As someone who loves running, I for many years had a bitter disposition towards walking. Walking (instead of running) was a kind of cheating, not “real” exercise, at least not compared to running several miles.
The days I didn’t run or work out on the elliptical, I slept in. A so-called “off day” resulted in me taking as few steps as possible. As a result, the health app on my phone resembled a crazy bar graph: some days a tall rectangle, other days a short rectangle that was almost a square.
Due to some health issues, I’ve needed to increase my physical activity, and the easiest fix has been adding morning walks on days I don’t run or go to the gym. I began the practice somewhat reluctantly but decided to maintain a good attitude. A few weeks into my practice now, I only wish I had started before.
I put on my exercise pants, grab my neon green hoodie, my phone, and my earbuds, and I’m out the door at 5:30 or 6. I enjoy listening to podcasts, and these added morning walks allow me to keep up with my podcasts. 20 or 30 minutes later, I’m back home, and I’m awake, refreshed, and ready for the day.
Last week was a full moon, and I was struck by its brightness, a characteristic I’m just not as cognizant of if I’m running. So these walks, with their moderate pace, ease me into the day, permitting me to slow down and to pay attention.
As a writer, when I walk, I find myself entering into the tradition of perambulating writers. Rather than walking the English countryside or major-city streets, I walk my quiet neighborhood in central Texas. My scenery is quite different, yet I’m grateful for the way the movement openings me to the morning and what lay ahead.