A western Kentucky woman walks the length of the United States without leaving home.
Ellie McRae kept track of her mileage on a walking club web site designed by a Posey County couple. This time last year, we told you about a new walking club web site designed by a St. Phillips, Indiana couple.
Someone saw the story and told Ellie McRae of Cadiz, Kentucky about it. Ellie thought she'd try it out. A year later, she's leading the pack.
Too cold to walk? 66 year old Ellie McRae says that's no excuse. "I walk at a pretty fast speed and this is all I ever wear. I never wear a coat. I've got one pretty steep hill and by the time I get up it, I'm actually perspiring on the inside."
After Ellie retired last year, she wanted to do something to stay active. So she logged on to Healthwalkers.com. Don Gleneski of Posey County designed the site for his wife Nancy so she'd have some company in her quest to lose weight after having twins.
The site challenges you to walk across America. The computer keeps track of the miles for you and compares your progress to everyone else's. For Ellie, that's all it took. McRae says, "It's not as easy to say, 'Ah, I'm not going to walk today' when you're recording it and you see the numbers go up. It's very stimulating to do it that way."
By the end of October, Ellie needed to walk 700 miles to meet her goal. So she stepped it up to five hours a day. It paid off. By the end of December, she had walked 3,328 miles, the equivalent of walking from coast to coast. She lost 16 pounds and went down a dress size.
Her advice for people who want to follow in her footsteps. Just take the first step and don't stop. Rain or shine, freezing cold or scorching hot, get out there and do it. "No excuses. Absolutely no excuses."
Nancy Gleneski has lost 30 pounds since she and her husband created the site. The good news is, it's absolutely free.When we did this story last new year, some 70 people signed up. But it's dropped down to about half that now. It's hard to stay motivated. But for Ellie, the goal of walking across America kept her going.