The Wonders of Walking

I just took my first real walk in almost two weeks. A walk around a track, heading nowhere but that zone of heartbeat footstep heartbeat footstep.

Heartbeat, footstep, deep breath. Heartbeat, footstep, deep breath.

I had been walking daily, but my routine disappeared at the advent of spring break and the ensuing parental challenges. My daily walks got pushed to the back. Of course, I could have walked with Sarah, but any time I mentioned that suggestion it met with resistance. She’s not adverse to exercise, but on her terms not mine.

We did go for one long walk through the botanical gardens, which is always a delight. Except when you have to practically force someone to go with you. Sarah eventually realized how much fun it was, and enjoyed discovering her photographer’s eye.

Lovely photo taken by Sarah.

Mystery tree photo taken by Sarah

We also went on a mini-walking adventure as a family on Patriot’s Day, which gave me a few minutes of peace between arguments and complaints.

A Moment of Peace

But, in general, I was never able to reach the rhythmic meditation of walking.

Heartbeat, footstep, deep breath. Heartbeat, footstep, deep breath.

Without those moments of walking for myself, for my health, for the rhythm for the words, stress built up in my body.

I found myself feeling like this:

Muscles in my left shoulder and the my neck turned into bricks, leaving me to grope for the leftover pain killers from past bad back experiences, and an entire morning sleeping yesterday.

A lovely morning of sleeping, I might add.

Today, the pain is manageable, and I decided I would brave the outside world. I went for a walk around a track.

Heartbeat, footstep, deep breath. Heartbeat, footstep, deep breath.

When we went on the family wander last week, we walked in an area that had been damaged by tornadoes last summer. We were actually looking to go into a park, but the swath of damaged trees was greater than I had imagined, so we ended up just wandering by a boat launch that we happened to notice. I felt awe at the signs of recovery all around me, despite downed limbs and broken trees.

Green leaves growing from a trunk that refuses to give up.

Being bent, crooked and broken is not obstacle for a tree that wants to keep growing.

Today I went for a walk, and now I feel like that tree. Broken in places, but still fighting, growing and breathing.

Heartbeat, footstep, deep breath. Heartbeat, footstep, deep breath.


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