Journey Together

I’m a volunteer coordinator at a hospital in Jackson, MS and we are about to start a walking program! It’s called Friendship Journey.

Here’s how it works… We are promoting an active lifestyle, providing resources and offering encouragement to all participants. Each week, everyone will report the number of miles that they walked/ran/swam/biked from the previous week. By receiving weekly tips and words of encouragement, hopefully the support and accountability will keep folks focused on their goals.

The organizational piece is so fun to me. I enjoy gathering ideas, generating excitement, looking closely at the small details, and preparing for the kick-off date. As of today, the packets are ready, activities are planned, incentive prizes have been ordered, and speakers are scheduled for promoting healthy living. The sign up period is officially January 1 – 14 with the start date of January 15, 2017. We already have participants signing up and people throughout the hospital are wanting to join in on the fun! I’m excited for how this kind of program builds community, encourages healthy living and gives purpose to individuals.

By the end of the 10 weeks, we will have collectively walked at least 1,173 miles together. We are walking virtually from Jackson, MS to Springfield, IL. I suspect we will easily make it to Springfield ahead of schedule so I’m planning on additional sight-seeing stops throughout the journey. With the momentum building, we are likely to make MANY side trips along the way!  The interest in Springfield is that we are a Catholic hospital and we have nuns at our hospital who regularly travel to their home, the mother-house, in  Springfield. The Springfield Dominican sisters are our founders.

I’ve organized several walking programs before and it is so fulfilling to see the process unfold. People often need time to think about participating. Many know they should do it but dread it slightly. Others sign up immediately because they like the gentle nudge and feel inspired to be part of a group focused on improving their health.

My approach is…

Everyone is welcome – invite your friends and family.

You can join the 10 week program at any point in the journey.

Exercise a little or exercise a lot. Just start moving more!

Yes, we can count your dog’s miles also. Haha

If you miss a week, don’t stop! Just begin again the next week!

Stay tuned for updates about our Friendship Journey! You’ll hear more about mall walkers, cemetery scavenger hunts, grocery store tours, nutrition presentations, lunch-and-learns, exercises anyone can do and more!