I am a husband and father of a teenage son.
I am currently a teacher and Cross-County coach and have been an athlete my whole life.
I’ve played baseball, basketball, ran cross country, lifted weights, and ran thousands of miles while tracking my progress in what I call my “virtual run” around the United States.
Over the years I’ve goofed on my students about this as I have maps of all the states I “ran” through; first beginning in North Jersey and traveling down US Route 1 to Key West, Fl.
For a laugh, I Photoshopped myself at various landmarks within the states I was running through. I ran the miles… just not in those locals… but my students bought the whole running to Key West ruse.
After completing that “journey” I headed west with the idea of running around the perimeter of the United States. As of 11/23/18, I am in Ohio running east along US Route 2!
Back Pain & the Dreaded Diagnosis
During the past few years, I began experiencing back pain which then traveled down my left leg. So, I began physical therapy and several months later the pain just suddenly disappears.
I began running again and several months later the pain had returned to my back and left leg and also developed a very sore inner right knee. Only this time I was worse and never responded to my return to physical therapy. Age has a way of slowing the recovery time down.
Then the dreaded diagnosis came from my Orthopedic doctor: “Frank, you’ve got a herniated disk that looks pretty bad. Stop all activity, rest, and go to a Pain Management doctor. I’m hoping I don’t have to operate on you!”
Yeah, that got my attention and for 4 months I did… NOTHING!
No PT, no running, no yoga (as even that hurt), sitting hurt, laying down hurt, everything hurt.
Was I depressed? Maybe, maybe not, but I do know for sure that my thinking and outlook on life became a little “pessimistic or muddied” for lack of a better word.
Three Epidurals later and I was pain free! I returned to teaching and coaching in the fall and quite honestly was too busy and a little afraid to do any type of activity.
Recovery and Discovery
During my recovery period, I began to walk and really began to enjoy it. I live in a hilly area of New Jersey and always included hills in my walk to get a good workout in.
I also began listening to podcasts and audiobooks…this was something I never did while running. The faster pace and intensity of running is not conducive to listening to a good book!
I never missed running during my recovery but I really enjoyed walking!
I loved the solitude, the time for reflection, the podcasts, audiobooks, and great music (I’m a 70’s classic rock fan).
Once I began full-time walking, two things happened; I quickly began to lose the weight I had gained during my inactivity, and my thinking became much clearer.
I was healthy, happy, and now felt I had a greater purpose in life and that is to share the awesome benefits of walking with everyone!
Since I began exclusively walking, I’ve not been injured and created the Walking for Health and Fitness Program.
Most of the ideas in the ebook and program came during my daily walks as I took notes with my iPhone! The ultimate in multi-tasking!
Good luck on your health and fitness journey and please reach out to me with any questions you may have.
“Walking Man Frank”
All photography provided by Frank Ring (Walking Man Frank)