Note to Self:

Monday, October 4, 2010

After The Rain...and how sometimes I'd rather use my feet

I like walking; I always have. This may seem like an obvious statement because it's something we have to do on a daily basis, but it's not. Let me qualify this by saying I'd rather, if distance permits, walk than ride in a car. Sometimes I'd even rather walk than ride my bike. Now I know some of my bike riding readers are thinking, "hey...whoa Joe...you'd rather walk than ride a bike?" Well, yes, sometimes I do, but not always...what, after all, is a more organic form of transportation than putting one foot in front of the other?

For the sake of sounding hokey I'll even go so far as to say walking, to me, can be a form of meditation in motion. When I walk my mind can wander or stay as focused as I like. Tonight was a perfect example of this. It had been raining all day and other than my short 3/4 mile bike-commute to work I had not been outside at all. Then this evening, as if someone had shut off a faucet, the rain came to an abrupt stop. So I went out for an evening walk.

I walk distances less than I used to these days, because of time restraints and the pains in my feet that middle age provides. But when I walk I am, as I was tonight, often grateful. For these minor pains that I have are a reminder that not everyone has the luxury of walking, and that I am truly fortunate to be able to do so. This hit home a few years ago when I had severe back problems and for a while was not able to walk normally or if at all...I thought at the time I'd never ride a bike again (you can read more about this at an earlier post titled,  The Plank of Gratefulness).

I've often said, and still stand by these words, that a person sees so much more when riding a bike compared to in a car. Well when you walk things are slowed down to the tenth degree. I tend to notice trees and houses and people that I may not have if on a bike and concentrating on traffic (in a car these things wouldn't even exist to me).

It goes without saying that walking is an excellent exercise for your physical health (click here and here) but many don't realize that it also offers many benefits for your mental, spiritual, and psychological health (click here and here). Sometimes, when I'm feeling a little melancholy or sluggish a walk really changes things...it did tonight.

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