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Peggy is a true enthusiast: “I try to walk one hour a day,” she says, and she rewards herself for the effort. “I tell myself, if I do that hour, I can have dessert at 9:00.”
One of her favorite routes, though, is the one-mile walk from South Franklin Circle to downtown Chagrin Falls, taking in the beautiful houses and landscaping along the way. “But most of all,” she says, “I love the excitement of the village. There’s always something going on. People are always out, enjoying the air, and I like to meet and greet folks.” In fact, Peggy enjoys socializing so much that she acts as chair of SFC’s residents life committee, and one of her jobs is to welcome new residents when they arrive.
She sometimes walks the side streets within the SFC campus – a route she calls, “my South Franklin inspection.” She makes it an opportunity to exercise her mind as well as her body. “I read the last names on the mailboxes and try to remember their first names,” Peggy says. “That way I can be a little friendlier when I see them in person.”
Fellow resident Pat Hatch, on the other hand, usually chooses the scenic paths through the woods. “On one trail you walk alongside a deep ravine, and it’s just gorgeous out there,” she says. Volunteers from Key Bank scatter wood chips along the trails to keep them from getting muddy or slippery, making the trek even more pleasant.
Pat’s favorite part of the walk? The lush displays of wildflowers that crop up in spring and summer. “Don’t ask me what they are,” she says, “but I like to admire them.” Both the trails and the walk into town are flat, except a few gradual hills around the campus because SFC sits atop a slight rise. And if a walker needs to pause, plenty of benches are scattered along the trails.
When the weather’s bad, Peggy stays indoors and walks the hallways of her SFC apartment building – always carrying water and her cell phone. Pat walks with a group of five women on Saturdays, but most of the time, both women prefer to walk alone.
“We have so many opportunities and options for walking at South Franklin Circle,” Peggy says. “I haven’t encouraged anyone to walk with me, because I don’t want want to be locked into a schedule. But I always say, if you see me walking out there, please join me!”