodness in allowing me to spend this time in beautiful California which led to my present state of fitness…body, mind and soul.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Julie Arduini02/23/07
Nicely done. My days in college were my most fit because we walked everywhere. This is someone making the most of retirement!
cindy yarger02/26/07
Well told. I enjoyed reading this.
Jacquelyn Horne02/26/07
Good writing. Encouraging story. Seeing the results of walking and drinking water stuck with you, and even after moving back to Ohio you continued the regimen. Good job.
Phyllis Inniss02/27/07
A very interesting entry. God does work in our lives to show us how to improve ourselves. Your love for your grandchildren in facing the six-mile trek each day paid off handsomely and the lesson you learned about the necessity in keeping fit is one you won't ever regret.