We’ve all been entertained by those stories of the old days where people walked 3 miles each way to school – uphill both ways – and worked hard for all that they had.

Of course, we know it’s all a matter of perspective. And so it was with crystal-clear perspective that I truly saw the uphill both ways on my 8-mile trek to Prouts Neck and back.

I have begun the training regimen (my own) of preparing for August’s Beach to Beacon. Were it not for this event, I probably wouldn’t get any exercise all year, but somehow, in my mind, I must run this race. I’ll be honest – it’s the massage at the end that lures me all the way.

So, my spring training involves lots of walking and the requirement that I throw in a little jog on the downhill stretches. Walking down to Prouts Neck, I can see that it’s a gradual uphill all the way, and I’d be jogging on the way back. But, on the way back, I realize that I was wrong. The gradual uphill continues. This is no joke. In my mind’s eye, it is uphill both ways. I guess the ‘ole bod just isn’t ready for the jog.

I ponder the notion of uphill both ways – because it is true. If you really think about it, life at times can appear uphill all the way. And maybe you’re just supposed to tackle those hills in the moment, rather than wait for the reprieve of the downhill.

Oh, well, perhaps a good walk is all that I need, and walking with purpose is as good as any. Mix in a little competitive spirit and that may be the perfect formula to motivate me for the moment.

At Scarborough Rotary a few weeks back, Trish Cowie came to speak about Habitat for Humanity and the great things that are happening at the local level. The tradition is to hold a series of spring fundraising walks to benefit Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland. This year it will build its 50th home, making the uphill battle of home ownership affordable for working families, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to realize the American dream.

The House of Hope 5K race is coming right up. This one is a little different – you can either walk or run. It sounds like my kind of race. It’s happening Saturday at Gorham High School, 41 Morrill St. As Trish announces the race, a fellow Rotarian gives me a wink. “You in?” he asks. “Yes,” I say, “but don’t make me compete for time. This time only completion.”

I went to www.habitatportlandme.org to get my sponsorship form. Life is full of uphill battles, but with the support of community in a variety of ways, those uphill challenges can bear good fruit. Will you join me for this walk? With your help, who knows, I may throw in a jog (but only on the downhills).


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