Prevention (USA)

When Walking Is More Than Walking

These participan­ts in our Virtual Walk last fall found meaning and joy out on the road—and you can too. There’s still time to sign up for our spring event!


“I started walking for my blind dog, Missy.

I tried taking her on walks, but she couldn’t get far—so I carried her. I could tell she really enjoyed the fresh air and the time we spent together, and I did too. I purchased a dog stroller, and we used it so much we wore out the front tire twice! Missy knew the smell of where we stopped for coffee and the pup cup of whipped cream that typically followed. She passed away last fall. She was such a great dog; she put an incredible amount of faith and trust in our family. I’m still walking, but I miss my loyal companion who rescued me.” —Tracy Nappier, Lemont, IL

“As my 19-year-old son prepared for Air Force basic training, he started running in the mornings. I decided to walk, knowing the fresh air and exercise would be good for me too. He would lap me a few times but then walk with me when he finished. This was when something magical occurred: My teenager used sentences longer than three words and a grunt—we actually talked about life stuff and feelings!

I am so proud of his service and thankful that we had this time together. I have continued walking, and I am grateful for this habit, which helped me really get to know the man my son is becoming.”

—Valerie Swirczek, Fallon, NV

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