Thursday, July 17, 2008

Still Walking...

I just returned from my 30-minute walk. Today I walked right around noon due to other scheduling limits. The temperature was about 80 and humidity around 50%, so it felt steamy, yet not oppressive for me since I was raised in the Midwest. I went mostly uphill today, except for when I came back, which would involve downhill. Yes, many admire my grasp of the obvious. Anyway, my legs felt strong, I got sweaty, my face turned red, and I had a very good time. I walked up to a point with quite a veiw of the valley and where the Los Angeles sky line would make a stunning impression on a clear day, but that was not today. This is my 12th week of my new walking plan. It is a simple plan:

Walk 30 minutes a day five days a week by the time you fall into bed at night.

That's the extent of the rules. It is really working for me. I randomly walk with friends, because I noticed the planning to coordinate that can be a road block. I don't plan a regular time to walk each day because I do not have a life with that much steadiness. I don't count steps or distance because I've found that to be too much math for me. The flexibility of going 30 minutes means now that I'm walking a little stronger, I'm going farther and that's all I know -- not other details, data, or measurement. It also allows me to take it easier on "those days." You know those days. Those days when the motivation tank is on "E" and the scheduled commitments tank is full. On those days, I just get up and go, and do what I can for 30 minutes, rewarded by the exercise of discipline, if not the exercise.

Some other beautiful things about the 30-minute walk is ease of preparation and lack of equipment needed -- throw on good socks and shoes and I'm heding out the door. No Lycra padded shorts, no set of clubs, no pool, no muscle-rocker-energy-shocker machines, no gas to drive somewhere. I do carry my cell phone for time keeping purposes and in case of emergencies, like the time I walked too far, but didn't know it until I was half-way back and called for a ride. Wimp, shall we say.

Plus, I feel way better. Being in my 50's had started to be a negative thing, but I've discovered that was largely due to major physical inactivity (thankfully we have a two story home and my office is upstairs!). So I feel younger, more confident, and less fearful of degenerating.

The best part is being outdoors with time to pray, think, reflect, and even greet others out in the community. I've recently decided prayer is just the formal word for conversation with God, though I'm the one doing all the talking. That wouldn't surprise my husband. And I'm not talking out loud like I have a cell phone ear piece or a person we make take as crazy. Just in my head and probably heart. But it is 30 minutes carved out for alone time with my focus on the Lord and what I'm learning about following Him and loving others. I am thankful for shoes and a good neighborhood for walking.