2017 did not end well for me, personally or professionally. The company I worked for closed, I lost my job, and my dog died. In-between searching for a new job (exploring career options, as they say), I realized that I needed to include exercise in the daily mix. So I started to walk, every day. As I walked, it became clear to me why I must continue this newfound ritual. Here are the top six reasons why I walk.
1. I walk because I can! There are so many people who are unable to exercise at all due to physical limitations, and I’m not one of them, so I walk because I can!
2. By the end of my walk, the clutter is gone. It doesn’t matter if it’s rainy, snowy or sunny, as I round the bend up that last hill to my house, I literally feel a sense of euphoria, because the cobwebs are gone and my head is clear.
3. As I walk briskly through my neighborhood, I experience a feeling of peace that I don’t find sitting in front of the TV or my computer. I breathe in all the late winter smells lingering in the air - wood from fireplaces and woodstoves, dryer sheets from someone’s fresh laundry, and the occasional skunk. But the biggest feeling that comes over me is pure and simple peace.
4. It’s my time to think. I think about dozens of things – how to craft that next query letter, you know, the one that will finally land me an agent for my book, or how to revise my 30-second elevator pitch the next time I’m interviewing for a job. I also think about other, not as important things like going to the grocery store, selling some old things on eBay and thinking up new book ideas. Time to think…make some for yourself. You’ll be happy you did.
5. It keeps you in touch with your neighborhood. I’ve learned a great deal walking around my neighborhood the past two months. Some land has been cleared not too far from our house and I’m trying to guess how many houses will be built there. I see where an addition has been added, or where a handicap ramp has been installed. Sometimes I run into neighbors and we chat for a minute and it’s nice to keep that connection.
6. Like life itself, there’s no looking back. Once you start the walk, you have to keep going until you eventually make your way home again. It’s not like running on a treadmill or using an elliptical where you can just stop whenever you want. If you walk a mile away from home, then there’s a whole other mile you have to walk to get back. It makes you be physical and use muscles that need to be used.