The Intangible Benefits of Walking

Three hundred and sixty five days ago I embarked on a journey to explore the human connection in a deeply intimate way by committing to walk with a new person or group of people a day in 2015. It was a commitment connected to an even bigger vision of launching Wild Dream Walks from a personal side gig to a full blown and full time business with a true bottom line of people and their dreams first.

The tangible returns of this year long exploration include 403 walks with well over a 1000 people, in fact I stopped counting after walking with 500 people in February. Walks were, on average, 2-3 miles and an hour long. My longest day of walking was 37,000 steps on July 1st. I was able to share a public reflection for 230 of those walks on social media outlets, stalling to share when a story was too personal, I was too tired, or life was moving much faster than the pace of my own two feet. These are the things most people ask me about. However, when I think about my intention, that of creating and exploring connection, none of these numbers does what I learned, experienced, saw, heard, or felt, justice.

As I took my final walk of the year today, I reflected on how much I’ve changed purely because of the people I’ve walked with. You see most people I  shared steps with, no matter if it was with a 10 year old boy or a newly retired women, were with complete strangers that within a few moments became a friend. This fact alone keeps me in a state of optimism when the world around me seems to be combusting. Within many of those walks many stories were shared of people dreaming of a better world, some that still make my heart break a little but most that propel me forward in my own day-to-day existence. Sometimes, I was so moved by a persons or organizations dream that I gave my time and resources to make it a reality. In those time and spaces, I realized how valuable my own gifts are and learned to offer them freely, with no strings attached. This year I connected so deeply with, not only people, but nature and ultimately myself that I learned how to love openly and intimately even in the smallest of moments with the strangest of strangers. For me, that’s the data point that I’d prefer to be asked about as it’s impact will last well beyond my own lifetime. As far as what’s next, for now I’m going to let my dog do the leading on walks for a bit while the seeds for this coming year of dreaming and connecting are planted. FullSizeRender (5)

If you were one of the many beautiful people I walked with this year, thank you. I look forward to the next steps we take together in this coming year.

Day 230 of #365 of #walking with a new person/group a day in #2015: Love

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