Reaching for More

“The triumph can’t be had without the struggle.”     – Wilma Rudolph, Olympic runner

Chicago skyline from Navy Pier – photo by Katie Ekins

My family and I went into Chicago for a weekend recently and I was inspired to improve my fitness. Even though I’ve been walking 15 minutes or more every day for the past month, I want to do more.

My husband Ken and our three young-adult children are slim and fit. They walk long distances and can run with ease. My new walking habit enabled me to keep up with them in the city, although I brought up the rear. On Sunday, we walked 1½ miles to the United Center to see Cirque du Soleil. We were still a few blocks away when the winds picked up, the temperature dropped, and the sky became black. My daughter said she’d heard it might hail.

The only sensible thing to do was to break into a run, which was okay with everyone else. I reluctantly agreed to a slow jog. After one block, I was sweating, out of breath, and needing to walk. Luckily, the winds slowed. We went back to walking and got to the show just before the storm hit the United Center.

The Cirque du Soleil performers were strong and muscular and did amazing feats with their bodies. A young woman balanced upside down on one arm on a trapeze bar, one of her many tricks.

Cirque du Soleil photo by Tom Raftery. Find on Flickr at

Watching them inspired me to be more fit. I won’t ever be a trapeze artist or an Olympic athlete, but I want to walk with ease and even to run short distances. I want to sightsee and travel without fatigue. I’ve decided to add some running to my walking habit.

St. Francis of Assisi said, “It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.” It’s time to get out of my chair and get moving. I hope you’ll join me.


What struggles do you face with fitness? What inspires you to reach for more? Please share your thoughts in the Comments below. Remember to subscribe to the Woman Making Strides blog.

About Susan Ekins

Freelance writer and blogger at Women Making Strides. Interested in personal leadership and empowerment. Wanting inspiration and to inspire. Leader in church ministries. Blog: Facebook page:
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12 Responses to Reaching for More

  1. I’m in! I try to walk every day, but you know how that goes. Luckily, my dog won’t let me just sit around. She gets impatient to get going and nudges me, jumps on my lap, licks my face, barks, until finally I reach for her lease and we’re off on our daily walk. Not sure I want to take up running, but seems to me I can do two walks a day. My dog thanks you!


    • Susan says:

      Good for you, Darlene. My dog Dexter lost 1.5 pounds since we started walking 35 days ago. He was overweight so his vet is delighted. Admittedly, we changed his diet about that time, too, but I’m glad he’s in better health. It sounds like your dog is doing great with those daily walks. 🙂


  2. pamela matras says:

    Sue- I feel your pain and I am in way worse shape than you. I am always the last. They wait, impatiently for me and then move ahead again. I don’t want to be last so sometimes I just don’t go.
    Perhaps when it stops being 100 degrees outside, I too will walk more and try to learn to run again.


  3. MoniqueE. says:

    Good post!
    Exercise is the hardest thing for me to do…I HATE IT! I try to workout 3 – 4 times a week, but it’s a struggle, sometimes I just make it in 2 times during the entire week. Everyone talks about how exercise makes them feel better, not so with me. It doesn’t make me feel better. But I go because it’s whats needed to lose this weight. I wish I could get more out of it, then it would be easier to show up and do what needs to be done.

    Losing the 37 lbs and working out as I have been has made me healthier. I don’t get as winded as I used to.


  4. catnipoflife says:

    Just read an article about blogging and too much sitting. While I am not a runner, your posts definitely inspire me to restart my daily walking and biking – at least every other day anyway! I have previously visited your site and thought I had followed. Just started Following for sure:>)


  5. catnipoflife says:

    You have been ‘TAGGED’ by catnipoflife. Go to her website ( for insight into why you have been tagged and what happens next! Have FUN! Hope you enjoy. . .


  6. scribe312 says:

    Hello, let me apologize for the wrong name in my last post.
    Susan, your blog is the first one I want to follow. Major illness has left me physically depleted, but you are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing.


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