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Walk and Talk Gals

  • Lois Webster of Peterborough, left, and Cheri Fry of Peterborough take a walk in Peterborough on Saturday.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Lois Webster of Peterborough, left, and Cheri Fry of Peterborough take a walk in Peterborough on Saturday.

    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • Karen Moorman of New Ipswich, left, Maureen Petro of Temple, Lois Webster of Peterborough, Susan Willard of Temple, Elizabeth Sullivan of Jaffrey, Lynn Heckathorn of Peterborough and Cheri Fry of Peterborough are a group of local seniors that meet every Saturday to walk together, calling themselves the "Walk and Talk Gals." The group, among other area seniors, have signed up to participate in a challenge to walk a mile a day for 90 days. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Karen Moorman of New Ipswich, left, Maureen Petro of Temple, Lois Webster of Peterborough, Susan Willard of Temple, Elizabeth Sullivan of Jaffrey, Lynn Heckathorn of Peterborough and Cheri Fry of Peterborough are a group of local seniors that meet every Saturday to walk together, calling themselves the "Walk and Talk Gals." The group, among other area seniors, have signed up to participate in a challenge to walk a mile a day for 90 days.

    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • Lois Webster of Peterborough, left, and Cheri Fry of Peterborough take a walk in Peterborough on Saturday.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Karen Moorman of New Ipswich, left, Maureen Petro of Temple, Lois Webster of Peterborough, Susan Willard of Temple, Elizabeth Sullivan of Jaffrey, Lynn Heckathorn of Peterborough and Cheri Fry of Peterborough are a group of local seniors that meet every Saturday to walk together, calling themselves the "Walk and Talk Gals." The group, among other area seniors, have signed up to participate in a challenge to walk a mile a day for 90 days. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

More than 20 years ago the State of New Hampshire offered a chance to earn a pass to the NH State Parks by walking 500 miles. Since a group of us were already walking together, sometimes in pairs, sometimes alone, and always every Saturday, we decided to sign up as a group. We needed a name, so chose “Walk and Talk Gals” (since talking was also an integral part of our walks.)

We came up with a logo, and over the years, have imprinted it on whatever we could find. We walked the 500 miles, received our pins and passes, but more importantly, committed to a life of walking for exercise. Over the years we have learned the value of consistent exercise for our bodies, our minds and our emotional well being.

We have walked through injuries and healed. We have walked away sadness, and walked energized with joy. We have walked in the rain, sun, snow, and sleet. We have slipped on ice, gotten dusty on dirt roads and been eaten by mosquitoes in the woods. We have moved quickly on paved paths, and slowly up and down hilly New Hampshire. We have pushed ourselves to walk long distances, once completing a fundraising marathon. We have explored New England on foot enjoying walking trips to Vermont, the Berkshires, Martha’s Vineyard, Boston, Cape Cod, and many other places in New England.

Walking has allowed us to maintain a level of fitness that opens opportunities for many other physical activities. We are bikers, tennis players, hikers, kayakers, and even fitness instructors.

We are now in our 60s and more, still walking and talking. Last week we signed up for NH Moves, the new program from the state to encourage people to enjoy physical activity into their senior years.

I’m sure we will all get our passes again, having already learned the value of an active life.

Cheri Fry lives in Peterborough.

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