by Carrie Frye, Editor

I always thought of friction in a negative way, but as it turns out, there’s another side to the story.

Having begun my walking/running journey on Feb. 22, I have made it to day 90. I say this more to say it to myself out loud. If doing something for 21, 66 or however many days makes it a habit, this is a habit I am happy to have embarked upon.

I am still walking and running with a walking buddy or on my own with an app about six days a week. What I didn’t know starting out is that the wrong shoes and socks cause friction and, yes, blisters, painful ones.

Time, special blister Band-Aids and gobs of Neosporin heal them, eventually. For a while, the blisters subsided. Now that the heat of a Carolina spring is in full force, walking and running is bringing more friction and more blisters. I can feel it when I am on the trails, that twinge of pain. However, I don’t stop, because I feel like that is giving in.

When the two laps at the park or four miles on the trail conclude, relief comes but so does another sense of accomplishment. Another day of this journey is complete, although I have every reason to quit: I have lost some weight, I have a much more positive attitude, the friendship that made me begin the journey has grown, not to mention I have asthma, a time-consuming career and I have never been a fan of running anywhere. But I can’t quit, and I won’t.

Feeling the friction reminds me with every step how far I have come. Sometimes the skin is merely red and irritated, and other times, it is on fire, and either is OK by me.

The friction means I am still working on my goals, one step at a time, even when it’s a painful step. I just have to keep reminding myself to be patient and diligent. I never thought that taking the road less traveled would literally mean walking or running it daily or making the time and effort to do so. This journey makes me want to keep improving every day, so perhaps my asthma improves and friendships flourish. Yet, when there’s friction, which is inevitable, it’s my reminder to acknowledge it, keep digging and working on the goal ahead. Onward…