This blog is about walking, so today I want to remember a walker. My Mom, Thelma Spinrad, passed away on Friday night, November 18th, 2016, just a few months short of her 100th birthday.
I’m pretty sure I inherited my passion for walking from Mom. She lived her whole life in New York City, never once having a mailing address outside of the Big Apple. In fact, she died just a short distance from where she grew up, in the Bronx. She loved walking the streets of the city. I have great memories of strolling with her in uptown Manhattan, across town to Chelsea, down to the village, to the Lower East Side. Even well into her late 80s, Mom was always up for a walk. And remarkably, for a woman who measured just about 5 feet tall (in heels … with a hat on!) she was usually the pace-setter.
I have no idea how far Mom walked through her life, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s measured in light years (FitBit would probably have to define a new badge for her total distance). As an aside, when she moved out of her apartment four years ago, we noted that her exercycle – a first generation job with only two pedals, a wheel, handlebars and an analog odometer … that’s it – had over 20,000 miles recorded on it! She used that when it was too cold or wet to walk, so you can imaginary what her aggregate share of shank’s mare miles must have been.
If you’ve been reading this blog in the past, you know that I intend to start The Long Walk Home on February 3, 2017. That date was chosen for several minor reasons and one particularly meaningful one: it is Mom’s 100th birthday. I never expected her to live to see that date, and her passing last week was, in fact, a blessing. But rest assured that on Friday, February 3, 2017, as I dip my heel into the Atlantic Ocean, the picture in my mind will be of my favorite walking partner, my Mom.