50 Something, Retired Postal
Happy Johnson is married and the mother of five grown
children and five grandchildren. Last year Happy retired
from the Beverly Hills Post Office in California after
32 years of service. Currently Happy is the caregiver
for her 92 year-old mom, Maggie Valentine, who is
a cancer survivor just like Happy. Happy volunteers
with the American Cancer Society and Cancer Support
groups here in the Ohio Valley and in Los Angeles.
questioned about walking, Happy gave the following
do you walk? I walk for my health. After having cancer,
my joints are stiff and they ache due to some of the
side effects of chemotherapy.
do you love walking? Really, I don't love walking.
I walk to help keep my mind clear, and I need to loose
weight. I could easily talk myself into staying in
bed in the morning or doing anything else but walk.
But I know that walking is good for me and in the
long run walking helps me to have a better attitude
and get healthy. If it weren't so easy, I probably
wouldn't do it.
is your toughest obstacle to walking? The hardest
part is getting up, getting dressed, and taking the
first step. Once I leave the house, I feel fine. The
more I walk, the more I want to walk. I begin to feel
better and to clear my mind.
is your best advice for new walkers? I suggest new
walkers take it slowly, and that they walk with a
friend. It keeps it interesting and enjoyable. If
you are a loner, listening to some good music and
walking to the beat can help too.
is the coolest benefit of walking? IT'S FREE! No machines
to store in the corner, no special clothing except
comfortable shoes, and you can walk any time of the
day or night. There are no rules. I walk fast or slow
depending on how I feel that day. I sometimes walk
with a friend and sometimes I walk alone. Walking
is something I can do anyway that I want to.
is your biggest surprise about walking? I have made
many lasting friendships by just getting out and walking.
It is a way to socialize and meet people. The trails
are great but you can even meet people in your own
Johnson is like so many of us. Exercising is not something
that she likes to do. But walking is so easy; it is
hard to not walk. Once you get started, you realize
how much you enjoy it and how much better you feel
jut by walking first ten minutes, then twenty minutes,
and finally thirty minutes or more on almost every
day. You can pick the time, the place, the music,
alone or with a friend. Walking is something you can
control and something you can do easily - by yourself
and for yourself!