“Hey Alan, how yer doin?”, I heard a holler which kind of shook me out of a “trance” / concentration / deep in thought / daydreaming, while I was on my usual daily 15 kilometer walk. I looked around to see where it came from. A quick survey of the surroundings and there was Herman, smiling and waving from his house compound as he prepared to go to the shops nearby to buy his newspaper and get a cup of coffee at the New Apollo restaurant. This was his daily morning routine. Herman perhaps is USJ 4/4 Tudor’s tallest resident.
I’ve been walking this walk route mostly everyday for over 3 years now. This route is within the USJ 4/4 Tudor gated community. I sometimes walk twice a day, totaling over 25 kilometers. I do several loops or rounds to cover this distance.
I weighed a hefty 88kg for a 168cm tall frame when I first started this routine in mid-August 2018. I started with the obvious (to most) – 10,000 steps. You know how far 10,000 steps are and how long it takes to cover these 10,000 steps? Once I walked out of the USJ 4/4 area, walked all the way to the end of USJ4/9, crossed the road that runs between USJ 4 and USJ 3 (convenient way of describing it since I forgot the name of the road). Can you blame me? It’s 3.03am in the morning. Haha.
Oh ya…to continue the last sentence…walked right to the back of USJ3/6, which is the far end of USJ 3; then along the perimeter of USJ 3, right up to the other end of it, walked pass the USJ 3/1 guardhouse; then, back across that road (the one which I cannot remember the name of, in the first place), back into USJ 4, this time USJ 4/1; then headed back to USJ 4/4. The whole big loop of about 7km in distance, was not big enough to cover the 10,000-step target, I had a few hundred steps balance to walk.
One early morning at around 8.30am, while I was sweating it out, doing my “rounds”; an attractive lady, wearing a pair of big, fashionable sunglasses, pulls up along side me in her SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) and asks with a wide smile, “Need a ride?” I asked, “Where are you heading to?” She said, “Anywhere you want to go”. And we both burst out laughing. It was the beginning of a wonderful friendship with Evelyn (pronounced Eve’r-lyn) and her husband Gary.
On another typical morning walk; a lady in an MPV (Multi Purpose Vehicle) pulls up next to me. The lady driver winds down the window, extends her hand out to shake my hand, and said, “Hi, I’m Jane”. We have become great friends ever since.
I don’t have a fixed time for my daily walk. At present, I usually walk after 3.30pm. Yes, the past few weeks, the sun has been scorching, right up till nearly 7.00pm. If I have an appointment or a meeting at around that time or thereabouts right up till 8.00pm (as in the past few days); I will walk in the morning. I have walked at 12.00am, 1.00am, 4.00am, 5.30am, 11.00am, 12.00pm, 2.00pm, 3.30pm, 5.00pm, 7.00pm. I have walked under the blazing sun, I have walked in very heavy rain, too (with an umbrella).
With a fairly brisk walk, I cover the 15km distance in about 165 minutes or 2 hours and 45 minutes. I am conscious of meeting this time or even faster. My whole aim is for a good workout. So, this means I do not answer phone calls or reply text messages unless they are from my wife, daughter or parents.
One late mid-morning, one very elderly, frail, small-sized lady sort of waved me down. I did not want to interrupt the pace that I built up as I was more than half way through my routine. But I could tell on her face that she needed help. She handed me a small old cell-phone and in a very soft voice asked me to help her telephone her son for her. She told me her son’s name, I searched it up in her phone contacts and dialed for him.
Several months later, on another of my walks; I saw her standing outside her house. She seemed happy to see me, giving me her best smile she could and asked me again to help her telephone for her son. Which I did.
I rarely stop to talk with neighbours on the way in order to meet this time set of 2hrs 45min. I do, however greet all neighbours, whoever I see, whether they are in their houses, vehicles when they drive pass or when they walk or jog in the area as well.
There was a lady who I saw once in a while on my morning walks. She used to walk around 9.00am to 10.00am. From her looks, I thought this person was with an illness, probably cancer.
The first time I passed her by, we greeted each other with a smile. On another day when I saw her again on my walk; I slowed down my pace quite a bit to walk with her.
We introduced ourselves. She told me that she was diagnosed with cancer and the morning walks was meant to help her. I shared with her that my (late) sister at that time was suffering from Stage 4 cancer.
We had a wonderful chat and she thanked me for spending some time with her. She apologised for having held me up. From that time on, whenever I saw her; I would slow down to walk with her.
It was a privilege for me to have her spend time with me. She, her husband and her daughter are good neighbourly friends with me.
Has all this walking helped? I lost 22kg in weight within 6 months. I gained 6.7kg 😢 over the last 1 year. According to the health tracking app on my smartphone; I am overweight by 2.2kg. I aim to bring it back under control.
Should you get into an exercise routine? Yes.
Should it be the same as mine? What will motivate you to exercise?
My walk in Tudor has become a treasure chest of many wonderful neighbourly friends.
“THE WALK IN TUDOR” may be a work-in-progress series of essays as there is much to be said. I will try to give mention to neighbours along the route. I cannot mention each and everyone of you by name as I do not know all your names. I know you by sight. When I do talk about Tudor; I have all neighbours at heart 💖
~ USJ 4 and USJ 3 are suburbs of the city of Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.