Walk a “Kevin Block” with Me

Thursday Dec 11 | BY |
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kevin blocks

When I was young, my mother was often away. She was a single mom, a flight attendant and needed to work to support my brother and I. My father had died when I was 2.

While she was working, she hired nannies to stay with us, since most of her extended family was in Pittsburgh — over 400 miles away from Connecticut where we lived.

My favorite nanny was (and still is) Lisa. She came into our lives when we were a little older, sometime in the mid 1980’s when we were around 8 and 10 years old.

Lisa was from Sweden and was a bohemian who had left home at 18 to explore the world. She now was in her 40’s and had been working in child care around the world to support herself. By the look of her face, you wouldn’t know she spent all her time with young children. She had no wrinkles.

During an afternoon meeting, my brother and I instantly took a liking to her and so did my mother. It could have been her accent that hooked us, but now I’m pretty sure it was her strong personality. She was hired on the spot.

Lisa was different than the others.

To her, the TV was called the “boob-tube” and was forbidden.

Video games? Forget it, you couldn’t play them when she was around. If she caught you, she’d turn them off mid-game.

If we wanted to have fun, we had to do it outside. There were no exceptions. Lisa would take us to the park, in the woods or on a walk.

Dinner? Always freshly made. Nothing from a can, nothing from a box and most certainly nothing in the microwave.

We used to love her crepes in the morning. So much, that when my mother returned from a trip she would tire from our requests to make them. When she finally did, we pointed out matter-of-factly that they were not the same as the ones that Lisa made. (I’m sure she loved this…)

Lisa, whether she meant it or not, also taught me the concept of “Kevin Blocks.”

“Kevin Blocks” didn’t have that name back then, but since Lisa was so fond of walking, she’d convince us that it was only a short distance to our destination so it would make sense to walk — even when the place we were going was much further away.

She was smart. She knew that if she could make the walk exciting — no matter how far — we would spend more time being active. Along the way, we would stop and look at the plants on the side of the road. We would pick flowers to have for Mom when she got back from her trip. We’d see how many squirrels we could count in the woods. She’d tell us stories about Sweden and other places she’d been.

Lisa would have us walk miles to get to where we were going, but we’d never complain. In fact, many times, we couldn’t wait to walk back.

After college, I met up with Lisa a few times when she lived in Brooklyn and San Francisco. Just like when I was young, if we were going to eat somewhere or needed to visit a friend, we would always walk. Sometimes miles, to get to where we wanted to go. Instead of picking flowers or counting animals, we’d talk and share stories.

Even though I was older, Lisa would tell me that the restaurant was just a “few blocks away.” Even if it was ten or twenty.

It didn’t matter. Lisa always made it worth the trip.

When I met Annmarie, my future wife, she started to notice something strange about my ability to determine just how many blocks it took to walk somewhere. I was very good at reading maps and directions and always 5 minutes early to any meeting, but I would tend to grossly under-report the number of blocks it would take to get from one destination to another.

“How many blocks is it?” She’d ask.

I’d say, “Five or so.”

In the beginning, she’d go along with it and we’d spend the actual 10-20 blocks talking and learning more about each other.

After a few years together, she caught on and would just giggle when I told her how many blocks we needed to walk. But even then, knowing it was likely 2-3 times more distance, she’d come along for the adventure.

She started to call my estimates “Kevin Blocks” and slowly, my friends and family members picked up on this too.

I told Annmarie about Lisa and how I figured she is the one who gave me this warped sense of walking distance. I suggested we call them “Lisa Blocks,” but she wasn’t having it.

These days, everyone close to me knows a “Kevin Block” is much longer than a regular city block. “A few more blocks” could mean a dozen. A mile could mean three. But no one ever seems to complain. It’s my job to make sure they don’t.

Along the way, we tell stories and share some laughs. I still pick flowers and edibles to share — just like we did with Lisa. Sometimes, admittedly, I find myself counting squirrels.

I cherish the walk, just as much as the destination. To me, they’re not separate. They’re two parts of a whole.

And what I didn’t realize then, but can see clearly now, is Lisa had taught me a much greater lesson.

Stopping to pick a flower or sharing a story doesn’t take the pain away from your swollen feet, it just gives you a reason to forget about them long enough to enjoy the trip — no matter how far you have to go, or what you find waiting for you when you finally get there.

Your question of the day: What can you do to make getting to your destination easier?

Live Awesome!
Kev

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

137 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

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  1. Shannon says:

    What a great post. I think we will be taking more walks from now on.

  2. Buddy says:

    Ver-r-ry enjoyable story. Loved this post!

  3. Cass Jade Foxley says:

    Inspiring bedtime story; I live in the UK. Maybe I will walk a ‘Cass Block’ tonight in my dreams. Thank you, much appreciated.

  4. JACK POWELL says:

    THIS IS A GREAT TRIBUTE TO SOMEONE THAT WAS VERY INFLUENTIAL IN YOUR EARLY LIFE THAT CARRIED OVER TO YOUR ADULT LIFE. NEVER FORGET “LISA” THERE ARE MANY LISA STORIES WAITING TO BE TOLD

  5. Wes says:

    Good story, Kevin.

  6. anasha Sol says:

    Best post ever… So sweet and so full of love… THANK YOU Kevin.

  7. Elena says:

    Lovely post. Great story and made me feel happy reading it. Thanks for sharing something sweet, personal, and uplifting!
    Hope to walk a Kevin block with you someday!
    You never know, it could happen.

  8. erin b says:

    …an amazing story indeed!

  9. Jody says:

    what a wonderful post. More walking and talking would do us all a world of good.

  10. Donna says:

    A wonderful story, Kevin. I can relate to this on many levels. On long car trips for our vacations, our mother used to have us play games and identify things along the road, count how many blue cars we saw, etc.
    We had a german lady who stayed with us when our parents went on a trip. She was such a fantastic cook that when Mom came back and began cooking again, we complained that she didn’t cook as well as “Heidi”. I never will forget the stew Heidi made for us, and I still try to duplicae it, 40 years later.

  11. angela says:

    Kevin

    This is my favourite blog to date.Loved it!

    Angie

  12. barry says:

    now we have Standard American Smalltalk as the only acceptable verbal mode; sad

  13. Diane says:

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story Kevin…just finished writing a letter to my husband as we are going through some difficult times with our business right now and your story was, in a strange way, really relevant.

    …the journey is what matters…

    …thank you…

    Diane

  14. Phyllis says:

    Kevin, I love this post! I actually visualized myself on the walks with you and Lisa. Time to get out more often. Thank you for sharing!

  15. Andrew says:

    A wonderful story, thanks for sharing it!

  16. Carmela says:

    Great post. I grew up in New Haven, CT and as a young girl walked everywhere with my mom who never learned to drive. Ocassionally we would hop on one of the city busses, if we got really tired, but not before walking several city blocks. We walked to the shops on State Street to shop for food (before the days of supermarkets) and walked downtown to pay utility bills. A real treat was having lunch at Kresge’s or Grant’s department store before making the trek home. When we felt ambitious, we would walk clear across town to visit my grandmother and aunts…and after a full day, walk back home before dark. My mom is 81 now, still living in New Haven, and we still walk together and comment on how the neighborhood and city has evolved over the past 50+ years.

  17. Claresta says:

    What an endearing post. This is one of my favorites so far. Very touching slice of life, and I thank you Kevin for sharing it with us. What can I do to make getting to my destination easier? Look for the beauty all around me to enjoy, breathe consciously, be IN my body as I’m moving along and appreciate how far I’ve come already…in life. Metta!

  18. Sarah says:

    I love this post! Tell us more childhood stories…

  19. Steve Behrens says:

    These are the kinds of stories that are essential to share! Beautifully told. Thanks for sharing Lisa and the idea of a “Kevin Block” with us.
    May we all walk together and hold hands and look both ways before crossing the street just like the Everything I Needed to Know I learned in Kindergarten from my Nanni (variation) book.

  20. Lynda says:

    What a wise lady Lisa is. Hopefully, little by little, we can do the same for our kids 🙂 Thanks for sharing this post, Kevin…loved it!

  21. Linda says:

    I felt a special spirit while reading this. Thanks for sharing such a personal story and brightening my day.

  22. JS says:

    An awesome story! Thank you for sharing!

  23. Jo says:

    Kind of a cute story. You can tell Kev is now
    aging talkin bout the good old days. LOL
    Actually I think you were blessed to have had a good nanny. Be sure you start a scrapbook or journal of these stories to tell your son.
    The flowers did not show up until I came back
    the 2nd time, which was nicer. Your wife is right to make you accountable too. How did Kev
    catch that adorable wife? Just kidding. Actually it did remind me of when I was a kid
    in cold Iowa. In Winter, we had catecism classes on Sat. After which we would walk the 12 or more block downtown to find Dad with the car, often with some other kid. Sometimes it would be below 32, but we enjoyed these long walks in the snow, in town.

  24. SarahB says:

    Lovely story!

  25. Britt says:

    I LOVE this! What an adorable story, thanks for sharing Kevin

  26. janie rezner says:

    Beautiful and heartwarming! Thank you for a lovely story!

  27. Yvonne says:

    Great story Kevin, thank you for sharing!!

  28. Gen says:

    What a beautiful story, Kevin. I hope you stay in touch with this wonderful lady and keep her as a part of your life forever. She certainly had great influence on you at an early age.

  29. Sandy T says:

    Thanks kevin, I so enjoyed your story. I had a Nanny too. And She was fun to be with. She played games with my older brother and I and I have some fun memories of my childhood because of her. Thanks for sharing. In Good Health and Love, Sandy T. 😉

  30. AG says:

    Delightful story!
    Loved it!

  31. J. Bos says:

    Lisa was lucky to find you, you were lucker!
    jb

  32. Ena says:

    I just loved this story. FYI, I live in Staten Island, NY and love walking a few miles to my destination.

    I enjoy looking at the lovely houses, interesting front yards (some folks have crabapple trees, fountains, koi ponds, figurines, veggie patches in recycled tires), squirrels, brightly colored birds and most importantly, my favorites- the wild turkeys, geese and ducks. It is never a dull walk!

  33. Nick Ortner says:

    Beautiful story Kevin- thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Nick

  34. Bonnie Macklin says:

    A wonderful and inspiring ‘story’ with so much wisdom in it. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us.

    Bonnie

  35. Tara says:

    I love how becoming a parent makes us reflect and appreciate our childhood – traditions, memories, positive influences etc. It makes us better parents remembering back to what we liked best (or not so much!) about childhood.

  36. Satori says:

    Adorable story and it’s a very rare habit to walk here in US!! My husband drives a half block to buy a newspaper. Other day he flipped out when I told him that I walked to CVS that is only 2 blocks away!!!!! I have a quite bit of walking habit born and raised in Japan. He thinks it’s VERY dangerous to walk because drivers in LA do not expect people to be walking around even on a sidewalk He’s also against the idea of me buying a bike because in his opinion it’s too “hippie.”

  37. Shrazzi says:

    That was beautiful and inpiring. Thanks Kevin!

  38. Melissa says:

    Lovely story, Kevin about the endurance of the human spirit!! The good lord gave you a living angel to help guide your path; may you never forget her.

    Keep a journal of your musings & stories as they occur to you, as you remember them. not just for who you would deem them precious, but for others on their journey, who not, even knowing you, will suddenly feel ‘spoken to’; a young child in the future will have a chance to have a spiritual experience of a life lived in grace, before their own time.

  39. dory says:

    this story was so very sweet…

  40. zyxomma says:

    Thanks, Annmarie, for coining the phrase “Kevin blocks.” When I saw the subject line in the email, I pictured something else entirely.

    I’m lucky to live in an eminently walkable neighborhood. I have two library branches, four health food stores, three Greenmarkets, three live food restaurants, many more health food restaurants, two live food stores, and more, more, more, all within easy walking from home. Across the street from me is an organic community garden, with two more within a block.

    Treasure your memories of Lisa. She helped make you the man you are today. Health and peace.

  41. Beverly says:

    I agree it is a lovely story. I grew up in the
    country in New Zealand and used to walk every where as it was very rural and we also walked barefeet on gravely road. Walking is a great exercise the children here get driven to school and picked up which is very sad as they don’t see all the beauty where walking you can.

  42. Althea says:

    Loved your storie. Makes me want to walk!

  43. Mila says:

    This is my favorite email from you. It reminded me of my childhood spending days with my gramma and made me feel good. I like the format- you told the complete story without breaking it up. I still read the resource info :)Thank you!

  44. Nancy says:

    A lovely story Kevin, thank you.
    Lisa is in the tradition of a wise woman and you are so
    fortunate to have thusly benefited.

  45. Velda says:

    Kev, thank you for sharing such a beautiful, endearing and personal story. It was a warm and beautiful post.

    What can I do to make getting to my destination easier? Great question. I think appreciating the process, no matter how painful, finding the lesson when there is one, and having a greatful attitude. Thank you again, Kev, for this heartwarming, story.

  46. Cindy Yacob says:

    What a beautiful story Kevin. Very uplifting. Thanks for sharing.

  47. Sue says:

    Lovely story Kevin! Thanks for sharing! I will never take walks the same after this! Even by myself!

  48. Tamara says:

    Thank you for sharing this story, Kevin! I really enjoyed it as I love hearing great slice-of-life stories. It also reminded me of the wonderful childhood to young adult days I spent with my Aunt Jackie in Oklaoma City. We spent many days outside walking, feeding their farm animals that were pets, hanging clothes on the clothesline to dry and resting on the porch swing that sat out in the field even though she was on full-time oxygen. These were wonderful days that I will never forget and I’m so happy you brought these treasured memories to life today!

    To answer your question about making our destination easier, I think we should think about all of our wonderful inspiration in the past and in the present; that might help refocus our energies put of the negative and back to the positive. I need to do this ASAP–perfect timing on the article, thanks for the reminder!

    Warmly,
    Tamara

  49. Lenexis says:

    I loved this story! Thank you so much! xoxo

  50. Faith Minier says:

    What a WONDERFUL story! There are tears streaming down my cheeks as I type. Could be on NPR’s “This American Life”. As someone else already said; my favorite post yet. One thing, though, it is “my brother and ME”, NOT “my brother and I”. You get this wrong all the time and it really bugs me. Please, you are too smart for this grammar trap.

  51. Karen says:

    I just loved this story Kevin. Thanks for sharing!

  52. Brenda says:

    lovely story. Thank you for sharing. 😀

  53. Debra says:

    I love the fact that you tend to grossly under report how far away things are! That’s a great story. I notice my husband chronically does this with time. ha ha ha. I thought it was just him!

    Thanks for sharing that Kev! And thank you for speaking out on GMOs and Prop 37. You rock!!

  54. Frances says:

    You are changing and its great and its homely and huggable and nice. Thankyou for sharing and keep it up.

  55. Paula says:

    Just loved that! Bless Lisa, and you Kevin for passing it forward.

  56. Heike says:

    Just love this.Please keep them coming.Am an adopted Swede so love anything Swedish !!

  57. Myke Asare says:

    Thank God for Lisa,they are the gem in most of our lives.Sorry for the early exist of your Dad.Please tell Lisa she is a real doll and angel.Her lession is similar to what we were taught.And this worth more than gold .

  58. Darlena says:

    Kevin, I think she helped make you who you are today! So thank you to Lisa!

  59. Sanjula says:

    what a wonderful story …
    and it shows how deep rooted everything we learn as children is and how it often influences the later choices we make and preferences we have

  60. Alice says:

    Loved your story, thank you for sharing. I’m going to take a walk this afternoon and enjoy the journey.

  61. sabrina says:

    Thank you for sharing this, I can very much relate to this although I never had a Lisa around me. My friends are afraid to walk with me because I also always said: ‘ Oh, it’s just around the corner, not far!’ and then we started…and I recall my old friend saying that she is refusing to walk with me again because I make her walk hours! It may be a european trait and I have to admit I love it and I will never stop walking the way I do!

  62. Anna says:

    I had a big smile on my face reading this! What an amazing lady Lisa is – she has influenced you I am sure in a big way with what you are doing with your life now (health warrior!) and this will pass onto your son! And this story will also impact my daughter too as I will make sure she has ‘ mum blocks! ‘ with lots of fun and education about nature in between! Thanks so much for sharing!

  63. Nick says:

    That was such a sweet story! You write a lot of good stuff but this seemed from the heart and I really liked it. Keep up the good work and thanks for all the great recipes and info!

  64. Peggy says:

    A lovely story, Kevin. Inspirational on many levels. Thank you for your tireless research, generous support and ongoing commitment.

  65. Sharon says:

    This was the first thing I read this morning and a wonderful way to start my day.

  66. Janice says:

    Of all your stories I enjoyed this one the most! I had lived in Europe for a couple of decades and most people I met WERE like Lisa. Walking and bicycling are a part of life. In North America after a (bloating, SAD)Sunday dinner, it is common for people to sit in front of a TV set or fall asleep on the couch. In Europe (some countries more than others) families go for long walks as you’ve described. Or take a train or rapid transit to another town to explore.

  67. That is a really sweet story. I have a similar one….

  68. Susan says:

    This story is very near and dear to my life, when I was young we lived in the country and when we went anywhere it was always a very long walk, a mile or three. My sister always told me not to look back because then it would seem, to long a walk, that I should just keep my sights in front of me and then it would not seem to be so far. This brought a tear to my eyes as my sister has passed two years ago of cancer. Thanks Kevin for the beautiful story!

  69. Yvonne says:

    Yes, we do walk a lot in Sweden and other countries in Europe. When my American husband visited me (b/f we got married) we walked a lot. Many many years later he worked briefly at an airport and when a customer with a foreign accent asked him how far it was to the car rental companies (at the airport) Stephen replied: “If you are from Europe not far at all!” I thought it was funny.

    Somebody here wrote that the correct English is “my brother and me” but I often notice how most Americans use “my brother and I”. Must be something in the water… *L*

    And lastly, when can we expect new pics of the cute Milk Monster and Annmarie??

  70. D J says:

    A delightful story which could (and should) be an example for today’s American families to learn how to slow down, communicate with one another, enjoy nature, and help children to be blessed as you and your brother were blessed by Lisa. Also, I might add, – what a wonderful way to improve our mental, spiritual, physical and emotional health.
    God bless you Kevin for sharing with your story. I felt as if I was walking along with you as I read it!

  71. Katherine says:

    Wonderful story Kevin, blessings on Lisa for the lessons she gifted you, (and now us)and blessings on you and your new family, long may the ‘Kevin blocks’ tradition continue! K x

  72. Great story Kev!

    Walking is one of my favourite activities – alone or with someone special 🙂

    Jesse

  73. Eileen says:

    I could say this is a wonderful story but it’s probably not. I remember Scandinavian women who lived in Ballard( it was a Scandinavian community in the 50’s) who would walk to downtown Seattle to save money on the bus fare, probably 3 miles. I was dragged on a few of these with my grandmother who would cheerfully and sometimes crankily keep you moving. Families had only one car in those days mostly, so wives walked to the grocery store. They all seemed to have a tiny collapsible cart they pulled along for merchandise. They looked wonderful and were so healthy and well dressed even if they were poor. In those days fish heads were put out in barrels on the street for the Indians who were the only ones who would eat it. Who knew fish heads were good for you.

  74. sheri says:

    Thanks for sharing this, when younger, my mother didn’t drive at all, and we walked everywhere, to the doctor, the store, etc we always loved the walks together, she made it fun. To this day I still love walking, the kids and I take the dog for a walk each day, but now we will try to do a “Kevin Block”! Thanks for the inspiring lesson. I also agree on the video games too, kids need to run and play outside much more.

  75. Dianne says:

    Thank you Kevin! Lovely!!!

  76. IdaFish says:

    Awesome! And what a great question!

    I’m the same, cause I walk everywhere and I believe the walk there is just as much worth as whatever destination I’m going to – sometimes way more if I walk somewhere stupid like into town (which is a 12km walk).

    I always bring a camera – cause then I can capture whatever magical moment taking place along my walk.
    I also usually bring a mp3 player, mostly utilized when next to a heavy motorized road.
    Besides that its fun to bring a flora and bird book.

    And I don’t wear a watch cause then I always have time for whatever I want 🙂

  77. Kevin, the journey is the destination , the more we observe and try to understand , the greater is our knowledge base, the more valuable our journey/ life.

  78. Heidrun says:

    Walk – or Kevins Blocks – that does sound wonderful. Lisa was a treasure to teach you this, and it is for
    sure a result of being born in Europe. We are more used to make walks, blocks or streets along, this is my
    experience.1987 I was the first time in the US and we met our US neighbors in Clearwater Beach, where they have a condo. And there it was so trange for us. A city with beach and no real possibility to make a nice walk at the beach side. The streets were only for car use. I have never been there again and maybe it has changed.
    Due to Internet – this wonderful post – is now also around in Europe, especially in Germany.
    So just walk and enjoy all what will or might happen during this time.
    By the way, we have been this June together with friends for a week in Istanbul. Our friend did live there for 3 years and has a wonderful knowledge of the city, and it was a bit like Lisa: where do we go now? Oh, just follow,
    it is maybe 10 minutes to walk……. and if often took us 30 minutes, and even more. But it was worth it.
    Again, enjoy walking and thanks for this lovely post.

  79. Sara says:

    Wonderful story and lesson. Beautifully told. Loved what Phyllis and Linda commented. I needed to hear this today. Inspired to create and enjoy more journey’s. LOVED this. Thank you for sharing.

  80. Ed says:

    Well done Kevin. Very enjoyable.

  81. bethany says:

    Great story! Lisa sounds like a wonderful person who has really enjoyed the most important job of helping raise children. You were very fortunate to have her in your life.

  82. Lyn says:

    Surprised that you don’t indicate that you know how to work out foot pain. 🙂

    Before your next walk and even during the walk, when they start getting tired and sore, find a tree or lamp post or something you can lean against for support. Then raise up on your toes with your knees bent. Ballerina style raising up on toes. Good, stiff soled shoes are best to do this. But the idea is to stretch out those tired walking muscles on top of the feet and front of the ankle. Turn your weight to the left and to the right for 15 seconds each.

    I have a job that requires me to walk ten to 12 hours a day. I seldom get tired feet anymore because I began doing this quite soon in my 13 month tenure there. Just a stretch in the morning is all my feet require anymore.

    My back used to get sore, too. But frequent stretching soon had me not suffering like at the first. I still stretch, again, in the morning. But that is all the maintenance I seem to need for months now. I still do it throughout the day when I remember. But it is not that I need to. I just do it for maintenance.

  83. Leah says:

    Really enjoyed reading this story – thank you Kevin!

  84. Margo;) says:

    Thanks Kevin~ I
    I’ve been missing my Gram. She raised me…and is so much like your Lisa that reading this brought me a much needed walk down memory lane!
    Let’s go walk a while!
    M;)

  85. Katherine says:

    Beautiful story Kevin, thank you.. Just getting back to walking in my city more, must count squirrels!!

  86. Jac says:

    Absolutely lovely story! I will think of Kevin blocks next time i have to the store, and will walk instead of using the car.

  87. Thank you Kevin
    Walking, talking and taking a good look
    As my grandfather would say on our walks.
    He had such long legs I was eye level to his knee caps
    I had to jog skip to keep up.
    I never new more than it’s just a peace down the road.
    He had a walking stick that he would use to poke holes
    in the dirt and then pull a daffodil bulb out of his pocket
    And drop it in the hole. Each spring there would be a daffodil
    Trail. My little legs never wore out.

  88. Nadia says:

    Kevin, this is my most favorite blog post!!!
    As much as I look forward to useful information and knowledge, this blog was by far several times more inspirational!
    Thank you for sharing it!

  89. You were fortunate to find Lisa. She gave you a great gift in seeing the world this closely and beautifully. Thanks for sharing this view point. It has enriched me, too.

  90. Ann Wooledge says:

    Kevin – I don’t know if you have been taking writing lessons or what, but this is such a well-written and thoughtful blog. I’m a softy and get teary-eyed fairly easily, but these were happy tears because it is so true and something I needed to remember if even just for today. Well done – and thank you!

  91. Love it………..you were blessed.

  92. Sue says:

    Very nice post Kevin. Love the story

  93. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful memory of your childhood, and your lovely nanny who provided and loving nurtured and the best nature educational upbringing.

  94. This is a great story to share, really inspiring….makes me want to take that adventurous walk of indeterminate distance

  95. Teri says:

    Kevin, that was the best story I ever heard you tell. I loved it. I miss your ol videos , with Annmarie and Johnny 5 ..would love to see your sons pic . And how he’s growing..thanks for a great story.

  96. Sharon says:

    What a BEAUTIFUL tribute to an AMAZING lady!
    I am hoping you shared this with her.
    I was a Nanny throughout high school and college for a family of 5 children.
    I am now 44 and a Mom of 4 … And I am still in touch with that family. The time I spent with them were some of the greatest and happiest times of my life!
    I am sure your “Nanny” feels the same way. Such a blessing for all of You!
    Great post!!
    I will be passing it on!!

  97. RY says:

    This epitomizes Kevin’s blog when he began.

  98. Irene says:

    Great read Kevin! Well written.

    Just goes to show how important it is to develop healthy habits in kids when they are young. These habits will stay with them for life!

  99. amg says:

    Hi, Kevin–

    Thank you for giving us such a vivd picture of Lisa and her influence on the person you have become. My best friend and I got to know each other by walking all around Manhattan. We would think nothing of walking from the Village, where I lived, into the West 70’s and beyond, spending time together and learning about each other. We have known each other for 34 years and have been married for nearly 28 of them. Yup, walking is the way to go. 🙂

  100. Tara says:

    I appreciate you sharing your story. Sometimes it’s nice just to learn more about someone by hearing meaningful moments from their life. Thank you 🙂

  101. Karle says:

    Lovely story!

    Lisa can baby sit me anytime.

  102. Louis says:

    What a beautiful post. I normally delete things kinds of emails but decided to read this one for some reason. I’m glad I did. : )

  103. Brittany says:

    Loved this story. Thank you so much for sharing.

  104. Ellen says:

    Delightful! I was blessed to live with a single mom who never learned to drive. It was normal to walk miles each day or take a bus for longer distances. That habit of walking long distances and enjoying life outside has endured.

    I’ve learned, along the way, not to ask if, in a new location, something is “walking distance.” Most people, if the distance is six blocks or more will definitely say, “No!” More people need to use “Kevin blocks.”

  105. Gracie says:

    AWESOME1 THANKYOU

  106. Liz says:

    Love love LOVED this post. 🙂

  107. Anna says:

    Much needed read for me today. Thank you!!!

  108. Maria says:

    Now I can’t wait for my four-year-old niece to visit so that I can take her on more adventure walks. I think I’ll take my own adventure walk tomorrow. Thanks for sharing. =)

  109. Norehan says:

    A very inspiring article indeed. Wish I could do the same but ankylosing spondylitis and IBS keeps me from walking. Before IBS I used to walk around CHIBA for up to 3 hours. Stopping every 20 to 30 minutes to look at anything interesting from a new bud sprouting in spring or to search for that piercing cricket sounds in early autumn, or going into ¥100 shop to cool in summer or to warm up in winter!
    You should never stop walking or do whatever you love most before ……well business,disease or death comes a calling.
    Five things you should remember:young before old
    Healthy before diseased/ sick
    Rich before poor
    Free before busy
    Alive before death
    These are the sayings of the most famous person to have lived on this earth.

  110. Kathy says:

    Wonderful post! It is a great reminder that everything we do along life’s path is making a memory. It isn’t just a trip to the store, it’s a memory. It isn’t just a meal like we’ve had dozens of times before, it’s a memory. And so it goes. May we all be resposible for making pleasant memories for those around us! Thanks Kevin!!

  111. As a nanny, this story really touched my heart.

    On a side note, I wish more people would walk. One of the best things that happened to me when I lived in Utah was having my car stolen. Until this happened, I didn’t realize how dependent I was on it. I would literally jump in my car to go two blocks away. It never occurred to me I could use my legs!!! After my car was stolen, I walked everywhere for four years!! I walked 2-10 miles everyday. During this time, I didn’t get sick once and was in the greatest shape of my life.

    Merry Christmas Kevin. May your Christmas be filled with hope and wonder!!

    Angie

  112. Denise says:

    This is a fantastic story Kevin, everyone would benefit from! The LOVE shines

  113. Michelle says:

    Thank you for this post Kevin! It’s wonderful! Very inspirational!

  114. Sunil says:

    Kevin you were very lucky to have Lisa in your childhood. It is very encouraging. I will start walking more often.

  115. Solweig says:

    Love the story.
    Solweig, from Sweden 😉

  116. Lynn Poynor says:

    Great article! Lisa is a person whom I would have liked to know. Lynn Poynor

  117. Joan says:

    I’m taking my nieces and nephew on a short trip to NYC. There will be many blocks to walk and most likely some sore feet…. I will remember “Kevin Blocks while there for sure. Thanks for the inspiration. Joan

  118. Hi Kevin,
    I really love that you share some of your most personal moments with your audience, mainly the Renegade crowd.
    It took be back to the years I sent in a lake area, growing up in northern Virginia, moved there when I was ten years old.
    We walked everywhere! It was not a huge lake but it was a natural reservoir, dammed up in the early 50’s with waterfronts homes, became quite the fashionable ‘place to be’ for many government employees, including congressmen, senators, you get the idea…none of that ever impressed me like a walk in this very wooded area.

    But the lake was quite beautiful with the trees and the fresh water, that froze solid in the winter time, it was an amazing place to call home as a young child who preferred to walk rather to ride where ever I went.

    Our school as only about a mile (possibly a ‘Kevin block’ as the crow flies), but to get there one had to negotiate the roads, which followed the lakes own ‘fingers’ that stretched along its own path. So around and round you went, never in a straight line (mostly man-made anyway) and the homes were quite different and the hills carried you up and then down in such a rhythmic way, it was never really a burden, unless it was sleeting or frozen, but even that was fun.

    My best friend in junior high school lived across the lake from me and it was at least three miles to her house from mine, but we were such close friends we would walk it over and over again (and we did many times) without even giving the distance a thought, we were too steeped in conversation and in awe of the beauty surrounding us to notice.

    Thanks for taking me back to that special time in my life, Kevin, I haven’t thought about those days until just now, some half century ago, and, you are a great story teller, never loose that quality!

    Cheers, and the best to you and your lovely family, oh and your youngest little addition.
    Have a great holiday!

    Martha F.

  119. Carolyn says:

    This is an awesome story. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  120. suzanne says:

    Ok, now I am feeling weepy happy.

  121. Carol Turner says:

    Loved it. Thanks for sharing

  122. Judy says:

    I enjoyed this very much, Kevin. Thanks for posting this.

  123. Tina says:

    I loved, loved, loved your story. Thank you for sharing your journey with such a special soul. Learning comes to us in so many simple ways.

  124. Kim says:

    What a moving, inspirational story–brought me to tears (of joy). Thanks so much for sharing this!

  125. Sharon says:

    Thanks for sharing that story Kevin. I’m sure I will think of it on my next long walk!

  126. Tim says:

    Lisa sounds like an angel that was put in your life to help fill the void left by the loss of your father. For her to bring such wisdom into your life, she must’ve had a remarkable childhood herself. Thanks for sharing this part of your life with us.

  127. DJ says:

    What a lovely article. People don’t realize how deeply they affect children. Lisa is one of these wonderful people whose presence remains in fond memories. You were fortunate to have these moments in time. Blessings to you for sharing this & to Lisa for being a radiating light.

  128. Kim says:

    Thank you for this beautiful and inspiring visit to your past. I have 2 boys and I gained so many ideas for our very long days together through your story!! Than you

  129. Hi Kev,
    This is a great story because you are not using an automobile to transport. You are actually exercising and moving your body joints etc…We have gotten away from this type of enjoyment. Plus, it is excellent for our bodies. I personally don’t live far from my daughter’s middle school and everyone is in a hurry to drop of their children at school and perhaps run off to their jobs. I am a retired school teacher and I do use my auto to take my daughter to school. You now have me contemplating walking to school in the afternoon when she is let out. I don’t know how she will take it knowing that sometimes they come out of school tired, hungry, or the like. I will offer to carry her backpack that it is a bit heavy and maybe, just maybe I will get her to agree. I can’t promise you that she will do it as I am willing to do it and just see how we’ll feel physically after providing the day is a good day because winter is now upon us. But if no go, I will certainly look into this great idea, say during the spring, summer, or fall (Sounds like the James Taylor song w/out winter).
    Anyways…take care and may God bless you and yours. Pete

  130. Judy says:

    This was delightful. Thank you. Reminded me of when I was a child and also with my own children.

    To change the subject, how is Kareem doing. Healing well? Thanks, Judy

  131. Pamela W says:

    What a wonderful memory and lifestyle this woman gave to you! I can just visualize her now, you and your brother in tow, heading somewhere and making up games and telling stories on the way. Thank you for sharing this. It’s a reminder that we can make little changes which can have big results.

  132. Jeanne says:

    What a wonderful story! Lisa left a lasting impression. She was a very smart woman and she taught you well. You too inspire us to make better choices and maybe travel those “Kevin blocks”! Thanks

  133. Ralph G. says:

    That was a great post!!!There should be more Lisa’s in homes today to get the children away from the TV and video games and outside in the fresh air.

  134. Nadia says:

    I commented earlier right after I read the article, but I have to write again:
    Past weekend I was talking a walk with my almost 3 year old son who does not like walking because he finds it boring. This time he complained again that it was bored to walk, and he wanted to be carried home. So, I remembered how Lisa was telling stories to Kevin and his brother during the walks. I started telling my son what we saw, and explain things (because he is in the stage of asking “why?” non-stop). This time we walked a bit further than usually 🙂 I was happy

  135. fatima says:

    Beautiful Do you still see Lisa?
    Very positive and it must have made it easy
    for you while your mother was away.

  136. Jack says:

    It seems to me what Lisa really taught you was two fold. To Stop and SMELL THE roses so to paraphrase and deeper down. It’s what you do on the way (birth-death) THAT MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
    i am only learning this now at 64. How much life I have lost because I was too busy making a living.

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