Small Victories

I started a new job about 6 weeks ago, and part of the ritual of getting to work is walking from a remote parking lot up a hill and over the other side to the hospital where I work, maybe a mile each way.

You cannot park on the facility unless you have a carpool ( I do not) . There  are lots of options, campus bus, city bus etc.  But I choose to walk, I have asthma and my initial focus was that walking would make my lungs stronger and the asthma weaker.

The first day I was sure I was going to die before I reached the top of the hill. I was relieved when I didn’t. I kept doing it, and it got easier. A small victory.

Then I developed bronchitis and the progress halted. I learned to ride the free bus, thanks to a PGY2 student who was kind enough to guide the novice bus rider in the right direction. I now have a winter plan if I need it.

I plowed through during the illness and kept walking with a scarf on my mouth and moving at a much slower speed. Not really making progress but persisting.  That is me. Persistent if nothing.

As I plodded along praying no one would speak to me as walking and talking while tackling the hill is not a wise option.

During my morning walks I noted a threesome of coworkers who always walk as well. We frequently begin together but within minutes they are far ahead of me. It seems youth walks faster. As I watched the silhouettes get smaller and smaller it became my goal someday to walk even with them and maintain my pace in step with them.

I had to find a way to increase my steps and develop a good pace. I accomplished this with music. I put on headphones and walk with the music. It ranges from day to day, sometimes its the Lumineers, sometimes Etta James and sometimes it just random, whatever pops up. It has helped improve my pace.

The return trip to the remote parking lot is the same journey in reverse. But today was different. As I headed out from work it was about 45 degrees, not too cold. Brisk. I saw them ahead of me again. I was determined to keep pace.  I was slightly behind the trio but I persisted. As I headed down the hill I gained momentum and was just a few steps behind.

As we crossed at the light for them final stretch I was right on their heels.  The taller one who looks very Zac Brownish, saw me behind him and said “sorry we are slowing you down!”  I said “Are you kidding? You are usually far ahead of me, I feel victorious!” I kept up.. and I even passed them briefly. They joined in my victory and I may have developed a walking camaraderie due to my victory outburst. We reached the parking lot and went our separate ways. But for a moment I am sure I heard the theme from Rocky in the distance.

Not exactly a marathon, but I still have time.

A Small Victory, but. I will take it.

I hope you recognize your small victories and bask in the glow of them.

Until Next Time,



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