This I Believe

Melanie - Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Entered on May 6, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
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Power Walking

I believe in “power” walking. I’m not referring to the kind of power walking described in fitness articles, although those who do the latter are to be admired, but my kind of power walking empowers me physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Power walking for fitness requires a certain posture, a certain gait, and a push for more and more endurance and speed. My kind of power walks will never give me the physical agility of the fitness power walkers, but it does burn calories and makes me healthier than I would be otherwise. In fact, I have been walking for over twenty-five years, and when I first started, it was solely in pursuit of health and slimness. Only in the last few years, have I realized I can find more than physical health in my walking.

If I am feeling depressed or tired and even have to make myself go walk, I have never regretted it or come home feeling worse, but always feel more upbeat and energetic. I know the endorphins have been released and done their job for my emotions and my energy level.

There are only two requirements for my kind of power walking: a place to walk and a state of mindfulness. The place can be the neighborhood where I live, a park, a walking trail, the woods, the beach, city streets or country roads. It is helpful if the scenery and the weather are pleasant and the place is quiet and not too crowded, but these are not essential requirements.

An awareness of my thoughts empowers me mentally and spiritually. I used to listen to music and shut off my mind when walking, but then I became a power walker. Sometimes I pound a problem away step by step. I see the problem in a different light, or by not concentrating on it, a solution pops into my head while I walk. I have had some of my most creative ideas while walking.

The greatest power I receive on my walks is spiritual. As I place one foot in front of the other, I connect with the Supreme Power and express my gratitude for being healthy enough to be on this walk and for living in a place where I can go outdoors and walk without fear. As I walk, I think about loved ones and pray all is well with them.

I have a secret ritual on my power walks. I ask for a blessing for each person I meet, and then I wonder what wonderful thing, big or small, may happen as a result of my having asked for a blessing for them. Some would laugh at this and say it is just wishful thinking on my part. Maybe, that is true, but I know at least one person is blessed from this act. I am. Indeed, this ritual may be the most empowering aspect of my power walks as it fills me with joy and hopefulness.