If anyone would have told me just a few short years ago that I'd be walking an average of at least 40 miles each month, I would have done a spit-take in their face, even if I wasn't drinking anything. The idea--the very concept--was something so foreign to me it would have to take place on an alternate world, maybe the one where Olivia Dunham is a sexy redhead with no inhibitions and a penchant for wearing black. But I digress...
After the great health scare of '11 (April, to be exact, in which it was revealed that my flirtation over the year with diabetes was blossoming into a long-term relationship with messy consequences), I started walking. I started slow. In that first month, I walked less than 10 miles, and was shocked when my very first walk came in at 3.8 miles. "I can do that?" I asked myself. "I can walk 4 miles at one time?" It was a revelation.
From there I just started walking more and more, eventually logging over 400 miles in 2011. In 2012, I'm already up to over 50 walks so far, and over 320 miles. If I don't walk for a period of time (5 or more days), I miss it. I even sometimes long for it. In short, I like it. I really, really like it, and it doesn't even involve Sally Field.
I've learned some things while walking, some momentous, some amusing, some just plain awesome. Maybe it's not really what I learned, maybe it's more what I've experienced, but herewith is the sum total of my accrued knowledge gathered while walking:
1. My philosophy on walking is very simple: One foot in front of the other. Eventually, you'll get to where you want to go. I have tried to carry this over into everyday life whenever possible. I'm not always successful.
2. I'm constantly amazed at how sensitive the foot is. I can feel things through a thick layer of shoe and a secondary, thinner layer of sock. The difference between dirt and grass, concrete and asphalt. The nubby rubber streetcovers on disabled ramped corners. The soft, disgusting squish of dog poop.
3. There is a lot of dog poop. This whole "clean up after your dog" thing isn't working really well.
4. I walk in one of the most beautiful cities in the country, if not the world, and I am incredibly thankful for that. My favorite walk involves Park Boulevard, and there is a stretch that borders the San Diego Zoo's parking lot that has a sidewalk that is boredered by honeysuckle bushes, making the walk a fragrant treat. On this walk, if I'm heading down towards the city, I can see planes coming in low for landing at nearby Lindbergh Field. If I walk in the opposite direction, towards Hillcrest and cross the street, it's a whole different walk.
5. Walking really clears my head.
That's pretty much it...if I learn anything else, I'll let you know. In the meantime...get out there and start walking!