4 April 2018

The Joy of Walking

We drive our cars. We need to get places. We’re on a schedule. Need to get things done.

Tick, tock, tick, tock.

The streets are cluttered. Cars are weaving in and out. Lights are taking too long.

Sound familiar?

Are we traveling too fast? Missing our surroundings? Are we even really seeing what’s going on before us or our minds flashing with a hundred things that need to be done that day?

Are we driving too much while forgetting that we can walk to destinations not too far away?

I moved a mile from a current job and I was eager to ride my bike. More exercise and not to mention, saving on gas. It was nice for a while. I focused so much on riding and worrying about weaving around cars and people, I was missing something about being outdoors. I was missing the joy.

One day I decided to go for a walk. Have you ever just taken a stroll and experienced the scene around you? Really listened to the birds chirping, the wind blowing gently against your face. The wind as it shivered the leaves on a tree.

I hadn’t until I started walking. One mile to work and one back home.

The first day I walked, I felt the muscle in my legs ache. I hadn’t been using certain muscles while riding my bike, but walking that first mile and the second back home gave me a good wake up. Made me feel good. Energized. My body was moving. My skin was soaking up the outdoors. My mind was settled. Sometimes it wandered. Sometimes it revealed the things I’d been worrying about that were causing a tightness in my shoulders and upper back.

Taking the time to walk taught me to be in the present moment. To enjoy the nature of my surroundings. In the mornings, I take in the quietness of the neighborhood. I say hello to fellow walkers and their dogs. In the afternoon, if the sun’s out, I feel a light perspiration on my skin as I notice a cat sneaking up on a little bird or a gopher popping its head out of the ground. Sometimes I just watch the clouds in the blue sky as the wind pushes them into beautiful shapes. I never noticed the clouds as much as I do on my daily walks. Somehow all the list of things I needed to get done don’t seem to matter so much.

They’ll get done.

Now when I’m not working, I go for a two-mile walk on my days off. Just for the pure joy, for the light exercise. To listen to the sounds of my environment. To be present in the moment. To experience. To feel peace and happiness. And you know what? I don’t notice that tightness in my shoulders and back anymore.

One day take a walk.

You may just discover the joy of walking.