The flu still hangs about, but now it is disconsolate and whiny. It knows that it is on the way out. I intend to finish it off with a walk on a sunny, mild day. In Minnesota. In January. The end must be near.
Walking seems to be a cure for many things, not the least of which is the malaise that hits in the dead of winter. We’ve had such an odd winter here in Minnesota – just look at what we’re wearing. Fall wear hasn’t gone out of style and random bright colors mean some people have just said “screw it” and decided it was spring. I bought snow pants in the fall, determined to add more outdoor winter activities to my repertoire. They still have the new snow pants smell.
Since I work from home, I often feel overwhelmed by my “to do” list. There’s no real down time. If I’m not working, I’m playing the “I should” game in my head while watching reruns on Netflix. It’s a nervous form of relaxation. Which is to say, it’s doing nothing and it’s not at all relaxing. Walking outside of my home without headphones and a heart rate monitor or a shopping list feels wasteful initially. There’s so much I could be doing. The reality, of course, is that I’m not doing those things. I’m edgy, jumping from text to email to Google with an alacrity that would have given Evelyn Wood seizures.
Stepping outside my back door for the first foray of the day causes a strange sensation, like getting off roller skates and having to learn how to walk again. It’s a reintegration into the physical world – I’m no longer just eyeballs twitching between software applications. Before I had a “busy schedule”, I walked everywhere. Now it’s a rare thing to see someone out on the street just walking for the sake of it. My neighborhood of classic 1950s starter homes was designed, like many suburbs, with no sidewalks.
I’ve walked endlessly many times in my life, marched miles in the Army, walked from a broken down car on the interstate, walked to a 4am job in the dead of winter. I’ve been chased by dogs, pooped on by birds, splattered by speeding car tires. Mostly though, I just walked. I was in motion and whenever I landed back at my starting point, I had a different perspective. It seemed just a little bit easier to dig in or let go of whatever had me stuck in the first place.
We’re in for a mild week and it’s a great opportunity to put some mileage on my walking shoes. They’ll look fabulous with my parka and shorts.
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