By Wendi Comey
Maybe you’ve seen me walking around town. Drivers often honk and wave as they pass. I rarely recognize the car, and I only occasionally see the drivers before they have driven past, but I always try to wave back. I figure they know me, or they’ve seen me enough to offer encouragement.
Using an app on my phone, I’ve been tracking my walking for years. This year, I started keeping track of my total so I could determine how long my new sneakers would last. A Christmas gift from my husband, they were put into use on January 1st. As the months went by, I found that keeping a “walking tally” was fun, so I have continued it past the time when the Christmas sneakers were replaced. And as of October 7, I had covered over 1,000 (mostly Westborough) miles since the start of 2021. If I had strung the miles together in a single direction, I could almost be in Atlanta, or I would have already passed through Chicago.
I’ve been an active member at Get in Shape for Women since November of 2014, but I’ve always found walking to be great exercise on non-gym days. It’s also an excellent way to stay updated with others. Walks with my husband, Greg, give us time for longer, more philosophical conversations that are less likely during the daily routine of life. I also walk regularly with a number of friends from the gym. And, I have contacted several neighbors and persuaded them to join me for “walk and talk”. It’s been a perfect way to keep in shape, and keep in touch.
My walks take me along routes 30 and 135, and through many neighborhoods along the way. Some walks are taken because of known length — anywhere from a mile to five. Other walks have a purpose or destination — like the library, post office, or grocery store.
During my Westborough wanderings, I have taken hundreds of pictures. My photo library is filled with gorgeous flowers, chalk messages and designs, painted rocks, signs with socially aware messages, Westborough “W”s painted on the many driveways of graduates, and holiday decorations.
When I end up on walks alone, Greg keeps a GPS eye on me through a phone app while he works. This is mainly for safety, but it’s led him to all kinds of comments. Some are humorous: “I saw you inside the porta-toilet near the high school.” Some are concerned: he called once when my location dot hadn’t moved for several minutes while I was on Fisher St. (I had stopped to take pictures). And once he texted as I started walking on Mill Road to remind me that it’s often busy and has no sidewalks. Unfortunately, I didn’t see the text because I was already too distracted dodging cars. If any road in Westborough needs a sidewalk, it’s Mill…. I haven’t gone that way since. And finally, some comments aren’t really needed: I’ve been busted a few times for stops at Yummy Mummy or the Boro Sugar Shack.
Walking has become something of a fitness obsession that I truly look forward to each day. In 2021, it took me more than nine months to travel over a thousand miles. In 2022, my goal is to make it happen even sooner.
Honk if you see me. I’ll be sure to wave!
Miles covered: 1,001
Days in the year (1/1 to 10/7): 280
Days I have walked: 233
Average daily duration: 4.3 miles/day
Wendi Comey and her husband have lived in Westborough for nearly forty years. Since retiring from a career in banking in 2018, Wendi has been an active member and treasurer of the Friends of the Westborough Public Library.