“Walking is Man’s best medicine” – Hippocrates
By Mary Brady, Member Since 1989
Long-time Members Art and Joan Ruffing have taken this prescription for the past 30 plus years, and it seems to work quite well for them. Married 58 years, they have two grown sons, two grandchildren, and one new great-grand baby whose mom is a marathoner. Joan smiles as she says, “My grandson’s wife walked during her pregnancy. This great grandchild will probably be a fitness person as well. Yeah! My daughter-in-law started walking a few years ago and she is hooked on it as well. It is great when the family comes because she walks with us and it is a great time to catch up.”
When the Ruffings bought their little piece of paradise at the Angler’s Club in the early 1990’s, they embarked on a ritual of walking each and every day. Obviously fit and strong, they love their routine. According to Joan, “An early morning walk in the beauty of nature with fabulous weather and seeing the sunrise is good for the soul.” Art agrees and says, “Walking in Savannah (our other home) is lovely, but it can get buggy and cold. Here the weather is great and we are blessed to be able to enjoy it.”
“In every walk with nature, one receives much more than he seeks.” – Muir
They try to go early in morning just after daylight around 6:45 a.m., and they go three miles in about one hour. The same route every day, but sometimes Joan veers off for a golf game, croquet, tennis or other sport. Most of time, they walk together. “A walking partner is a good motivator,” Joan exclaims.
Art is thrilled about the new walking paths, saying they are “much safer and really beautiful with the flowers and the lights. We have had many ‘near misses’ before the paths were put in. We are grateful to have them.”
It is a great social event as well. “We run into people walking from the Inn and asking directions. We meet people walking their dogs early in the morning and we get to know the dogs, too. The workers beep at us as they see us every day. It is our early social hour. People come up to us at Wynn’s and ask, ‘Are you the walkers?’ It really opens up conversations between virtual strangers. Years ago, our walk was longer and we used to walk through the Fishing Village. We have tailored our walk now to three miles. We both miss it if we don’t get the walk in. Walking makes us feel good. We play croquet, tennis, golf and work out at home, but our true passion is to get out in nature and smell the flowers.”
The beauty of the landscape, sun, clouds, sky, birds and other critters is good for the soul. The Ruffings told me if one is sick, the other carries on. When they have company, they are up before company rises to get in their walk. Joan shared, “As a Type 1 diabetic, this is the best thing I can do for my health. My doctor is very happy with my daily commitment to walk. It is quality alone time together. We don’t have to talk, we are happy to be with each other and having a nice walk together.” Perhaps that is the secret to their long marriage.
“A morning walk gives the body a chance to forgive the trials and tribulations of yesterday, to shed its rubbish and mental clutter.” – T. Tuillemets