New Year Resolutions are little promises we make to ourselves, usually just in our thoughts. We make them, we break them. Like the bubbles in our raised campaign glass. Here. There. Gone.
This is a true story about a no nonsense woman with a tender heart. She has two young adult sons. As a family they are no strangers to heartache. Eight years ago she lost her husband, the love of her life, in a tragic motorcycle accident. Her sons lost their role model and best friend. But that was eight years ago. Families carry on. The sons grew up, finished school, got good jobs. The no nonsense woman retired from teaching but continued as a substitute teacher at Rivergold Elementary School.
On New Years Eve, 2017, the close knit family talked about resolutions. The woman recalls a song she had heard on the radio. “The lyrics went something like, “I would walk a thousand miles, if I could just see you tonight.” That’s my resolution. I’m going to walk a thousand miles for your Dad.”
One of the sons asked, “Why not 2017 miles, since it’s going to be the year 2017?”
The woman worked it out mathematically. Miles divided by days. She adjusted for her summer vacation and her frequent substitute teaching. On the days she taught, she’d hurry home, change into her walking gear and start out walking.
The terrain was tough mountain roads in Yosemite Lake Park. Lots of ups, lots of downs. No walking lanes. Just a sliver of road separated her from the traffic and the edge of the mountain. She walked six to ten miles per day and her Garmin Watch kept track of it all.
She made no excuses and didn’t feel sorry for herself. There were no reasons good enough not to walk. Freezing cold winter rain? She walked with an umbrella. Unleashed, intimidating dogs? She walked with dog treats. Blistering triple digit summer heat? She walked with the dawn’s early light.
She was a familiar sight around YLP. The locals would nod in her direction as she trudged by. “I see her all over these mountains. I call her Wonder Woman.”
Wearing a baseball cap, long sleeve shirt, and water bottle that swung from the belt loop of her sensible shorts, she listened to music and walked. Determined.
As she grew closer to her goal, she realized she was going to finish ahead of schedule. It was only September.
“I slowed down so I could finish on a date I could always remember.” She took her last step of her last mile on Sept. 20, 2017. (9-2017)
No cheers. No photographs. Just personal pride. The no nonsense woman with the tender heart had unbelievably walked 2,017 miles as a humble act of love for her husband.
Here. There. But certainly not gone. It was Wonder Woman’s New Years Resolution.
Wanda Pierce, 57, aka Wonder Woman, lives, teaches and walks in Yosemite Lake Park.