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Who's Still Walking?

Dee McKean
Home Manager

Dee McKean is a Home Manager who smoked and didn't feel that she would ever be a walker. Dee faced the same obstacles that so many of us use as an excuse for not walking; bad weather, she didn't feel like it, and trying to get up in the morning and get started. It has been close to 5 years since Dee started walking and now she feels great. Dee hopes that her story can help others to have the motivation to start walking.

How Did You Start Walking?
My daughter asked me to go for a walk one day. I didn't think I would be able to keep up with her (her legs must be at least 6 feet) Anyway, cigarette in hand and puffing away, I started out the door. She had to do several U-turns to come back after me. I couldn't keep up with her.

Why do you walk?
Anyway, after she went back to work, I started going out on my own. I started getting on a better schedule. I felt better. I found out that I could do a lot better if I didn't drink coffee and smoke before I went out. I did 8 miles a day. I loved it. I felt great. People all along the way started talking to me. They got used to my schedule.

Where do you walk?
I walk several different paths. I really enjoy old Route 7 along the river and railroad tracks.

Why do you love walking?
I love walking because it makes me feel better. It helps me keep control of my weight and in the summer I get an early tan. I also do a lot of thinking while I am out. I create and dream up a lot of ideas. Sometimes I need to walk to clear my head and relax. When I am walking nothing matters. Nothing bothers me. I am free.

What is your toughest obstacle to walking?
My toughest obstacle is getting out of bed and getting started, especially when it is cold out. I do go out no matter what; rain, shine, snow, and sun. The only thing that stops me from going out is when it is icy out.

What is the coolest benefit of walking?
I started cutting back on the smoking. I used to smoke a pack a day.

What is your biggest surprise about walking?
My biggest surprise about walking was the fact that I actually could do it. When my brother found out how far I was going he talked me into racing. I didn't think I could do it, but luckily I won my first race and from then on I was hooked. I loved the people, the atmosphere and the challenge. When I found out that Elby's (now the Ogden Newspapers Classic) was having a walk added to their race, I knew I was going to have to change some things. I ran into Rolly Woods from the Ohio Valley Runners/Walkers Club and he told me that he and Terry Whitecotton, also from the club, were helping anyone who wanted to race in the Elby's race. Everyday we met at Oglebay Park and the two of them worked with me. I decided if I was going to do this, I wanted to give it my best shot soooooooo, I quit smoking and to this day, I do not miss smoking. I attributed my being able to quit to walking. Without that, I don't know if I could have quit and stayed smoke free.

Dee still walks every day and encourages everyone to give it a try. Even a 53 year-old home manager can find the time for herself. It benefits her and her family by making her a more satisfied person.


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