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Lessons Learned from Walking 26.2 Miles in the Rain

Back in June when the sun was shining and summer was about to be in full swing, I signed-up for the Walk for our Future–a 26.2-mile walk around Rockand in support of the J and the other social service agencies on our campus.

For me, this was a no-brainer. Why? Two reasons:

  1. I have come to think of the JCC as my home, and developed an appreciation for the J and what this entire campus means to the community.
  2. I love a challenge–especially one that will keep me active. I have never done a full marathon, so I thought a walking marathon was the perfect chance to get this under my belt.

My aim was to complete the 26.2 miles pain free. I immediately started a strict training plan that included strength training, Pilates, three weekly walks, and cross training on stationary bikes and the Jacob’s Ladder. I thought of everything–this was going to be the perfect walk!

….except I didn’t think of everything. It was not a perfect walk. On October 27, the day of the walk, it poured – more than 2 inches of rain fell in Rockland. Uh oh. Should I still do it? Is it safe? What would my mother say?

Actually, this was a no-brainer too. I had to do it. I had to rep the J! I also felt the positive vibes of the more than 500 community members who helped us raise just over $100,000 to keep our campus thriving and able to evolve to meet the growing needs of our Rockland community.


Now that I am finally dry, here the top 10 things I learned from walking 26.2 miles around Rockland County in the rain:

  1. Dry socks and shoes are grossly underrated.
  2. The Clarkstown Police Department is awesome. They stayed with us the entire time, keeping us safe as we walked (and waded) through the streets.
  3. Pilates is my hero. Pilates was a big part of my training process. Learning to properly engage my core to encourage good posture was invaluable.
  4. Following a training plan works–my feet, ankles, hips, back, and knees can vouch for it.
  5. After 9-hours, there really is no such thing as “waterproof.”
  6. 26.2 miles is about 61,000 steps.
  7. Walking through puddles is not fun.
  8. It should be a crime for cars to drive through puddles, “tidal-waving” innocent walkers.
  9. All of us walked between a 15-18-minute mile pace. On a treadmill, this roughly translates to a speed of 4.0-3.5 mph.
  10. Our community is awesome.

I was so proud to have participated in this walk. Yes, it was raining. Yes, we were uncomfortable cold, kvetching, and whining.

But somewhere between the flooded roads and isolated downpours, we gave in to the experience and just rolled with it. We formed a kinship. We shared stories and made new friends. We had fun.

I could not help but be reminded of what I see at J everyday. I see friends encouraging each other in group exercise classes, weekend plans solidified on the pickleball courts, toddlers taking their first steps, mah jongg games in action, playdates arranged when parents pick-up kids, and so much more. All of this happens on our campus, and that is awesome.

Again, thank you for all of your support. If you would still like to show your love and give back to our community support the cause now.

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