Friday, March 11, 2022

I think I'll go for a walk outside now...

As I started to write this post and tried to decide on a title, the first thing that came to my head was that starting lyric to a song that is now running through my head. If you aren't familiar, it is from the Brady Bunch and the song It's a Sunshine Day.

Two years ago, I committed to making time to get outside for at least a thirty minute walk each day. It was the start of COVID shutdowns. The kids were home from school, for two weeks to start (that later extended, as we all know). I knew that I needed to make time to stay active, and not just sit in the house all day. With everyone home, I knew I would benefit from some me time, doing something just for me. I also knew that I needed the mental break, a chance to get away from the news and everything.

So, I headed out that Saturday for a walk. I was pretty close to 30 minutes the first few days, because the pool at the Y was still open and I was putting a couple of miles in in the pool each day. When the Y closed, along with gyms, I was left with just walking and started to stretch my walk most days to a longer. In the beginning, I was unemployed and I tended to walk mid-day. As time passed, I finally was reemployed and I started to mix it up and walked in the morning or the evening working around my schedule. I had a couple of different paths that I took around the neighborhood but started to see people outside on my walks. Some commented, most just said hi.

Of course, living in Northeast Ohio, many of my days were not Sunshine Days, perhaps the quote from Greek historian, Herodotus is more appropriate - “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Somedays, I was limited on where I could walk based on snow or ice. Other days, I was ducking under the trees to stay dry for a few minutes. Regardless of the weather and the degree of light or dark, I found a way to get out and walk. Most days were by myself but occassionally, I was joined by friends. When I walked with others, we tended to go much further and for a longer time then when I walked on my own. I got to enjoy seeing the seasons progress and some beautiful sunrises. I fell a few times on ice but I got back up and kept going.

When the first year wrapped up, I decided that I would keep my streak going. In some ways, the streak serves as motiviation that I need to keep going. I wouldn't want to fall short of completing the year, especially as I got closer to the year mark and it was cold and snowy.

As of this morning, I have completed 104 weeks of getting out and walking at least 30 minutes every day, regardless of the weather or around whatever was on my schedule that day. Some days I struggle to get going but I am never not glad that I saw it through. Walking in the morning is invigorating and a great way to start my day, walking during the day is a great way to take a break and get away from the stresses of life, walking in the evening is a great way to wind the day down. The fresh air, the sunshine, the beauty of nature, all make it worth my while. Even in a rain storm, I get to see the beauty of trees reflected in the puddles and the occassional rainbow. Snow is pretty and peaceful, especially in the early morning before it has been disturbed. Whenever and wherever I walk, i am glad that I am doing it every day. Hopefully, this time next year, I will be sharing that I completed another full year, that I have 156 consecutive weeks of getting outside for at least a 30 minute walk each day.