In Honor and Memory of Kevin J Regan
A Prince Among Men
December 15, 2014

In the midst of a WomenWalking member group walk around the city, exploring and chatting about all the wonderful and quirky sights, we found ourselves light-hearted and inspired. Mid step, one woman stops, heart raised to the sky and declares,”This is real community building!”  Exactly so…

Joy H Regan

Loneliness inspired me. Walking rewarded me.

As a single mom, my kids (high school) and I had just moved to a town in Connecticut where we didn’t know anyone. The move became a leap of faith initiated by a voice inside me, saying, “You can do it.”

Let me step back a bit. A number of years ago, I was a mediator. Mediation is an incredible process where people receive unbiased support in resolving an argument. The beautiful part of it is that the people in dispute are active participants in deciding the outcome and resolution of their dispute. Witnessing that miracle of moment when two people who are pissed at each other “get” what the other is saying is incredibly life changing.

“What does this have to do with walking?” Well, women are natural walkers and talkers. Walking side by side in a non-confrontational position, we get to listen to what the other is saying, and similar to the mediation experience, we have the opportunity to see that differences don’t have to be a deal breaker. In fact, our differences can create expansion and connection. We share similarities that can be unearthed while walking and talking outside! Look around. It’s in our DNA. We dive deep into conversation as we naturally pair up in two’s.

Working full time, getting home tired, parenting my kids, I was in need of peer companionship. I was lonely. What’s a shy girl to do? Throw open the door and take a walk!

Did you know that the Nurses’ Health Study from Harvard Medical School found, “…that the more friend’s women have, the less likely we are to develop physical impairments as we age, and the more likely we are to be leading a joyful life.” (Sounds good to me!)

The seeds for WomenWalking began sprouting from my experiences. It started as an idea in my head; an epiphany of sorts. Computer…Women…Walking…Talking…One to One. Like the mediation experience, we don’t have to think alike in order to take a walk and “get” what the other is saying. I love hearing other women’s perspectives. Hearing new views is a delicious growth opportunity and experience. 

I’d love to tell you it’s all been a breeze. The truth is, it’s been a deep learning process, but I’m still here, like you – walking my path. Life’s challenges, lessons learned. I married Kevin in 2007; a man who I have known most of my life, and lost him to cancer in 2014. He believed in me and WomenWalking 100%. When we’d be out for a ride on the motorcycle and see two women out walking (they’re everywhere), he’d shout to me, “Look, WomenWalking!” 

Community connection feels even more important without Kevin. Getting outside to stretch my legs and have a real conversation always makes me feel really terrific. Let’s meet up for a walk!


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