Astounded to Learn that Walking Soothes My Soul

Let me begin with the assertion that I am not an outdoorsy kind of person.  Unless of course, the “outdoors” to which you’re referring involves a beach in Hawaii, a good book and an unimpeded view of the hot local hanging ten on a gnarly wave.  Nor am I, by any stretch of the imagination, an active kind of person.  In high school, I opted to take Air Force J.R.O.T.C. instead of gym to avoid the certainty that my grade in gym would affect my G.P.A. in much the same way that the iceberg affected the Titanic.  More recently, when consulting with my doctor on my quest to lose weight, he suggested that I walk for exercise.  When I told him that I don’t like walking, he said, “Trust me.  You’ll learn to like it.”  Jerk.  I hate it when he’s right.

So, I bought decent shoes and began walking.  At first it was just up the street and back.  That’s all I could handle.  But ever so slowly, I began to walk faster and for a longer period of time.  It was fantastic.  No children.  No housework.  No deadlines.  No stress.  Just me and the outdoors.

Then I got this crazy thought – maybe I could get better results in less time by sprinkling an easy jog here and there in my walk.  I bought cheap running shoes and gave the Couch to 5K plan a try only to discover that I can run for a minute or so without dying.  I also learned the importance of a really good jogging bra, but that’s another story.

Now, when I go for a walk or a run, it has almost become of form of meditation for me.  It is impossible for me to not be in the moment and while my body does it’s thing, my mind is free to wander where it will.  Inspiration has quietly become my companion on many occasions and I’ve started to truly notice my surroundings in a completely new way.

I want to share with you a few of the things I’ve seen just in my own neighborhood.

 

If you are suffering from the same “Ziggy Syndrome” (too short for your weight) as I was, take my doctor’s advice: “Trust me.  You’ll learn to like it.”

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going for a walk.

Hell Hath No Fury…

…like that of a spiteful woman.

All right, all right.  I know that’s not the way the quote is supposed to go, but that doesn’t make it any less true.  In fact, spite can be a fantastic motivator.

This is when you say, “Really?  How can that be?” to which I would respond, “Yes, and I’m glad you asked.”  Otherwise, I wouldn’t have much of a reason to continue with this post.  Except, of course, simply out of spite.

In order to answer your most excellent and felicitous question, I will provide the following two examples from my own personal scrapbook of activities driven purely by spite.  First, I contend that I am now flossing my teeth every single freaking day completely, totally and utterly in order to spite my dentist.  He thinks he’s so smart.  Well, we’ll see how smart he really is the next time he checks my teeth and he has to come up with something to say other than his customary (and extremely tedious) “you really aught to floss your teeth more than once a millennium” speech.  Blah blah blah, whatever.  I’ll show him.

My second example of spiteful self improvement involves exercise, but before I get into that, I need you to understand how much I truly hate mornings.  My post M is for Morning didn’t even scratch the surface of my eternal, deep-seated, smoldering hatred of mornings.  I would rather eat cockroach Étouffée than emerge from my nice, cozy, warm bed anytime before noon.  However, three times this week, I have forced myself to forsake my beloved cocoon of blissful warmth and get a in workout at 6:00 a.m. as a show of blatant animosity directed at the cartoon avatar of my Wii Fit balance board, Kevin.

Kevin has plagued my existence from day 1 with his snarky little comments like “you really should check in every day,” “that really isn’t your strong suit, is it?” and “that’s obese.”  Well, Kevin, it’s on now.  And if the only time I can get in an uninterrupted 30 minutes of Crunch Fitness Fat Burning Pilates is at the butt crack of dawn, so be it.  I will let spite be my muse in order to get you to shut your animated piehole.  Just watch me, mister.

So, the next time you find yourself a little short in the motivation department, give spite a try.  If it’s potent enough to get me out of bed and moving in the morning, than it wouldn’t surprise me if someone figured out how to accomplish faster than light travel simply to spite Einstein.