Delighted to have persuaded Dorothy to be our ‘Getting to Know’ for this week, for some reason the walkers seem more reticent! Dorothy is one of our long time walkers and you can read below the positive affect it has had on her life.
Getting to know… Dorothy Cade
It was the beginning of 2004 when my friend, who wanted to get fit after illness asked if I’d mind going with her to try a Sally Ellis walking group. I’d always enjoyed walking; my husband and I walked a couple of sections of the Pennine Way and the whole of The Dales Way a long time ago. I was very happy to go with my friend – unfortunately she found she wasn’t ready for the group but I was immediately hooked and spent a number of months feeling somewhat guilty that I was out walking on a Monday morning instead of meeting with my friend. So, I’ve been walking with SE Fitness for 16 years (with a few breaks for illness or injury)!
Walking with SE Fitness is a highlight of my week – one of the first things to go in my diary. The session (or occasionally sessions) mean improved health and fitness, less stress and happy time spent with a caring and interesting group of friends.
I thought I was reasonably fit when I went to my first walk (with what’s now called Walk Fitness) and had a real shock when the group set off – I was struggling to get anywhere near the front. People who’ve walked with me will know that I’m competitive and ….. within a couple of months I was keeping up with those at the front. I’m now walking again with Walk Fitness but did progress and spent many happy times half walking/half jogging(!) along the tracks with Walk Plus. If it wasn’t for walking with SE Fitness, I would rarely have walked this fast and feel that (although I have had health issues in recent years) being a member of the group has kept me much fitter than I might have been.
SE Fitness has seen me through a few stressful times:
When I was first walking with the group it was a special time in my week, away from the demands of both work and family – so good to exercise and walk and talk with people who had no connection with other parts of my life.
I feel that, as a member of SE Fitness I have a group of friends with whom I can share problems but who will also make me laugh and appreciate even more the fun in life. It is good to know that there will always be someone there at a walk time to share my walk but that I will not be letting anyone down if I can’t turn up. It’s good to know that if I can’t make my regular slot then there are other times in the week when I can turn up and be met with the same friendly welcome. Thank you to all the leaders – so welcoming, encouraging and caring.
In the past few years, during the illness of a family member, walking has been a lifeline to me both with the group and by having the ability to speedily walk off excess adrenaline on my own. There was a time a few years ago when, away from home, I would sometimes get back to sleep in the early hours by visualising walking out of my front door and towards Sutton Park (I was usually asleep before I reached the park!!)
I’ve been lucky to have lived (among other places) in The New Forest and in Edinburgh and have favourite walks there and in many other places we’ve visited in the UK and Europe. Being a member of SE Fitness also means that I have fallen in love with the delights of walking in Sutton Park and benefit so much from the asset on my doorstep.
Never having considered myself an athlete I don’t have big designs on running or marathons but I do want to continue walking with SE Fitness for as long as possible and maybe I’ll manage to increase my distance again enough to have the confidence to take on a fun run in a year or two?!
Hopefully you get the message – I sing the praises of SE Fitness whenever I get the chance!!