We live in Illinois, where the weather can be unpredictable. Some days we have perfect weather — 70 degrees and sunny — followed immediately by snow. We may not see the sun for days. When we moved here, we quickly discovered that you have to enjoy the beautiful days while you have them.
We try to get the most out of those days by taking a walk. Jill and I used to take our dog on long walks but, as our dog got older, the walks got shorter and shorter. Eventually we were making a quick circle around our neighborhood park then heading right back home.
It hit me one day that I really missed those walks with Jill. The walks were a time to talk about our days while getting some exercise. We would walk and talk. Jill would say that we solved all of our problems in an hour’s time and that, if we kept going, we may even cure all the world’s woes.
Since Jill was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, she has needed to work on her balance, which makes our walks that much more important. As a result, we have been trying to get back into the habit of taking a nightly stroll these past few weeks. Going to work can be tiring for Jill, so she’s not always excited to get changed or ready to exert more energy. That’s why we started making our trips double as grocery runs.
I grab a backpack, and we walk to one of the nearby grocery stores. It’s a good distance to walk, about a half-mile away, but not too far to carry the groceries back home. As wonderful as the walks are, they have also helped with our food bill. You really consider what you are buying when you know you will be carrying everything home on your back.
The best thing is just being with Jill. Going on a walk brings us such a simple joy that makes it all worthwhile. Being outdoors can be such a great mood booster, and who couldn’t use more of that in their lives? Huntington’s has made our walks so much more meaningful to me because I know they might not always be possible for Jill. So for now, I soak up every step we take toward an uncertain future.
Note: Huntington’s Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Huntington’s Disease News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Huntington’s disease.
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