I was just shy of 12 years old when I moved from the hectic world of New York to the beautiful town of Mt. Lebanon. My mother had accepted a job in Pennsylvania and the ratings of Mt. Lebanon School District had convinced her that the change would be good for our family.
From a world of buses, taxis and repeated break-ins at our apartment, we were transported into the parallel universe of Mt. Lebanon. Walking to school was a strange, new experience. The brick road of Hoodridge Drive further added to my feeling of being Dorothy dropped into the wonderful world of Oz.
I didn’t know that walking to and from school would be foundational to my journey to share health and fitness with the world. Since I am a fitness blogger, many people assume that I grew up as an athlete. I did not. I still remember my burning arms and shoulders during my first day of dance class (my gym elective during high school). I couldn’t fathom how the simple act of holding my arms up could cause my muscles to ache so intensely.
Although I didn’t think of it as exercise at the time, that daily walk laid the foundation for my future fitness habits. Every day, rain or shine, heat or cold, I ventured out into the world.
I often say that consistency is more important than motivation. It is true in fitness, and it is true in life. As the Mt. Lebanon students venture out onto the sidewalks they are doing more than just going to and from school. They are creating healthy habits and routines that will follow them through life.
Three things I learned from walking to school:
1. Get moving every day.
2. Don’t make excuses.
3. Make it a normal part of your routine.
When you apply those three principles to physical fitness, or any life goal, you are on the path to success. As an adult I have a larger appreciation for the countless treks I made from home to high school and back. I appreciate the lessons I learned about moving forward through sun, snow and rain. They are lessons I plan to pass on to my own son, one walk at a time.