1997-12-30

Training Walks

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When I began distance hiking, I found that I could fit training into my schedule by taking two or three daily walks. It proved feasible to take slightly longer breaks and still complete my work. In this manner I easily built up my conditioning to 40 or 50 miles per week while simultaneously allowing plenty of time for recovery.

Stella’s enthusiastic encouragement might well have sparked the evolution of this workout strategy.

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1997-12-26

Enter Stella

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That December, within three months of Tricia’s injury, our family welcomed a 7-pound ball of fur into the household. Tricia named her Stella for the star on the Christmas tree. “Stella” means “star” in Italian.

The name turned out to be appropriate in many ways. First, Stella’s adorable personality regularly makes her the center of attention, landing her on the cover of the local newspaper twice. Second, she appointed herself my walking coach. So you might say my distance hiking was already written in the stars.

Stella quickly ingratiated herself with the household, neighborhood, and beyond. Tricia began grooming her like the daughter in pig tails we never had.

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