Posted by: Kimberly Dredger | April 5, 2010

Walked for the Trees!

Hey, All!  I did it!  I participated in my first race in Missoula.  (As Nancy Shrader will remember, I actually did run in a race with her in Butte back in another life, back in college  and dogs’ years ago… it doesn’t count and I hated every step of that one.)

This time, though it was VERY cold, I enjoyed every step, and had grand fun.  I even came in under the time for which I was aiming, so I did a little better than my planned 15 minutes a mile.  Not to brag, but I walked from my house to the race site, and then back home again, so you will see that the mileage on Saturday is more than the 5K.  And it was such FUN!  There are many benefits that I am gleaning from my little project, but one of the most profound is this huge flood of JOY that I am receiving each day.  

I’ll never be fast.  When Jim and I walk, I always have to tug on his sleeve to get him to slow down a bit, so that he isn’t in front of me, and this is a guy who loves telling this story on himself of when he was in high school.  One day during PE, he was plugging along, running around the track, and  the coach yelled with his natural megaphone voice from across the tarmac, “Dredger, I’m timing you with a SUNDIAL!”  Now, he walks fast, at least compared to me.  Nope.  I’m not fast, and I’ll never be a runner.  But I do love what’s happening in my body now, with my new walker’s body and my new walker’s attitude.  Is there such a thing as a “Walker’s High” ?  Yes, I believe there is.   

John “the Penguin” Bingham says in his book No Need for Speed:
“Those who doubt the power of personal achievement need only stand at the finish of a local 5K and watch the first timers cross the line.  You’ll see in their eyes what you’ll see in mine: pure, unmitigated, unrestrained joy.”  

I am so pleased to have experienced this joy for myself, first hand.  Next stop, a 10K, and then on to the Marathon in July.  The back of my Team Reeve shirt, which I wore with such immense pride on Saturday says:
“For everyone who thought I shouldn’t do it,
For everyone who thought I couldn’t do it,
For everyone who thought I didn’t have it in me:
        See you at the finish line!”

There will be tough days ahead, when the miles get long and the going gets rougher than I think I can handle.  There will be days when I just want to sit down and cry and curse the day when the thought of this project came into my head.  On those days, I will think of the photo that you can find at the top of this page, under the heading “My Inspiration.”  And for Bob and Lisa and all the others waiting for research to find a cure, I intend to keep on going.  

And MANY, MANY thanks and huge bunches of roses to my second donor… Betty McGuin.  It makes me feel as if I am actually starting to get someplace, in this little project of mine, to see the dollar amount add up on my fund-raiser page.  I set my goal very high for my fund-raising, and I can only hope to get close to that amount.  But I am of the club that believes if you shoot for the stars, at least you’ll hit the moon.  And who knows?   Maybe I will reach my penultimate goal.  I never thought I’d be training for a marathon, after all… Who knows what might happen?



  1. yes there is a walkers high just like a runner..
    but you have now inspired me to start again..
    before NIA I was doing really well in the
    Bloomsday in Spokane for 12 years, now I’m
    getting on it
    Thanks my friend Kimberly,

    you go girl!
    Yours in Nia, Christi

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