Nancy Hulley: Walking to recovery

Wendy SmithFarragut, The Farragut Insider

One of the goals of the Farragut Parks & Recreation staff is to help people get active. That was the aim of Farragut Forty, a program that rewarded participants who logged 40 miles on Farragut greenways with a prize. The program took place in January, and participants could walk, run or ride for their miles. (It was supposed to be held in conjunction with Farragut’s 40th anniversary last year, but you know how 2020 turned out.)

As much as we hoped that the program would benefit those who took on the challenge, we never imagined it would help someone in the way it helped Nancy Hulley. Nancy, a home-care physical therapist, had a fall in late 2020 that resulted in a hamstring tear. The injury required two surgeries and four weeks of IV antibiotics, and she was still using two canes to walk when she learned about Farragut Forty. She thought the program would motivate her to get moving and give her accountability, so she signed up.

When she turned in her log, it had 77 miles on it. Needless to say, Nancy no longer requires a cane.

She appreciates Town staff for coming up with the program and the area’s abundance of greenways.

“We’re so blessed to have so many areas to take a walk. I always feel safe when I’m on a greenway in Farragut,” she says.

Nancy is no stranger to fitness or setting goals. After “never having been a runner,” she decided to train for a half marathon when she turned 60. The training took a year. Setting mileage goals for the Farragut Forty let her relive that experience.

When she first started walking for the program, she could barely drive to a greenway. She had to pad the seat with cushions to be able to sit in a car.

Another challenge was the cold weather. Participating in the program made “all the difference,” she said, and motivated her to get out, even on the coldest days. Once she was outside, she was glad to be there. There were few people on the greenway first thing in the morning and she took beautiful sunrise pictures.

In the beginning, she was slow. She celebrated the day she finally passed someone on the greenway. “He was in his 80s, but I passed him,” she laughs.

Nancy is fully recovered and back at work now. Her perspective was altered by experiencing an injury with a long recovery. Even though she works with people who have significant physical limitations, she didn’t fully appreciate her own health.

“You don’t really know until it happens to you.”

Parks and Athletics Coordinator Lauren Cox is pleased that Farragut Forty benefitted Nancy as she recovered.

“As a parks and rec professional, I’m really inspired by stories like this. If we can help just one person to get healthy and be active, that’s what we’re all about,” she says.

Town of Farragut marketing and public relations coordinator Wendy Smith is your reliable Farragut insider.


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