I'm suspicious of people who say they've changed their boyfriend, girlfriend, life partner... This ability to mold the other person is usually claimed by the woman in the relationship. For my own peace of mind I have to suspect they're overstating their achievements, because the only other option is to accept that I am seriously lacking in this important skill. I'm not quite ready to concede that.
Exhibit A. For more years than I'd like to admit, I tried to convince my partner that going for a walk is a fun activity. I wasn't trying to create a daily walk-buddy. I didn't expect him to take up walking as his preferred form of exercise; my goal was reasonable (in my mind at least). Let's just go for a walk together every now and then. It didn't take. You won't see us taking an after dinner stroll.
You may, however, see us using ambulatory power to reach our local frozen yogurt vendor. The outing is all about the goal. The walking is a means to an end, barely worth mention or notice, at least to half our party. Yet we both come home smiling (and that's only partly due to the joy of mocha chip melting into a pretzel cone).
If you too have found yourself in the position of trying to coax a nonwalker to join you, or maybe you think you ought to take up walking but your heart's not in it, may I suggest berry picking?
I mean it. A trip to the berry fields isn't going to bestow any sort of aerobic benefit, but a walk with another person is often more about the socializing than the exercising, so that's OK. Here in the northeast the distance between the barn/farm stand where you pick up your bucket and the actual field can be anywhere from a quarter to a full mile. The longer the distance the more chance that some sort of hayride or golf cart will be offered to you. Decline the ride and you have your walk.
And once you've reached your destination, wander the rows, see which ones have the most easily accessible fruit. This is especially important if you're picking something with thorns. You don't want to risk a thorn to the underarm as you reach, tippy toed for perfect berries just beyond your reach. Trust me. I know what I'm talking about.
A trip to the berry fields may not make you (or anyone you bring with you) take up walking on a regular basis, but you're sure to smile as you ride home, fingers stained, teeth full of seeds and a bucket of berries at your feet.
***In case you're local and curious, the berry photos were taken at Russell Orchards Farm Store & Winery in Ipswich, MA and Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro, MA***