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We talked to Walk + Bike Chula Vista volunteer, Salvador Medina, as part of our series of profiles on people who help make our programs a success. Sal is a Health Coach with Walking for Fitness and stalwart volunteer for many Walk to School Day events in Chula Vista. Below is a brief conversation we had with him about why he enjoys walking.

Why do you walk?:  I walk because I enjoy walking, but this was not always the case.  About 25 years ago, a  doctor's order put me on the path to walking. In the beginning, I found walking a task, and I sought excuses not to walk. I pushed through, and soon, I began to notice a shift in my thinking.  Now, I find walking pleasurable and invigorating. The bonus is the positive effect walking has had on my health, and the new found friends I’ve made from my walking group. 

Where do you like to walk in Chula Vista? How much do you walk?:  Chula Vista offers many areas to walk, such as the Chula Vista Center, the J Street Marina where the morning breeze is very welcoming, the Chula Vista Central/Downtown area and many other places.  Great areas are also found in our neighboring community, Bonita, such as Rohr Park with a 3.3-mile loop trail that winds around the golf course and through the park. 

What type of environment do you look for when going for a walk?:   A serene area with trees, greenery, the smell of pine, birds chirping, little to no traffic and a wide asphalt path for easy walking. My favorite time to walk is when dawn is breaking because I do not want anything to interfere with my walking schedule.

In general share something good about walking in Chula Vista:  I have found it’s great to walk in Chula Vista because there is something for everyone, from areas with slight elevation for a mild challenge to canyon trails that are quiet and secluded.

What do you say to someone who doesn't walk/bike in Chula Vista?:  The goal is to log as many (or as few) steps at your desired pace, comfort zone, and personal schedule. To someone who does not enjoy walking, I would suggest being patient.  At first, you may encounter personal resistance, but this will pass.  Find a walking group that offers walks of various levels and is full of encouraging people...  Some days you may prefer walking alone while other days you welcome the company of a group.  Start slow and build up, but press on with the primary focus of sticking with it. If you do, you’ll be rewarded with improved health.