I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve been a walker for nearly 20 years now.
I used to go for walks with my mom for exercise around my childhood neighborhood when I was in high school.
Later, I’d walk at night on my university campus (with a fork in hand for protection per the advice of my roommate – still cracks me up)
Much later, stepping outside and walking kept me sane during separation, divorce, and moving. I’d never been so thankful for legs.
Now walking is it’s own sort of meditation. Sometimes I walk fast because I need to use and flush adrenaline and cortisol from my system. Sometimes I walk slowly with my fingers laced behind my back, kicking rocks along the way, imagining I’m in my later years, finally appreciating what I’d taken for granted for much of my life.
And then I feel happy just to be outside.
I’ve walked in the dead of winter, at night, bundled up in my puffy North Face coat zipped all the way up, mittens and boots snuggly on, with my face exposed to startle my senses. And when the winter ice and sleet (and an injury) kept me from walking outside, I even joined the ranks of early morning Mall Walkers for a while.
Yes, this is a shout out for walking and the limbs that help us do it.
From what I’ve read, many of the most accomplished and creative people throughout history have also found walking to be an integral part of their daily routines and key to their success as artists, creators, writers, musicians, thinkers, and human beings.
One beautiful commentary I read on Henry David Thorough: “For Thorough, walking through Nature was a kind of pilgrimage without a destination. His Holy Land was all around him. And as long as he walked, he kept discovering new temples, new places to worship.”
In my world, walking allows us to separate from everyday influences and flow back and forth between deep thinking, creative insights, and embodied presence taking in the pulsation of life all around.
So, if it so moves you, walk, saunter, stroll, hike, power walk, tromp…whatever you please.
And if you’re itching for a little boost around movement in general, or like the idea of walking but feel you should be doing something else, here’s a post from 2014, you may find practical and helpful!