Sen. Hank Sanders

Number 1539 - December 7, 2016

            Walking is so powerful.  I don’t mean the placing of one foot in front of the other.  I don’t mean taking one step at a time.  These acts may be powerful in their own right, but I mean something more.  I mean all the things that walking does for the human body, human mind and human spirit.  With all the challenges of this ten-county Senate District I represent, I need every bit of power walking provides.  Walking is so powerful.

            It was 26 degrees one morning but I forced myself to go walking.  It was hard to go walking in the freezing cold, but I asked for help from on high.  I did not walk the whole two miles. In fact, I walked just about one mile.  I was so glad that I walked this day.  I felt so much better all day just because I walked 20 minutes in spite of the cold.  Walking is so powerful.

            It really helps to have a walking partner.  My walking partner is Faya Rose Toure.  On many days, she says that she does not feel like walking.  I then go on by myself.  More often than not, I will see soon Faya coming down the road.  She comes because I am her walking partner.  Sometimes neither of us feels like walking but we push each other.  Walking is so powerful.

            God created walking for more than just getting from one place to another.  Walking is central to our very being.  Walking is central to our health.  I know the power of walking firsthand.  Walking is so powerful.

My brother Charles has diabetes.  I shared with him my fears of developing diabetes.  My deceased mother had it, and a number of her eleven living children have diabetes.  Charles emphatically stated that I would not develop diabetes even though I have many characteristics that make diabetes likely.  I am very overweight, obese to be exact.  I am African American.  I am in my seventies.  I eat many of the wrong foods.  Diabetes runs in the family.  Charles knew that I walked regularly.  I don’t have diabetes.  So far, he is right. Walking is so powerful.

I used to have gout really bad.  When I had my knees replaced, I started walking again.  Now, I rarely have gout.  I have back problems. Sometimes it is so bad that I bend over.   When I force myself to walk in spite of the pain, I have less pain and stand straight up.  Walking makes a concrete difference in my gout and my pain.  Walking is powerful.

At seventy four, my memory is not what it used to be.  It used to be excellent, but now it’s just good.  However, it gets worse if I miss a few days of walking.  When I get back in my walking groove, my memory improves dramatically.  Walking is good for the mind.  Walking is so powerful.

I rarely get down or even low in spirit.  However, it does happen from time to time.  I even get depressed on rare occasions.  It only happens if I don’t walk a few days.  It is hard to walk when we are low in spirit.  It is extremely hard to walk when we are depressed.  But I force myself to walk, and my low spirit rises and my depression lifts.  I am my old self in no time flat.  Walking is good for the spirit.   Walking is powerful.

I should have high blood pressure.  I am old, overweight and African American.  However, my blood pressure has been excellent all these years.  When I walk regularly, it remains excellent.  When I miss walking for various reasons, the blood pressure goes to less than excellent.  I should have heart challenges.  I have all the characteristics that align with heart challenges.  But I don’t have heart problems.  I am convinced that walking keeps my blood pressure good and protects my old heart.  Walking is good for the body.  Walking is so powerful.

I have noticed that my physical balance sometimes seem a little off.  It develops when I miss walking for a few days.  When I resume walking, my balance improves.  The balance is not only physical but mental and emotional.  Walking affects every element of our being.  Walking is so powerful.

I recently read that daily walking can add seven years to the average life. I cannot prove the truth of this assertion, but I am still living.  Something helped me get to seventy four in spite of working too long and hard, eating too much of the wrong foods and challenging health on various other fronts.  I also read that walking helps us not to look our age.  I don’t know whether I look my age, but those who don’t know my age are surprised to find I am 74 years old.  There are so many other benefits from walking.  Among the better known are stress relief and weight loss.  Walking is so powerful.

Many people read the Sketches Daily Diary to see whether I am still walking.  It helps them to walk.  That’s why I want every reader to know that I think better when I walk, feel better when I walk and do better when I walk.  You too can reap these same benefits if you walk.  Come on, let’s walk.  Walking is so powerful.

Now on to the Daily Diary.

Saturday, November 226, 2016 – I was still in Baldwin County, AL for our Thanksgiving Family Reunion.  I cooked my special banana pancakes and black pepper eggs for my family.  Then I drove more than 200 miles to Selma and worked into the night.  I communicated with the following:  Askhari Little of Spelman College; Dr. Roberta Watts of Gadsden; Lee County Commissioner John Harris; Brenda Miles, Amadi Sanders, Carolyn Gaines-Varner and Edwin Ellis of Selma; Bill Lucy of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) on his 83rd birthday; and Carolyn Wheeler of Signal Mountain, TN.  

Sunday – I walked, exercised and did Radio Sunday School with Dr. Margaret Hardy and Radio Education with Perry County School Superintendent John Heard, III.  I handled many matters and worked into the night.  Among others, I communicated with the following:  Ralph Paige of Georgia; Marion Town Councilman Willie Jackson; Mae Richmond of Selma; John Sanders of Rochester, NY; Rita Lett of Selma; and Ed Still of Birmingham.

Monday – I walked, handled many matters, read Sketches on the Faya’s Fire Radio Program, traveled to Greene County, returned to Selma and worked into the night.  Among others, I communicated with the following:  Lowndes County commissioners Carnell McAlpine and Robert Harris; Representative Thad McClammy; former State Representative Yusuf Salaam; Lowndes County Administrator Jackie Thomas; Josh Robinson of the Alabama Democratic Party; Gloria Pompey and Veronica Williams of Selma; Selma Businessman William Scott; Law Professor Emeritus Martha Morgan of Tuscaloosa; Greene County School Board members Leo Branch, William Morgan, Carrie Dancy and Kashaya Cockrell and Superintendent Dr. James Carter; Dr. F.D. Reese of Selma on his 87th birthday; and La Tanya Cockrell of Greene County.

Tuesday – I walked, communicated with Leonard Dunston about the passing of his dear wife Gladys Dunston, handled many matters and worked deep into the night.  Among others, I communicated with the following:  Ola Morrow of Maplesville, Mary McGhee of Talladega; Phil Blasengame of Tallapoosa County Board of Education; Jeffrey Jones of Mobile; Rev. Gary Crum and Callie Greer of Selma; Senator Greg Albritton;  Harvard Law Professor Lani Guinier; Robert Turner of Lowndes County; and Wayne Vardaman of the Selma Centre for Commerce.

Wednesday – I walked, read Sketches on Faya’s Fire, handled many matters, went to court on a community matter, traveled to Montgomery, handled other matters, returned to Selma for a meeting and worked into the night.  Among others, I communicated with the following:  John Teague, Julian McPhillips and Michael Strickland of Montgomery; and Faya Rose Toure of Selma.

Thursday – I walked, handled many matters, participated in the Selma-to-Montgomery March Foundation Board meeting and worked into the night. Among others, I communicated with the following:  Hale County Circuit Court Judge Marvin Wiggins; Wallace Community College Selma (WCCS) President Dr. James Mitchell; Felecia Pettway of Wilcox County; Retired Birmingham Businessman Julian Smith; Montgomery Businesswoman Sharon Wheeler; Permon Hardy of Lowndes County; and Reporter Ellen Nogashema.

Friday – I walked, read Sketches on Faya’s Fire, handled many matters, spoke at a luncheon for 62 Fulbright Scholars around the world, met with Greene County School Board member Dr. Carol P. Zippert to discuss Twenty First Century Youth Leadership Movement (21C) Winter Camp and worked into the night.  Among others, I communicated with the following:  Greg Foster of Birmingham; Sam Walker of Selma; Judge Collins Pettaway, Jr. of Selma; Louretta Wimberly of Selma; Annette Philpo’t of Global Ties Alabama; Rev. Chris Spencer of Sumter County; Al Benn and Sharon Benn of Selma; Dr. Ann Fitts of Selma; Alecha Irby of Miles College; and Nancy Sewell of Selma.

EPILOGUE – I believe that God places seeds of disease within each of us.  I also believe that God places seeds of prevention and cure within each of us.  All we have to do is cultivate the seeds that prevent and/or cure disease.  Walking is one way to cultivate these seeds.