Today I took a walk in the country.
In and of itself, this isn’t a monumental occurrence. It was not a particularly long walk – logged just over a mile and a half. Nor was it at blazing speed – clocked a blistering 16 minute/mile pace. What it was was me putting on my hideous exercise capris, tying on my beloved Sauconys and plodding one foot in front of the other with deliberation and intention.
I took a walk.
Usually, when I exercise, I listen to music. Walkman, Discman, iPod, plugging directly into the snazzy gym equipment – all distraction devices used through the ages. The driving bass beats kept me moving forward steadily; anticipation of the next song helps me to ignore my burning lungs. Smiling to myself and lip syncing when a song I haven’t heard in a while comes on, distracting me from the day’s torture. In the country, it’s different. There are no sidewalks along the sides of the road, so I opted to leave the ear buds at home, leaving me open to hearing the sounds of cars coming toward me from around blind corners.
My ears were open to other sounds as well – the cock crowing on the farm around the next bend; birds chirping and calling to one another from the trees; the rubber on the soles of my two-year-old sneakers squishing as I pounded the asphalt; my breath as it rasped heavily in and out of lungs too unused to cardio.
That final sound was the worst, IS the worst. I’m out of shape. Heinously, “morbidly obese”-ly out of shape, according to the lovely chart at the doctor’s office. Nothing new to this tale – I was a big kid who grew into an overweight teen who blossomed into a fat adult. I eat my emotions (have you seen the amount of cooking I’ve done in the last 6 months? Unprecedented!), and I bake for others to show how I feel. [Note: don’t judge how things taste to be a reflection of how I feel about you – if I’ve made the effort to put something together for you to eat, it’s a good thing]
So, as spring has sprung, it’s time for the beginning of this year’s attempt at doing better, at being better. I checked a Yoga for Beginners DVD out of the library, choosing not to spend the money unless I’m sure I’ll actually do it. The pose guide on Saturday and the morning workout yesterday were baby steps in the right direction and I’ll probably do the evening workout tonight to stretch out any kinks from my walk. With my bad knees and back, I’m hoping that a combination of yoga and cardio will be beneficial.
I am comically easily derailed in my attempts at healthfulness. I’ll use any excuse to skip a workout or sidestep an eating plan (note I didn’t say ‘diet’ – waste of my time). What absolutely kills me is that I KNOW – know with every fiber of my being – that I feel better once I’ve worked out, so why is it so difficult to motivate? Something else I’ve learned about myself over the years is that exercise is my lynchpin. I can try to eat more healthfully but it falls apart much more quickly if I’m not exercising as well.
But today, I took a walk. And today, I feel good.