A Resident’s Perspective – Panoramans Walk to Armenia

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. June 2015

All Panorama residents were invited to register for our June Summer Challenge and pick up a T shirt, pedometer, water bottle, progress card and brain games packet.  We’d compete only with ourselves—Yeah!  I was eager to start.  The challenge was to move a little bit more than we usually did with suggested activities:

“Walk the Loop”

around McGandy Park on Tuesdays with neighbors and go as many rounds as desired

Ride a bike

Take a Fitness Class

Exercise our Brain through Puzzles or ??


Clean and Organize

And anything else to JUST MOVE MORE!

We calculated our steps, miles, or time with our pedometer and recorded it on our progress card.

The timing was perfect.  With diabetes in my family history, I’d just learned I was pre-diabetic.  I needed to eat more veggies, less sugar, etc.  I could do that.  After an hour of writing my life-story book, I needed to stand, walk around, do a few exercises, and snack every two hours!  Wow, I hardly ever snacked!  I could get used to an apple or whole wheat cracker with peanut butter, or a handful of nuts in plain yogurt.

Walk_CompressedI aimed to walk a mile or two a day.  With our campus of 140 acres and smooth sidewalks among beautiful trees and flowers and McGandy Park, I was spoiled into walking alone or with others, who were on foot, with walkers, scooters or being pushed in wheelchairs.  Sometimes I stopped into one of the three campus buildings to use the electronic treadmills with an option to watch the large flat-screen TV on the wall.  Although I walked often, since we haven’t had nor needed a car for three years, I still needed to walk more.  The weather here is great almost every day of the year for strolling.

I figured I’d use some of my daily chores to get more exercise.  I energetically did squats to dry the shower down while holding an oldie-but-goodie, water-sucking towel with both hands.  Why not do stretches and squats while brushing my teeth?

Weekly I scrubbed the kitchen and bath floors with enthusiasm.  I tackled my craft room—somewhat—but vigorously.  I watched our closed circuit TV channel or news while I did my chair and floor exercises in our family room.  My windows sparkled like the cleanser-ad on TV by the end of June.

Melissa, our fitness coordinator, expected about 50, but reported 200 participants!  When turning in our progress cards, we automatically entered the drawing for prizes at our July 4th picnic.  I didn’t win the $100 or $50 grocery or shopping gift cards, or tickets to the Seattle Mariners Game.  Not even the free session of Fitness Classes or Gift Certificate to our Restaurant, but I won–over and above my own expectations.

It’s amazing how much better I feel at the end of only one month!  I don’t remember how long it was since I bent over to touch my toes. I feel even more energetic.  Most of all, I’m meeting new friends who continue walking, stretching and exercising just a little more than they did before June.

So, what does Armenia have to do with all of this?  Weekly, Melissa kept tract of our progress-card mileage on a large world map displayed in the fitness center.

We traveled 9,099 miles, did 517.3 hours of activity, and walked across the United States–all the way to Armenia!

Summer Challenge Map

Thanks, Panorama for my free trip and new normal of eats and exercise.  Everyone was a winner!

Mary Jo Bio

3 thoughts on “A Resident’s Perspective – Panoramans Walk to Armenia

  1. Let’s go East next year! A really fun and inclusive activity. Thanks, Melissa and all who helped!

  2. Such a fun accounting, Mary Jo!! Loved this, tho I didn’t participate. We get so many miles in walking wherever we go on campus, and the Panorama-organized hikes/and walks!!! You made this sound way fun …keep up the good work!!!!

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