We won! Not bragging, but proud that the Standard Tobacco Company team won the Mason County Extension Service’s “Step It Up Walking Challenge.” Of the trials during the six-week period, our group won four of six. Our six-person team chalked up over 3.5 million steps as part of the contest. That’s a lot of walking, and each team member did their part.
The 21 teams in the event stepped up (pun intended) to the challenge, racking up over 40 million steps. Forty million! Which goes back to my premise that regardless of who won, we all came out ahead.
The Standard Tobacco Company team ran up the pedometer in several ways: through golf and walking (Danny, not me), yard work and golf (Jeff, not me), running (J.T, not me) maintaining an active lifestyle (Travis and Garry, not me) and forcing oneself out to walk (me).
Mornings before the work day started, J.T., Travis and I toured the town. It gave me the chance to give the kids an Old Man’s tour of Maysville. In the Halloween spirit, I told the guys about ghosts of businesses past. We walked by where the Little Chef Restaurant once stood, Botkins Cardinal Grocery, Montgomery Ward, Moore’s Toy Store and more.
We sidled by Underwood’s Music Store (both Bob’s original site on Second Street and his Market Street property). Jim Powell’s Little Sack Grocery and Bill Preston’s Barber Shop. Chicken Villa and the Dairy Queen (later a blue jean shop then the Bear’s Den Arcade and Red Barn Liquor).
During our travels we passed the Lingenfeltzer’s Ice Plant, Jim McDaniel’s Barber Shop and Larry’s IGA. The Country Gentleman Restaurant was on the way, as well as Maysville Produce and Deli.
On our way we saw the Sundry Store, Hazel White’s Grocery and Begley’s Drug Store, not to forget Elite’s, Vance’s, Parker’s, and the immortal White Light.
Ryan’s Drug Store was on the tour, as well as the Maysville Stockyards, Porter Morgan’s EAT Restaurant, the Toggery and Kilgus’ Pharmacy.
The result was a great trip down memory lane instead of a tiresome walk, and a realization that exercise can be done without it feeling like the Spanish Inquisition. I got to see Maysville from a fresh perspective and fell in love with it all over again.
From Patti North’s scarifying Halloween display in front of Lasting Impressions to the basketball upgrades at The Hole to the never disappointing architecture of our town, I developed a new appreciation for the place I call home.
Mind you, I'm writing this a few days after the challenge has ended. The aftermath? I'm still walking - and not just to the fridge for a beer. I feel better, I’m eating better, I've lost weight, which I figured out from my friends who see me and scream, “You’ve lost weight!” in the same tone as if I had grown a third eye (or hair).
My Christmas wish this year was going to be for an Apple Watch. I revised my list. Santa, I would like the discipline to keep up the exercise regimen I developed during this challenge. Sure, it's not as flashy as the Unobtainable Toy. But, hopefully, it will last a lot longer.