By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

Chris entered my life some 25 years ago and made imprints in my physical life that have carried over into a healthy practice and discipline still “walked out” today.
Our relationship began with a simple invite to become her walking partner.
Had you known me at that particular time, you would’ve observed that I was not in peak shape nor had I ever entered into a regimented physical discipline.
I’m not sure what prompted the invite but I grabbed ahold of it observing it had clearly been a productive discipline in Chris’s life.
How hard can walking be, right?
I’d like to speak to that question:
By the third block of our five mile course on our first day I was ready to call it quits. I recall looking at her out of the corner of my eye hoping she was humoring me.
She wasn’t.
Welcome to the world of speed walking.
Too proud to assert my weariness I managed to complete the first day’s walk which, in hindsight, I still consider a monumental feat.
Blisters lined my heels and toes.
Sweat permeated my entire frame.
Breathing was heavy and laborious.
These symptoms were consistently mine for the first month of our walking regiment which consisted of five days a week, no exceptions.
I stayed the course.
Why did I keep walking?
The foremost reason was that I enjoyed time with Chris and the budding intimacy that was being developed in our time together and because I possess one of those natures that’s motivated and driven to achieve.
The need to be challenged sits in me like an empty tank ready to be filled.
Chris happened to be the pump.
Her consistent presence in my life was a daily motivator and challenge to me.
I continued on because of her.
Within about two months, my stride was equal to that of my friend and through the process I began to eat less, walk more, and enjoy a wonderful new friendship.
Chris’s walk greatly influenced my own and her invitation to a walk challenged me.
Praise be to God for the individuals who spark challenge, life, and vibrancy into our lives and evoke healthy challenge and change as a result.
Their worth is inestimable and it is to these individuals I attribute three life lessons:
1) A walk has the power to change a life.
My friend would have laughed at the idea that a simple invitation to take a walk could impose life changing and health altering consequences in my life.
But it did.
That walk also fostered an intimate friendship that I deeply needed in that period of my life for which I will ever be grateful.
A simple walk has the power to do that.
We each have the power to contribute something life-changing and meaningful to another. God has wired us for community in this way.
Extend your hand and heart and welcome someone new into your world. Deliberately explore and engage in new life experiences!
2) Respect and invite challenge.
Don’t resist the challenging stride of another even if it looks initially impossible.
Take one step toward a challenging individual and tap into new arenas of personal growth.
Resist the urge to walk with people of the same gait; you won’t progress or develop muscle this way.
You’ll be amazed at what an individual’s stronger stride contributes to your own.
You’ll find yourself totally empowered even if you're a little threatened in the beginning.
Hold a challenging hand and develop a stronger stride.
Engage with a stronger "strider".

3) Blisters become strategic life developers.
Those nasty blisters are just no fun but they’re part of the walk. If your walk looks anything like mine, you’re familiar with blisters, bobbles, and burns.
Persevere and be encouraged if you’re dealing with them, my friend;
they symbolize perseverance, movement, and progression.
They're a healthy, though very difficult, part of the journey.
Keep on walking ...
You'll arrive somewhere life changing!
If you're looking for connection, challenge, and meaningful contribution to your journey, feel free to contact me.
I’d love to meet up with you, support you, and inspire you.
Yours on the journey,
Darrelyn L. Tutt / Motivational Speaker + Life Experience Coach
Specializing in Small Group Dynamics