Cheryl's story

15 Jun 2018

Cheryl lives in Melbourne’s west. She is a recently retired social worker who used to always walk 3-4 kilometres every day. However, 2 years ago Cheryl’s health started to deteriorate. She began to experience significant knee pain and was unable to walk, so she had to have knee replacement surgery.

When recovering from the surgery Cheryl started to notice unwanted weight gain. She decided to get a young dog from the local animal rescue for company and motivation to get back into the walking habit.

Unfortunately, due to a combination of lost confidence with a new knee and the exuberance of the young dog, Cheryl was pulled over by the dog, falling on the footpath.

This was a setback. She lost more confidence. Cheryl started paying someone to walk her dog while she waited for her other knee to be replaced.

Cheryl often visits Footscray Library and Braybrook Community Hub and it was at one of these sites that she noticed the poster for the Let’s Walk project. She liked the idea of six walks in six weeks. They were local, not too long and didn’t feel daunting.

Cheryl decided to get involved - she wanted to move more and she felt that the connection to other people in the community would be good for her soul.

There were many things that Cheryl enjoyed about Let’s Walk.  She most enjoyed the motivation to get there. Some of the mornings were quite cold and she commented, “If you hadn’t been there, I would not have gone.”

Cheryl loved the social interaction and the bits of local knowledge she picked up whilst walking and talking. She didn’t expect to have points of interest and enjoyed them because they made her look up and discover. She realised that when she walked she was so concerned about stability that she always looked down and there were many things that she missed along the way.

When Cheryl recovers from her next surgery she will continue to walk the Let’s Walk routes and is tempted to find other walks in her local area or find a walking group to join. Cheryl said she would recommend the Let’s Walk route to others who are interested in becoming more active because of the sense of community, the encouragement to get out there and move, and the feeling of someone waiting there to walk with you.

Find out more about Let's Walk