A story of compulsive overexercise.

DSC 1095 163x300 A story of compulsive overexercise.

Once upon a time there was a Misfit Queen and her lovely Tornado of a Princess.
Each morning, as they’d ride their carriage through town toward the local school house, they’d spy a young woman walking on the side of the road. 

Head tucked, shoulders slumped, arms swinging walking.

The Queen noticed the young lady immediately and took note of how frequently and vigorously she walked.  One morning the Queen turned to her Princess and asked:

“Have you noticed the lovely lass who wanders all day?” 

The Queen had spied the girl walking as they headed out to the school house, and walking when the Queen returned home to the palace and walking when the Queen went out to the Bucks of the Star and walking… (you get the royal idea)

“Oh YES!” The girl immediately responded.  “You mean the Walking Princess? I do notice her.  She’s walking a lot so she can be big and strong!”

And the year passed and the Queen wondered (to herself & to her King) if she should stop and chat with the Walking Princess.

“Oh dear me,” fretted the Queen.  “Im concerned there’s a situation here, but Im unsure how to proceed.  Ive never encountered the Princess except when I’m driving on the boulevard.  Do I pull over and ask about her health and wellness?  Engage her in royal conversation? She’s only about 17 or 18.  I do wonder where her parents are…”

It was during one of these times of Walking Princess sightings and internal frettings the Queen’s thoughts were interrupted by the Tornado.

Mother, theres the Walking Princess!!” She shouted in delight.  “Why do you think she walks so much Mama?  She walks like almost all day.”

Ever the unprepared Queen, the Tornado’s mother responded with: “I dont know. Why do you think she walks so much?”

Without missing a beat the Tornado Princess replied: “I think she’s walking and looking for her Prince all the every day, but when she finds him she will be too so tired.  Sometimes walking a lot is too much I think maybe.”*

Here’s where I pause to clarify the above is in no way mocking the young woman who compulsively walks in our neighborhood.

Here’s where I pause to clarify all of the above actually transpired.  From the Tornado’s naming of the girl to the final few sentences at the end.

(Here’s where I pause to clarify literary license was taken and this has been an on-going for over a year thing. Those of you playing along at home will realize the Tornado has not been in school for a year.  Oh & to our chagrin we are neither a Queen nor a Princess.)

My questions to you, Oh Wiser Than The Queen Readers:

What would you do? 

It’s evident she’s a compulsive over-exerciser (I do not exaggerate when I say she walks for HOURS a day.  4?) yet Ive never seen her when Im not driving & no one else in the ‘hood seems to know who she is either.

It’s shocking.

It’s heartbreaking.

It all causes me to wonder where her parents are?! (Our neighborhood is all homes and not a place anyone would live NOT with parents) or if she drives here, parks, and walks because she doesnt live here?

It’s all also a reminder (as per the “*” above. lets call this the *-defined) of how much children notice and internalize.

It surprised me the Tornado realized even something I tout as good! for! you! can be “bad” if done too much.

I want to “do” something, but Im not sure exactly what or how.

Id love your tips, thoughts, help and proverbial .02 in the comments below.

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Nettie says

    I don’t know that I would say anything either because you really don’t know the situation entirely?

  2. Hallie says

    I love the way you write.

    As far as the girl? I think I would want to pull over and walk next to her a bit and chat her up.

    Could you do that?

  3. Runner Girl says

    Oh Miz.
    I read this and thought: I run a lot in the same area. This really could be my story.

    I needed this food for thought this morning as my legs are exhausted, but I still want to do a 12 miler.

    RG

  4. says

    Hmmm, I think that I would try to talk to her in general and get to know her a bit before I talked about her exercising. Maybe you could bump into her one day while you’re walking and strike up a conversation….?

    I’m not sure it would be well received unless you kinda, sorta, knew her…and even then it’s a crap shoot! Hey didn’t you just get back from Las Vegas? Did you shoot any craps? Is craps a game in LV or am I confused?

  5. says

    Honestly I don’t think what I would do. I would be dying to know why she would walk so much but on the other hand since I didn’t know her: it’s not my business.

    I know someone who is obsessed with exercise and food (at least in my opinion) but I never said anything about it to her because she’s very sensitive about it. And again it’s not my business, it’s her life.

    Interesting to hear you’re low-carb for almost 17 years and that it works for you. I started today and so far I haven’t been really hungry where normally I would want to eat something around 9 am (it’s now lunchtime).

  6. Larissa says

    I really like how you expressed this MizFit, but I would not intrude on anyone elses workout routine.

    You just never know.

  7. says

    OK :)
    If you have seen her walking this way for over a year I would definitely say something.
    I know my and would most likely plan to walk at the same time she does and strike up a conversation!

    I like how you care about other people Miz too many of us these days just ‘mid our own business”

  8. says

    Hi Miz! Among the fit group I know, there are a LOT of people who over-train.

    I’m going to be unpopular by saying that many of them are runners. The runners I know who are smart about it have rest days and other days where they are exercising on the elliptical which is far easier on the joints. Still other smart runners I know have swimming and/or biking days too. You might have guessed that they train for triathlons. BUT there are still too many runners who pound the pavement EVERY day for TOO MANY miles–so bad for the joints!

    I personally have over-trained a few years ago. I did heavy lower body weightlifting until I thought I had permanently damaged a knee. It felt like a screw was loose in it and it just wobbled. When I quit the squats, I had to rehab that knee for half a year. Now I have quit the heavy lower body weightlifting and only do yoga for lower body strength. My legs are still very muscle-y and strong, but knees always feel great now. :D

    :-) Marion

    • Sandy says

      I have an injured knee right now so your comment catches my attention. I feel like I need to do the squats and lunges and leg work to strengthen all the muscles the support my knee. How much yoga are you doing and what specific poses for your legs? My PT put me on the Pillates reformer yesterday and thinks I need to work on the stability and control movements of pilates. I do walk 4 miles each day and do some lower body training every day but yoga is just a once a week class for me.

  9. Frannie says

    What struck me in your “story” was the way you described her physically.
    When you said she was slumped over etc unless you are exaggerating for your tale I think that would be my trigger to want to help her, too.

    When I powerwalk or run it isn’t for long times like that, but I am empowered and stride with love and purpose.

    I would pull over one day I think and walk alongside her and see if she would talk with me.

    Frannie

  10. says

    love your writing style… ;)
    and I’d possibly offer her a bottle of water or something and strike up a conversation that way.
    I’m surprised how many commentors here said it wasn’t any of their business or “their body, their workout”
    So, to those if you saw someone getting drunk or stoned every day, you wouldnt say something? if you saw someone binge eating every day, you wouldnt say anything?

  11. Olivia says

    This is why I read your blog.
    Fitness is more than sets and reps etc and all about what is happening in our heads too.

    I am with the people would said they would park and walk with her.

    I wonder what would happen if you had the time to do that and did it with out even saying aything at first??

  12. says

    I hate to say it but I actually really do agree with the people who say “her body her choice.”

    What if she is training to walk a marathon?

    Wouldn’t you feel silly?

  13. says

    We have a lady that runs in our neighborhood and everyone calls her the “funny runner” because she has a odd way w/ her arms. She isn’t compulsive, but you definitely see her every weekend, late afternoon.
    Hmm.. I like what Hallie said, if you could be near her and start up a chat.
    Of course, the hub would say “mind your own business”, but the meddling, Jewish mother therapist worrier would be just as you are.

  14. says

    Honestly, if you were a teenager and some old (ha! but you know what *we* seem like to THEM) lady came up to you out of the blue and tried to engage you in conversation, wouldn’t that freak you out a little? I’d say the only possible way would be if you crossed paths with her, walking…but even that is a long shot. Unfortunately, just because we observe things doesn’t mean we have any business in them, and that goes for other things as well.

  15. says

    IF you could figure out a way to meet her in a casual way and work up to discussing her over-exercising, she might be willing to listen. Then again, if she’s been doing this for years, it’s going to take more than a casual meet-up to even begin to address the issue.

  16. Meredith says

    I hear what you are saying (and enjoyed the way you said it :)) because as a mother I would wonder and feel the same thing.

    I would stay out of it though.

  17. says

    I’d maybe “walk” into her one day and get to know her. Maybe she has story and you can be there for her. Its tricky, i know. just a thought.

  18. says

    I’m notoriously BAD at interventions, even when I know they’re necessary. So it would probably take me a while to work up to saying anything…but my innate curiosity would eventually lead me to do exactly what Cammy said – casually work up to it. I think it takes more than a casual acquaintance to get into something like this.

    While I’m not minimizing the dangers of overexercising – I’ve learned them myself, to my sorrow, and I have a very dear, very loved friend who has tendencies in this regard that we’re both really watchful about – I’m curious to know if you’ve observed noticeable physical changes over the year or so that this has been going on? That is, does she appear to have lost a significant amount of weight? I’m wondering if she walks for exercise or because it’s a way of getting out of a bad home situation or just a way of dealing with stress. Maybe that’s her thinking time…

    There are just so many possibilities. I’m nosy and would want to explore them…but as to how to do so, I’m just not sure.

  19. says

    Oh, this is tough. I like the ideas to try to plan your own walk to encounter her and strike up a conversation. This might take a few times of walking past her, and then maybe you saying that you are looking for a walking buddy and noticed her, and would she be interested ….

    It really strikes me that this woman is in your heart, so I do think you should try to do something, even if your outreach is rebuffed, but that’s easy for me to say from a few hundred miles away.

    Did Disney teach Tornado that a Princess might spend her days looking for her Prince? Ugh.

  20. Mona says

    I’ve done so in the past to a family member who is dear to me. It was obviously a terrible compulsion. I MILDLY stated that she was a Tad excessive. But, I thought she looked great no matter what. I still loved her the same!

  21. Miz says

    I don’t want to jump in here much as I really do want YOUR thoughts reactions and opinions but I wanted to share Ren Mans too.

    I forced him to reads, errr, showed him the post as I was curious about HIS noticings and thoughts.

    His immediate reaction: You went too easy on her.

    Me: I didn’t convey how MANY hours a day she walks?

    Him: No. Not at all

  22. Rita says

    I’m not much help because when I was an exercise bulimic I know I would have laugh at you if you’d try to help me.

    I didn’t get help until I was ready and I still backslide a lot.

  23. says

    We had a woman in town that we saw walking all the time as well. Turns out she was a hooker with mental issues. She was incarcerated eventually. Very sad.

  24. says

    We’ve got a walking princess in my neighborhood, too. I hope it’s not the same one, since I live in California and you live…umm, somewhere east of me.

    Nope, never talked to her. She’s obviously not wanting to be interrupted for any reason, and I can’t think of a thing to say that would have any impact on her whatsoever. This is a job for close friends and family, not a stranger, no matter how well-meaning.

  25. says

    Wow. OK, this hit a nerve with me.

    And I wonder what people think of ME. Every day I get on my sneakers and yoga pants and a t. Every day I head out the door. I walk and walk and walk. I wonder if people who see me, know that I (A) walk to the zoo, then walk to old town, then walk home. Sometimes I (B) get off the bus somewhere else and walk for almost an hour. And sometimes I (C) just walk straight down Menaul, turn left, then straight up San Mateo. Yes, I can walk for hours and hours some days.

    Especially days when I (A) Have to pick up Cay’s medication after putting in volunteer hours on a weekend when the buses don’t run regularly, (B) have to go to urgent care for an immediate medical issue, and (C) can’t find what I need at Thrift Town and have to go to Savers on a weekend.

    Of course, I’m not exercising… not primarily. I’m just getting where I have to go.

    I also had a friend in Rochester who walked obsessively. She’d go out for walks several times a day. Most of the rest of the time she was at work or she was in her home. Most people in the neighborhood didn’t know her either. They didn’t know she put in rough hours at work, although she was only part time. They didn’t know why she stayed home most of the time, unless she was walking.

    Walking was something she didn’t take for granted, and yes, sometimes she forced herself to do it. She had MS.

    You know, we NEVER know what’s going on with another person unless we ask them. I wouldn’t pull over and scare the crap out of this woman. I might, however, go out walking myself one day with a couple bottles of water and strike up a conversation.

    I know you are aware of the fine line between “helping” and “intruding”. Some people aren’t. But just as surely as what that woman does is her own choice, we all have an obligation to behave in a caring and loving way toward others, and sometimes that includes lending a helping hand.

  26. Tessa says

    I would be tempted to ‘intervene’ as well. It’s good to care. I think ‘resepecting someones privacy’ is often an acronym for really not wanting to bother one self :/. Play it innocent. Tell her you saw her walking and ask her if she would like a ride. Maybe pretend you were unaware she was exercizing and you thought she was going from a to b? If she replies she’s exercizing you can comment ‘wow, you’re really exercizing a lot then’. I see you walking all the time. This should get the conversation going? She should feel safe to at least talk to you if the Tornado is riding with you. She might find you annoying or nosy but when you’re genuinly concerned (as I think you are) she should pick up on that. It might get her to think about what she’s doing.
    Good luck!

  27. says

    Oh dear, this is a sad one, and so difficult to know what to do. I have to agree with the folks who think that getting to know her a little first before mentioning the exercise is probably the way to go. (But how???) I’d worry it would freak her out to be noticed and confronted about it, no matter how gently it was handled.

    (And in a totally unrelated matter… you crack me the hell up you o’ gangsta you).

  28. Miz says

    Thanks to all of you for making the time to comment and share.

    I appreciate and spend time with each and you have all made strong and valid points.

    So hard to know what to do—though in my heart of hearts Im pretty sure nothing is my answer—-but I just know that *I* believe it takes a village.

    *I* would hope someone would stop the Tornado (literally and figuratively) if I could not.

  29. Healthy Mama says

    I would have to say something.
    I am a earth mamma and couldn’t stand idly by.

    You should write picture books :)

  30. Izzy says

    I agree with you Miz and believe it takes a village to raise a child.

    I know there have been times when I have chosen not to see what was happening under my nose because I was not ready to see.

    I would have loved someone to step in.

    Just my .02

  31. Jen N says

    I try to smile and say hi whenever I walk past her, but have never received eye contact or a reciprocal hello. I have heard (via gossip channels) that some women in the neighborhood have talked to her — my recollection is that she is a college graduate, living at home with her parents, and hasn’t been able to find a job. My heart hurts for her because she obviously is struggling with something in her head.

    • Miz says

      Ive hesitated to blog this for years now because I was afraid someone who knew her would see.
      Then I decided I didnt care as I cared that much about her seeming so hellbent on self-destruction.

      Im surprised how many emails Ive gotten already like your comment Jen.

      THANK YOU.

      So so heartbreaking.

      • Sandy says

        This verifies my first thought. “Oh that could be me.” I think perhaps she has nothing else productive to do with her time and she is filling it with walking. I now have an empty nest. I have always walked 4 miles every day and done some weight lifting, pilates or yoga at home. Now I go to Jazzerise or yoga also. I added the extra classes when my last child left for college and I have an empty house all day. Perhaps it is good for her mental health to be outside and moving so that she doesn’t dwell on the emptiness of moving back home after college and not having a work or social life to keep her busy.

  32. Veggie says

    I was a counselor at a really well established summer program for a while. One summer there was a girl there who clearly underate and would run for miles and miles. We had to ban her from the gym and keep a close eye on her.

    If you talk to her, she’ll probably (really she will) hate you and avoid you, become defensive, and probably recede into herself. She’ll find somewhere else to compulsively walk.

    Bottom line, there is nothing that you can do about it. I would just talk to your daughter about the situation in a candid and open way. There’s nothing you can really do to influence the walking princess, but you can influence your daughter.

  33. says

    OK, going to comment more, this makes me think of a man who used to walk around town constantly when I was growing up. Like, constantly. I don’t know exactly the correct PC term, my dad told me he was ‘slow’ and a really nice man.
    It soothed him somehow. So, I guess I’d find out her story first.

  34. Lara says

    Do I remember correctly you were a counselor?
    If not, are you able and willing to handle what you might find?

    Just my thoughts.

  35. says

    I would consider just chatting her up. Since you’ve seen her often, she’s most likely noticed you on her walks too. Invite her over for water on a hot day or go walking with her to assess the situation before you ask questions.

  36. Lisa says

    If I were you I would befriend her and never mention that there may be an issue with her walking. She may learn by your example on her own terms or have emotional/family issues that drive her overexercise. I think coming out with it point blank would likely alienate her.

  37. says

    I honestly have no clue what I’d do. I wonder what I’d do if someone (a stranger) approached me. I’m sure the reaction depends on the person. I hope I’d listen thoughtfully but I guess there’s really no way of knowing.

    Maybe this is one of those decisions that has to be made NOT based on what could happen. Dang. These are always the hardest.

  38. Janis says

    Walking may get her out of the house … not everyone has good parents, and they or her family may be part of why she is out of the house so often. A well-meaning but blundering attempt by someone unfamiliar with the situation to get involved would not end well, I think.

  39. says

    My first thought is that she may be on the autism spectrum, having a 16 yr old with autism myself.

    I would walk with her a few days a week for 20 minutes or so and see if she is responsive to talking at all. Then I might intervene after awhile.

    If she is mentally ill or on the spectrum maybe you can move her obsession to walking in a swimming pool with less joint damage part time if she is interested in trying it. And find out what types of food she has available to her. My child (16) avoids cooked veggies squash potatoes and oatmeal type textures but likes raw veggies to finger eat.

  40. says

    Honestly, I probably wouldn’t do anything. First, I’m not very assertive:) Second, I would think maybe she has something going on in her life and this is her relief from some stressor. Does she look unhealthy thin?

  41. Bridget says

    As someone who had suffered from compulsive exercising, I wish someone (anyone) would have tried to talk to me about it.
    It’s exhausting to carry that around with you as a secret; sometimes a stranger is better than a friend.

    Best of luck!

  42. says

    Your compassion and awareness of others without judging is one of my fave things about you. I love that you care about a perfect stranger (and that you noticed her in the first place)! That said, having been *that* girl, I would not have taken well to a stranger coming out of nowhere and asking me questions/giving me exercise advice. Partly because I would feel creeped out and partly because I already knew that what I was doing was messed up. But, if you have the chance to, say, walk at the same time she does and strike up a convo and get to know her then I think you could be a great help to her.

  43. says

    If there is a social services agency somewhere nearby, can you go there and ask that someone from there go and check up on her? They’d be trained to work with someone who might be in distress mentally and they can also make sure that her home situation is acceptable. From RenMan’s reaction, I don’t think this would be out of line given her behavior.

  44. says

    I’d honestly stay out of it. One time, when I lived in the apartment over my good friend’s apartment, I’d comb my kid’s hair and the child would scream bloody murder. My friend downstairs from me thought I was beating my child and considered contacting child services. Year later, she found out of was just combing her hair. This could have ended as a very bad situation because of assumptions.

  45. Renee @feministrunner says

    I would definitely keep quiet, or if I felt the need to say something, do as others have suggested and get to know her first. Why? First off, because you don’t know the situation. We think when we live in nice neighborhoods and have good schools people don’t have crappy lives. But it’s possible that she’s walking so much because it’s the only way she can get out of a troubling home situation. It might be the only four hours a day when she doesn’t feel heckled or abused. Second, a teenager isn’t goin to listen to even the most well-intentioned stranger. But it’s possible if you got to know her you might find out that she craves adult attention. After all, you did ask where her parents are. And then you could offer all the help she needs, if she needs any.
    I’d advise whatever you do, listen before you talk. She’ll tell you what she needs. But you have to hear it.

  46. fd says

    It sounds like you have been getting to know her from afar for a long time but she wouldn’t have a clue who you are. It also sounds like she needs a friend more than she needs exercise advice. So, I would first start to get her used to seeing you not in a car, but on the pavement as an equal with her. and hten eventually, some smiles, some hello, maybe reaching out for help ‘sorry do you have the time/water? etc…’ and then just try to be her friend. i think trying to address the overwalking head on would not lead to anything, but trying to be a friend to her might. hope that makes sense and helps!

  47. Bella says

    Well, other people have said similar things to what I’m about to say, so I don’t know if this will add anything, but here is my opinion, for what it’s worth:

    You’re obviously concerned about this girl, and compassion for other humans is enough of a reason to try to connect with her.
    You have a background in counselling, so I’m sure you know that the best way to approach her would be in an open, curious, friendly way, without ever accusing her of overexercising or having a problem. Defensiveness gets us nowhere.

    Reaching out is never a bad thing. If you strike up a conversation and she has no interest in talking to you, at least you’ve tried, and you can rest easy knowing that you gave it a shot.

    If she does respond, but talking about the walking doesn’t go anywhere, at least you have a new friend/acquaintance, and a better reason to keep chatting with her, keep an eye on her, and be available if she does decide she wants to confide in you or seek help.

    Finally, if she just needs a little encouragement, or one more person to approach her (let’s remember that many people will deny a problem over and over for years before finally being triggered to seek help), then you might be that last thing that brings her to a place where she’s ready to start facing whatever is driving her to this behaviour.

    Be casual – I would orchestrate a way to be walking in the same place/same time, and start with a friendly hello. Over the course of a few days I would try to see her a few times, then make the attempt at conversation, and go from there. Don’t want to make her feel targeted or for you to be completely random stranger. Be open, be warm, be curious, and hold her in your heart no matter how it turns out, cause it sounds like she could use some love from the universe.

  48. Alison says

    I love you for your kind and generous heart.

    This post is not one I am qualified to comment on (I woudl not say anything only out of fear of being shut down) but I love you would.

  49. says

    Hello! This is the first time I’m commenting, but I want to say I love your website!

    I would probably have to say something, because it would drive me nuts to keep quiet. I may pull up and (hopefully don’t freak her out) say that I’ve noticed her walking everyday and say that she inspires me to walk more.. to see what her response would be. Maybe ask her if she’d like to meet for a smoothie :)

  50. Stacey says

    I wonder if we live in the same Austin neighborhood?
    Or if we both had one.

    I live way down south.

  51. says

    She probably isn’t too local. I used to get up in middle of the night and jog, and I’d hide if a car went by, I didn’t want to be seen. She’d probably prefer not to be confronted, though it might take some kind of intervention to snap her out of it. I’m reminded of a good book I read a few years back, where a woman with post-partum depression walked and walked and walked, and finally a man told her to go home. When I want to go for a walk, now that I can drive, I go to another neighborhood, as mine is flat and ugly.

  52. Natasha says

    If you are very concerned try to go walking at the same time you see her and sort of “bump” into her. Try striking up a conversation….and see where that leads. If she is open to your conversation and responds well, it was meant to be that you help her. If she shuns you or wont let you strike up much of a conversation, at least you know you did what you could. Sometimes we get those feelings that eat at us to help, they are there for a reason. Listen to your inner self and do what you can…. that is all any of us can do :)

  53. says

    Carla – I just read through all the comments ans something you said struck me “I just know that I would want someone to stop the Tornado if I could not”…

    I think you have your answer!

    But, you have to be very diplomatic about it. Go out for a walk when you know she’s out. Catch up to her and figure out a way to strike up a conversation. After feeling out the situation I think you’ll know what to do from there.

    If we all just “minded our own business” imagine the terrible things that would continue to take place.

    Just my .02 :)

  54. Amanda says

    Wow, so many great comments! After reading through them, I think we’re mostly in agreement that, until you know the situation, you won’t know what to do to help or even if you need to help. I’m certainly not a compulsive excersizer, but I don’t currently own a car and I save money by walking to work… an hour and a half away. I’ve had friends ask why I’m walking so far. So I tell them that it’s for excersize and health and to save money. They all think I’m crazy once they know the truth but at least they no longer think my husband MAKES me walk to work or something crazy. If you can get to know this girl you may find she needs help (in which case you’ll be the perfect person to help) or that she doesn’t. But at least you’ll feel better having tried. :)

  55. says

    I think she may be mentally ill. Buy her some food.

    We have tons of those chronic walkers, chronic everythingers. One guy used to walk with a zeal that was uncompromising. I never see him now. He probably was either hit by a car or he died of some disease that he was trying to ward off by walking.
    She should walk her way out to California and join her peeps.

  56. RG says

    My issue is with your blog title, because you are labelling her behavior as compulsive and exercise. But when I was a kid (10) I would ride my bike for hours and no one called it exercise, it was just “going out to play”. And in the winter I would spend hours at the ice skating rink, trying to become a better skater. All while maintaining a 4.0 gpa and watching hours of TV, too. Plus, if you read something like “born to run” – walking and running are in our genes and yes 4 hours a day is weird for our culture but not for our bodies. If she has headphones or a phone, she could be communicating with other people. Maybe you could help her find walking groups or go hiking with her or she could train for a marathon or something, but if your only issue is that she could be watching TV or writing a blog instead, MYOB.

  57. RG says

    Another point – I’d like some empirical data here. You might see her out a lot but you infer that she’s out all the time, even you’re not looking. But maybe she’s just out the same time you are, on sunny days. And you don’t notice when she isn’t out. The other thing is, I did walk myself out of a depression for about 4 months – seriously, I would put on music or podcasts or my memorization tapes, go out for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening. I did scale back after I lost weight, but seriously I think the walking and vitamin D and fresh air and music were all very, very good for my mental state. Certainly better than what I’d been doing before, ruminating in my apartment and sleeping.

  58. says

    Just coming to this now… hmm. I have so many questions! When you say young woman, do you mean like, college-age, or do you mean a teenager? There are so many myriad explanations for her walking. Yeah maybe she’s training to walk a marathon. Maybe she’s depressed. Or abused. Maybe she’s got a sort of disorder.

    I think it’s impossible to know without talking to her which I think Tornado Princess could strike up in a minute. I love the idea of offering her a bottle of water and saying, “We notice you walk a lot! More than most people in these parts!” etc and see what she says.

    I know most people would Do Nothing, but I love your caring and concerned heart and your wondering about her.

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