A Daily Dose of Walking

Lorraine - Columbus, Ohio
Entered on April 7, 2007

I believe in the power of walking. Not power-walking, though that too has its uses. I believe in the stabilizing power of ordinary walking.

I walk when I’m angry or frustrated or sad. And I walk when I’m happy or cheerful or wired from too much caffeine. I walk when I’m tired and when I have pent up energy from sitting too long. By the time I return to my starting point I’m back on a more even keel psychologically, emotionally, and physically. Walking provides balance in my life. I count on walking to cheer me up or calm me down. It gives me time to think and dream, and the opportunity to notice interesting ice formations or new flowers in bloom. I see things that are invisible from a moving vehicle and am daily reminded that I live in an ever-changing world. When I’m walking I believe problems will be resolved, one way or another, and that the joys of life should be acknowledged and appreciated. Walking has the power to make me figuratively step back while I literally step forward.

I walk under the stars and through the snow and in the soft sunshine of spring. I walk alone when I need peace and quiet, I walk with the dog for exercise and fresh air, and I walk with friends for the pleasure of their company. Walking fast, slow, or in between is conducive to catching up on events in each other’s lives, learning from each other, laughing together, and solving each other’s problems. Walking the dog is a good way to meet my neighbors, especially the parents of small children and fellow dog-lovers. It’s also a non-polluting, free mode of transportation.

For me, walking is both an addiction and a powerful positive force. I crave my daily dose. I believe it’s impossible to walk without thinking – an essential component of a satisfying life, but one that often slides down the priority list in the daily bustle. Distance and speed are not important — the power of walking is in the doing. I enjoy walking among the mature shade trees of our neighborhood, across farm fields, and along streets of old houses in historic districts. But location isn’t important either, it just adds variety to the constant of walking.

I have a “walking-diet” theory that says I can have all the ice cream and fast food I want as long as I walk to get each serving. I choose to believe the health benefits and calorie burning of walking offset the intake at my destination. I’m still collecting data on this theory, and anyway, theories don’t necessarily have to be proved.

I know people who don’t enjoy walking. I know them, but I don’t understand them.

I believe walking is an asset, a tool, a pleasure, and an important part of my life. This I believe.