By Al Beeber on May 4, 2021.
When Trish Provost was feeling COVID anxiety last year, her sister Kristylee stepped and came up with a solution to beat the pandemic blues – a walking regimen.
The two sisters from the Piikani First Nations then embarked on a journey that over the course of a year has seen them walk 10,000 steps every day regardless of the weather or temperature.
“We inititally started when COVID hit; my sister noticed I wasn’t myself,” said Trish last week.
“I told her ‘let’s start walking.’ I said let’s do a challenge for 30 days and we just kept going,” said Kristylee.
They downloaded an app for their smartphone called Pedometer, which is available for free on the App Store for those with iPhones. The app is among many options available for people who want to keep track of their walking progress.
After 30 days, the sisters decided to go for 60, then 90 and now it’s been over a year â€” with a few rest days â€” since the former high school athletes started their journey.
They not only walk but they take photos and post them to a Lethbridge hiking Facebook group.
In terms of distance, walking 10,000 steps is about eight kilometres depending on stride length.
The walking challenge has spurred their competitive nature, said Kristylee. On occasion the pair have noticed they only have 9,000 steps in so they’ll rush out in the evening to hit that 10K mark.
During the past year, they’ve discovered plenty of interesting trails throughout the city and they’ve inspired others to follow in their footsteps.
“With us doing the challenge, it’s really motivated a number of people to go out and get fresh air,” added Kristylee.
And even cold weather can’t deter the pair who have gone out even in temperatures as frigid as -25C to get in their steps.
“This has become our daily workout, it’s second nature now to get our steps it. It’s fun to get out,” said Trish, who along with her sister, was out for an early morning walk on Saturday around Nicholas Sheran Lake.
So far the two have had no close encounters with coyotes or other wildlife but at Waterton they had a brief scare when they mistook “a big brown thing” in the distance on a trial that turned out to be a fallen log, for a bear.
The pair prefer challenging hikes through the coulees, especially the hills by the university. At home growing up near the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, they’d also climb hills.
For their 365-day anniversary hike, the sisters walked 20 kilometres from Lethbridge College to their westside home.
Follow @albeebHerald on Twitter