California woman, cancer survivor promotes power of walking
OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - Over the next couple of days, you may see Edie Littlefield Sundby strolling through parts of South Mississippi.
She walks quietly with a loud message.
“Well, you know, I’ve become like an evangelist for walking,” she said. “I say take a walk, not a pill. And if you must take a pill, take a walk too. Because walking is the closest thing we have to a miracle drug.”
Sundby should know. In 2007, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 gallbladder cancer. In addition to her traditional medical therapy, she began walking. For now, at least, she is cancer free.
“I realized that if I could walk, If I could move, I was not sick,” Sundby said. “And if I could walk and if I could move, I wasn’t as afraid either.”
Her path is the Old Spanish trail, which is almost 3,000 miles from California to Florida.
“I love adventure. I love history. I love walking and connecting. And I feel like, if we walked more, we would love more.”
Sundby is taking the journey in segments and walking 9 to 10 miles a day. Her current section through Louisiana and Mississippi began in February.
The walks are not to reach a destination as much as they are to experience the journey.
“I walk really for health, for well being,” she said. “Actually for transcendence. Walking I feel is one of the greatest ways to soar above whatever is happening with us, with our bodies. Or with our lives, actually. It helps us put all those pieces back together.”
She leaves one final note.
“I don’t care what is ailing you - whether its spiritual malaise, physical despair, your body’s falling apart, or whether it’s emotional. Whatever is ailing you, take a walk.”
Sundby will be in Mississippi through the rest of the weekend. She’ll go through Alabama next and then hopes to take on the Florida route sometime in the near future.
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