Category Archives: Namitha’s Notions

Fastest fingers first!

We are very excited to start the countdown for the discounted registrations for HAPPY FEET HEALTHY HEART 5K partnering with Dheean Pukardian!

Proceeds will go to Aurora Police Department and Aurora Fire Department!

General registrations are already open at full price, but you can mark your calendars to wait for the discounted tickets to be launched at 10 AM CT on Sunday April 14th.

What to do:

1.Bookmark this link:
https://raceroster.com/events/2019/22996/happy-feet-healthy-heart-5k-runwalk

2. Add a reminder on your calendar : 9:55 AM Sunday April 14th

3. Gather all info for you and family including T Shirt Sizes

4. Pick your team name

Login and grab the discounted registrations when you alarm goes off !! Look out for more reminders on HFWC facebook page and different whatsapp groups!

Are you Ready??

Its 2019 and Happy Feet Walkers Club has begun the planning for the annual 5k!

Opportunities to join us include sponsorship, volunteering , registering to walk/run or promoting the event to raise funds for the cause.

You can do one or you can do all, everything is appreciated!

First Annual Happy Feet Walkers Club 5K Family Walk-Run

Happy Feet leads to Healthy Hearts!

Join us for the first annual Happy Feet Healthy Hearts 5k Walk on Aug 18th 2018 at the Phillips Park in Aurora IL. This walk is targeted for all age groups and fitness levels. We encourage entire families to create teams and join us in our goal to raise awareness of heart health and specifically heart health for Women. Walking is a simple form of exercise that does not require any special gear or skill level but has immense benefits from physical wellness to emotional well being.

Save the date and watch this space for more information. Start lacing up your walking shoes and step out and enjoy the soon to be welcome warm weather in Chicagoland area!

Walk Managed by : Race Time Inc.

Supporting Cause is Women Heart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease!

Check out their website WomenHeart

 

 

To make it happen

The women who made the saying  true” where there is a will, there is way” You are the powerful maker of this world , show your art work, never hold ur thoughts back. We all can do it, just a little different paint u might need to use it to work it well.May be you ladies share, how you implemented this in your world, so the rest can do their world.Walkers who counted each step they progressed towards success, walker who taught it is time to move on towards miles and leave the step counting behind to show the path of success by measuring in miles.Walker forgot about the outer beauty and truly found the inner beauty which will live with you for ever and make others cheerful.Walker who hold hands to gather , in every step and motivate each other to keep moving towards success.  Walker who spread the contiguous habit of walking and happiness.— Neelam Jai

Skip a step; feel the magic!

After a long break; I headed downtown today. It’s summer time in Chicago which means lots of families and tourists.

I turned on mapmywalk and started walking with a purpose. Got a train to catch on 12 mins ; tasks to finish ; calls to make; meetings to attend  etc. I did not even stop for my walk selfie and took one as I walked.

One thing I do without fail as a happy feeter is capture the required stuff to keep me motivated by creating my daily collage. Second nature ; like brushing my teeth when I wake up!
Anyway; back to my story … As I was in the mode I mentioned above ; I observed a family walking in front of me heading to the train station. The mom was holding the hands of her kids as they walked. A little girl in pink and a slightly older boy in khaki.

That is when I saw the magic. The girl skipped every few steps and waved her hair in the wind in a happy and carefree way. A beautiful sight.

Hence my post; as we go about our daily lives, let’s remember to let go of our worries and skip a step and let the wind catch the hair!

Wishing you the magic in your lives too!

Cause you know I’d walk … A Thousand Miles

DSC_9979

“If I could fall; Into the sky
Do you think time; Would pass me by
‘Cause you know I’d walk ; A thousand miles
If I could ; Just see you Tonight” – Vanessa Carlton

As I hum this song, I think about all the different places that are a 1000 miles from Chicago. Houston, Texas is 1090 miles from Chicago.

Would you EVER consider walking to Houston? Would you consider walking to Houston if you have a year to do that? Maybe not.. Maybe so..

But some amazing women have walked 1000 miles or more in a single year. These are walks they have stepped out on intentionally. For good health, for wellness and fitness and many time for fun and friendship after joining Happy Feet.

It is amazing to imagine how far we have come as a club. The total miles that we all have walked, the bonds that we have created and the healthy goals that we have met.

But today is the day to celebrate all the dedicated star walkers who have diligently walked and tracked their walking to reach the 1000 mile mark.

Our Happy Feet role models:

Big round of applause for these amazing ladies who have crossed 1000 miles on map my walk :

  1. Nita Awasthi (leader of  the pack with her quiet walking and her ability to find joy in walking alone or with a group!)
  2. Ritu Bhambhani (Tireless walker who walks despite all kinds of roadblocks)
  3. Jyothi Shirahatti (Speed walker with single minded focus)
  4. Sree Lakshmi Kukkapalli A.K.A Kukki (Cheerleader and motivator for one and all)
  5. Shubhada Lawande (Happy Feet Champion who promotes the club and healthy living by her words and actions)
  6. Vimi Shukla (Platinum Sponsor, Yoga guru, motivated walker and  all time supporter of club and healthy living)

13422352_1015300488507130_6144809604003792345_o

First happy feet baby!

I was 36 years old and mom of two amazing boys 10 and 9 years old. Lakshmy and I started the club in June 2015.  I started walking everyday and was charging ahead in my mile count. Hit the first 100 miles within a month on map my walk right on the heels of power walker Nita Awasthi. Was going after the next 100 and made it to 200 miles in the same fashion and then … Boom!! I started feeling tired, irritable and not as social as my usual self.

I just turned 37, we were doing great as a club, work life was excellent, kids were doing good in school , more or less there was no reason to complain. Why then did it feel like something was really wrong ??

Now when the waterworks started for no reason (which pretty much never happens with me) and the nausea and lack of appetite latched on, lights went off in my head and the home test answered my question the same day!!

A BABY ON THE WAY!!!

Everything was right again. Very obvious reasons for the  symptoms.

During this time I continued to partner with Lakshmy and lead the club as well as participate. The only group  events I missed were the heart walk in Lisle and the India Day parade as days were too hot and I could not carry a gag bag with me without being noticed 🙂

True to happy feet promise, I shared the news with all happy feet family.

After the first trimester queasiness settled down, I resumed walking as usual. Slower pace , reduced miles but walking nonetheless. This was both for me and the club. I often used to say the pregnancy is not an illness. This was my time to prove it.

Week over week went by and we walked together as group , we walked in smaller groups on weekdays, we created and completed challenges , we had several occasions and themed walks. Life was beautiful. I continued to wear the small size happy feet Tshirt too.  I also performed pre natal yoga under the able guidance of Vimi Shukla.

image

As the 3rd trimester was fast approaching, the family wanted to have a vacation during Christmas break. If not for confidence driven by Happy Feet walking , I may not have ventured out. We ended up spending 10 wonderful days in California with lots and lots of walking and on one of the days I even biked 7 miles.

image

January in Chicagoland is usually hibernation time. But not this year, we spoke to fox valley mall authorities and made arrangements for indoor walks at the mall. An excellent solution to keep walking as a group in a safe and cost free environment.

image

Around the same time, I had the first minor hiccup related to pregnancy. A potential to develop gestational diabetes. Doctors recommended walking to metabolize the sugar in the body after eating and watching my diet.  I was able to successfully do it because walking did not feel like exercise or an effort that I had to push myself for. It was just something I did naturally. For myself and for the club.

I kept adding those steps and walked to my repeat test to find out that I was not longer considered to be a gestational diabetic. It was a big win. I did not rest or start eating those mochi ice cream that I love. Instead I continued to eat healthy, guavas, coconut water etc and kept walking and doing my yoga.

Then came time to plan and execute the large annual Valentine Day Ball. It was a non stop marathon of phone conversations with Lakshmy for planning and execution. The husbands helped and kids gave their ideas too. The goal was to make it an evening to remember for everyone. Happy feet members their families and friends. We made it happen!!

12711065_946781042025742_3065139449508263061_o

I walked the ramp with Lakshmy , danced to the music , catered to guests and Logistics all with the super duper support from my partner Lakshmy. She did more heavy lifting and still did not make me feel like I should get special treatment. She supported me in proving that “pregnancy is not an illness”.

Just few more weeks to go, atleast per my calculations which was sooner than the doctor stated date of March 25th.

More things to do, parties to plan and attend. Nothing stopped for a single minute.

Here is the critical timeline:

Wednesday March 2nd: Planned and executed a birthday party for a friend with my buddies Lakshmy and Ushasri. Line danced with the group in cow girl outfit and had a blast with the birthday girl and friends.

image

Thursday March 3rd: A full work day with non stop meetings.

Friday March 4th: Woke up to a sign to head to hospital. Got there at 4 AM. Had the most awesome experience of labor and super short duration of less than 15mins to actually deliver

image

“The first Happy Feet Baby”

His name is Khush meaning “happy”.

image

From left to right:

Happy Feet Mamma 2 days after delivery

Happy Feet Baby at 1 week

Lakshmy welcoming tiny Happy feet to club

And back to walk with our lovely happy feet group after 2 weeks!

image

Go happy feet!!

 

 

Why walk? Doesn’t it get boring?

This is a walkers club. What’s new about walking? What keeps everyone motivated to keep on doing it? Why should walking be done as a group activity?

These are some of the things we ponder upon and I’m sure every existing and new member has thought about it at some point of time or other.

This is what I tell myself, let me know in comments if you agree:

There is nothing new about walking. It is how we walk that makes all the difference.

Everyone is staying motivated because of the variety, the friendships and the interesting challenges that is a constant reminder to move.

Women are social by nature, we band together to achieve great things. We push each other to keep on going. Without the group, I would have stopped walking a long time ago!

Can it get boring? No way, some of the types of walks we have already done:

1. Saturday group walks

We have walked every Saturday without fail, rain or shine since June 2015.

2. Heart Walk

Triggered by our own Kukki , our group participated in a Heart Walk at Lisle. It really brought awareness and Walking together beautifully.

3. Family Nature Walk

A desire for all members was to include the family in some way. Obviously we would do it with a walk. What better way than to include a guided nature walk where a nature enthusiast walked with our group at the forest preserve and pointed out interesting flora and history to us.

4. Purple Walk

In line with Pancreatic cancer awareness month, we wanted to raise awareness about this relatively rare and challenging type of cancer. We walked together for a friend and also discussed how we can better care for ourselves.

5. Themed walks

Holiday time is special and exciting and filled with lot of family time and rich food. Happy Feet celebrated these times with walks as well. Walks that catered to holiday themes such as

Halloween Walk

Thanksgiving Walk

Diwali Walk

Reindeer Walk

New Year Walk

6. Indoor and Outdoor Walks

We are not held captive by the weather, when the season is favorable we walk outside and enjoy the outdoors, when its cold and snowy we walk inside the mall. There is no excuse not to!

7. Goal driven walks

What better way to challenge yourself than to attempt a 5K walk? We did that too and had great fun doing it. We have another one coming up on April 24th 2016.

8. Cat Walk

Who would have thought that a valentine day party had anything to do with walks? We did! A fun event for the entire family is not complete without a walk. This time walk of a different kind, a cat walk on the ramp! Come check it out for yourself on Feb 13th 2016 at the Happy Feet Valentine Day Ball!

We keep thinking of different types of walks. The fun is never ending and fitness is always the goal. New friendships and strengthening existing ones is a beautiful side affect!