Romping in the rain

Walking enthusiasts enjoy the varied weather while out for a walk at Flood Falls

Mom and daughter duo

Lead the way on a worthy path and others will follow.

Fitness fans Brenda Deschenes and Miranda Cowan laid down an example of doing at least 30 minutes of exercise every single day for 365 days since last October — and in their wake, others have been spurred on to more active lifestyles.

“I call them my ‘fit bosses,’” said Anna Gladue on Monday, after a walk to Flood Falls with her friend Chrissy Younie and Gladue’s mom, Marla Rosenberg.

Marla and Anna took part in Hope’s Resolution 5K walk on New Year’s Day and Anna committed to the 30-minutes-per-day exercise challenge for January.

“After that, I kept going,” she said. “I would say I’ve only missed 20 days since January.

“Now, I’m inspiring my friends to start walking.”

Anna draws her motivation from many sources, one being her parents. Marla’s husband Steve has also caught the walking bug. There’s also Anna’s husband Poke and their kids Ben and Neela and Anna’s good friend and walking-buddy, Chrissy.

Richard and Luna, her lively four-year-old dogs also conspire to get Anna into her walking boots, no matter what the weather.

“Richard knows when I head for my sock drawer, we’re going for a walk,” said Gladue.

“And when they stop to pick me up, they know it’s going to be good,” added Mom, with a laugh.

Marla, a teacher at Coquihalla Elementary, said she started walking during the labour strike in 2013. “I walked up to five kilometres a day, in front of the board office.”

She and Steve live near the Kettle Valley trail and if they can’t come up with another walk, they head out on their “go-to” trail, from the cemetery to the Quintette Tunnels.

Anna agrees that it’s her favourite as well.

“It’s beautiful,” said Marla. “Every time I go, I see something new.”

“And Hope Mountain Centre has done an amazing job of developing trails in the area,” said Anna.

“I was amazed at how quickly the volunteers cleaned up the trails after the ice storm,” added Marla.

Clean trails made it possible to maintain her four or five walks per week, in addition to aquafit and other indoor workouts.

Technology is another big factor for the two. They took out their smart phones and opened their tracking apps. Marla uses MapMyWalk and Anna uses MapMyRide, which provide maps, while tracking the distances and elevation changes.

“It’s very motivating,” said Marla. “It gives you weekly and monthly reports and sends you challenges.”

The apps can even track how may kilometres you’ve put on your boots — and have links to where you might want to buy your next ones. The software is free, even if you don’t buy any products.

So far in 2015, Marla has tracked 786 km on her walks and Anna, 1154.7 — way up from the 350 she totalled in 2014.

Marla has rain pants, a rain jacket and a rain hat, so she’s ready for the worst of the wintry weather. Anna is still building her wardrobe but says a reflector vest is important for visibility on roadways. She hasn’t got a rain hat but used an umbrella when she and Chrissy took the dogs to Flood Falls on Saturday. Hope Minor Soccer hasn’t had a cancellation due to severe rain in many years — but they certainly did on Saturday.

Undeterred, Anna and Chrissy headed for the falls, a fairly easy 25-minute round trip hike through a beautiful rainforest.

The change from July, when there wasn’t any water coming down, was spectacular. Even on Monday, the water was flowing in the creek bed. In the spring and summer, it trickles underground. On Saturday, the creek was impassible and the ditch near the trailhead was almost touching the road, said Anna.

And the white noise from the falls?

“Even face to face, we had to yell to each other,” said Anna. “It was very loud.”

Richard and Luna loved every soaking wet minute of it.