September 27, 2011

Long Story

Part One

About the same time I retired, 15 years ago, Avon announced their first 3-day Walk for Breast Cancer.  (Now, they just do 2 days.)  The walk took you from Santa Barbara to Santa Monica, 75 miles; and you had to donate, via pledges, $1500, in order to be eligible to walk.  I signed up!  I raised all the money and started training.

I am the only non-athlete in our family.  I have always lived with dancers, runners, swimmers and cyclist.  I figured with as much as I knew about training I could certainly walk 75 miles in 3 days.  Bob was so supportive, he signed on to volunteer, wherever they needed him, and he was my training cheerleader.

I started slow, walking around our block, that was only 1/2 mile, but hey, it was a start.  Then it was twice around the block, then I expanded to around the neighborhood.  Soon, I was up to 3 miles, no problem.  Then 4, then 5.  I complained to Bob that I thought I was going too slow, because all these other people were whizzing by me.  Bob the cheerleader told me that they were probably just going a short distance, fast; while I was going a long distance, and needed to pace myself.

We still lived in Long Beach when all this was going on, and it was really easy to train, whenever I wanted.  I could walk in the "heat", never 100 degrees, the rain, never freezing.  I could stop and buy water whenever I needed to, and usually find a bathroom, when necessary.

After several months, I was up to 8 mile walks, and I was loving it.  I felt so good.  Walking is a great way to see what's going on around your.  It's a great way to meditate.  It's good for your bones and for your waistline, too.  At the time I was still having daily migraines, I almost never had a migraine during all the training!  Walking ='d Love.

Then, my body rebelled against my walking.  It started with red patches just above my ankles.  I ignored them, didn't have any I idea what it could be.  I kept walking.  Soon the red patches moved up my legs, eventually all the way to my knees.  I still didn't know what it could be, so I went to the Dr.  She was a little puzzled, until she asked what my routine activities were.  When I told her I was walking long distances, she knew.

My body was sending out histamines; I was kinda allergic to walking, at least long distance walking.  She explained that it was like a repetitive motion injury, my body happens to be too fragile for long distance walking.  She gave me steroids to get rid of the hives, and told me that if I continued walking long distance my body might really rebel and I might have a heart attack!  This was such a blow, I was devastated.  It scared me, too.  I stopped walking.  I could walk 3 miles, that's my limit.  Bob and I traded places, he walked the Avon 3-day Walk, and I volunteered.

Part 2

You may be thinking, why is she posting about this, it happened a long time ago.  I'm sharing, because I still can't walk over 3 miles without breaking out in hives, sometimes up to my knees.  It still happens almost every time I go to NYC, it's such a walking town.

It also happens when I work at Barnes and Noble, especially during the holidays, when there are more customers to help.  Yes, I can walk over 3 miles inside of Barnes and Noble.  Who needs a pedometer when you have angry histamines!

The last two times I've worked, I've gotten hives, the last time they were up to my knees.  This is the first time, in over ten years, it's happened to me when I worked a non-holiday shift.  I'm thinking I might have to stop working.  I really don't want to, but it's definitely a possibility.  I love working at Barnes and Noble.  I've always thought I'd work there until I'm at least 70.  Life can be such a pisser!

photo source
Be well and do good,


  1. I have never heard of such a thing! Poor thing! When our Sarah Beth was first diagnosed with breast cancer we all went to DC and walked the 39 miles,,,(I did 26.2 in one day. I couldn't walk the next day I thought my feet were just going to break off if I stood on them. The rest of the crew did the extra 13 the next day. Good for Bob and good for you . The volunteers are just as important as the walkers. And I can not imagine you not working at Barnes and Noble. But just think of all the other stuff you cold get into.

  2. Well that's a bummer! You should really talk to God about dialing back this getting old crap!

    Thinking along the same lines as B&N, maybe you could get a job at the library reading books to kids - still be around people, books and be able to sit down while working. Or, you could retire again and be "one of those customers" who hang out at B&N all day reading in one of the comfy chairs... that way your friends could all stop by on their breaks to socialize :)

    It'll all work out, no matter what happens. Hang in there!

  3. I am learning something new here...first time hearing of anyone being allergic to walking. Sorry to hear about your thoughts about leaving your job. Maybe you can just cashier and let the others do the running around! At least you'll still be in the environment you love so much!


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