I live in a beautiful place, right up against the Olympic mountains in the Pacific Northwest. The air outside is fresh and smells like pine with wisps of wood smoke from bonfires or indoor stoves. Everything is crispy right now, from the leaves under my feet to the temperature. Why wouldn’t I go take a daily walk?
I’ll tell you why. I’m lazy! Given the choice between sitting snug against my own woodstove or bothering with a coat, shoes, and–face it–effort, I’d rather just stay home. But we all know that exercise is needful, the air beneficial, and the break necessary. So, out I go.
Sometimes I go alone with my own thoughts. Sometimes I take whomever is champing for an adventure (Where will we go today? The farm? The cemetery? The river to play Pooh Sticks?) Most of the time, however, I take along my iPod and listen a podcast such as Wretched Radio or a music album. My current favorite is Amanda Cook’s Brave New World (oh…what a voice! What lyrics! What sound!). And because I have something to look forward to–a place, a break, some teaching or music–it makes the decision to head out every day easier to make.
Two other things have made that daily walk easier. One, I have it scheduled. Not on the clock, but more of “the routine”. As in, when baby takes her nap, Mama takes her walk! And, second, I bought myself a raincoat with a hood so that I didn’t have to mess with an umbrella or make another excuse not to go. That would about kill any of my walking goals…I’ll only walk if it’s not raining…in the Pacific Northwest…in autumn…
If you’re looking to cultivate new habits that will foster a slower pace of life or a healthier body, you’ve got to make it easier AND harder. Such as, for me:
EASIER (to go take a walk): raincoat, something to listen to that I’m looking forward to hearing, lovely destinations, a routine
HARDER (to stay home): kids are perhaps banging away at music practice at that time and I need the quiet! Or “No Walkee, No Coffee!”
A 20-30 minute daily walk does wonders for any mind and body, and 40+ minutes will help shed any unwanted excess weight, too. You may already know that it’s the best exercise you can do…what do you need in order to make it happen?
Here’s a video from Amanda Cook’s debut album. Wouldn’t you love to walk to this?
And here is some artwork that inspired by Junelle’s class, and Amanda’s song. I put in boxes so that I could plan and think through all of the fun projects that are in the works (stay tuned!). As you can (maybe!) see, the podcast hasn’t disappeared. 🙂
I’ve got Proverbs 3:5-6 written on my walking stick: Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
What would you write on yours? Do you need a daily walk, too?