Winter Warm-Up: One Woman’s Strides Toward Better Health

Jodi Davis

| 4 min read

The author, left, with Linda Hyde.
“It’s amazing how everything just seemed to line up, how each piece just fell into place. I feel like it is just meant to happen at this time in my life. It is now the time for me to lose weight.”
I heard those words this past weekend from Linda Hyde, a truly inspiring individual that I met at the 2012 Winter Warm-Up finale, held to celebrate the nearly 2,400 residents from nine Lansing-area communities who walked more than 208,000 miles during this eight-week challenge. After meeting Linda, I just knew that this was the beginning of a long-lasting friendship. Linda not only is a remarkable person, but she has a remarkable story as well.

Needing a Push

Linda explained that the Winter Warm-Up and the Blues’ Community Challenge have given her a big boost in the right direction towards better health and a successful weight loss. She knew that she needed some help to become more active, since she sits at her desk at for eight hours a day and often up to twelve hours per day when she goes to work at her second job. When she arrives home she is truly exhausted and wants to sit in her comfortable chair or just go to bed.
Since October 2011, Linda had been having troubles with her knee. She was in severe pain and knew that surgery was possible. She heard about the Winter Warm-Up and Blues’ Community Challenge from Alicia Armstrong of Community Partners in Health, who happened to be promoting the event at the school where Linda is employed. That was when Linda thought to herself, “Maybe that would help me lose weight and give me a start to moving. I am going to do this and keep moving!”
Linda participated in the Winter Warm-Up kickoff not knowing how well she would do. She claims that she was apprehensive about how far she could walk. Linda didn’t let that stop her, and she began her first steps towards better health that day as she joined in with numerous other participants as they together walked the Lansing Mall course.

An Eye-Opener

Linda said she couldn’t walk the entire course; she was winded and out of breath after about three minutes of walking. But she did not give up — oh no — she was now really motivated instead! She ended up meeting someone by the name of Becky who just happened to come into the office and have a conversation with Linda about her difficulty walking long distances. Before she knew it, Becky convinced her to come to a pool where Linda could come and work out in the water.
Winter Warm-Up participants Beth and Fred Garrett, left, receive the Healthy Lifestyle Promoter award for Grand Ledge from Mayor Kal Smith..
Linda soon found that she could jog in place, run back and forth across the pool and enjoy exercising, since the pool made it easy for her to move. She said she never felt so good about moving before and felt so free. When Linda told me this, I had to wipe back the tears as I could so relate with her words. We chatted about how excess weight truly holds a person down, and when the weight is lifted, it is a freeing feeling that it almost indescribable!
This may give you goose-bumps like it does me: Linda now can walk 15-17 minutes and can walk/jog in the pool for an hour! Woo-hoo! Oh, and there is more… Linda was using a cane and guess what? She is no longer using that cane — her knee has become stronger and it doesn’t ache any longer.
Linda is hoping that she will no longer require any knee surgery and is striving to lose her excess weight and become a healthier person. I already know that she will. I am so proud of Linda along with all others who attended the celebration. Linda made a “forever deal” with herself to adopt a healthy lifestyle and is looking forward to the Lansing Walking in Our Community series, which kicks off in April. It’s exciting to know that during this series she will not only be exploring parks, trails, farmers markets and historic districts, but that she will also be making continuous strides towards better health.
Thank you, Linda, for sharing your story with us as you have inspired more people than you know. I couldn’t agree with you more about how everything seemed to line up just right, each piece always falling into place, and that all of this is happening because it might be meant to be. Oh, it is.

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