Posted on May 23rd, 2013
This post is aimed at those of you who would like to be a little healthier, feel better, lose weight and enjoy life more. Here is a simple idea about how to do these things. But, first of all please let me just say that I don’t feel comfortable in the role of a cheerleader. I like to blend into the background for the most part. And it’s true that for most of sixty years I avoided doing anything like what I’m suggesting here. I was this person not long ago . . .
Not a comfortable place to be . . .
So here’s the deal. A suggestion. Try walking five or six days a week. I know you are busy but let’s just say you start walking for 30 minutes and you walk a mile. The distance is not really important. But it is very important to do it on a regular basis and establish a habit. I cannot express how important it is to make this a regular occurrence. When your mind says “I can’t do this today” you must shut it down. Buy a techie rain jacket and go out when the weather is not good. Use fleece layers in the winter underneath it. The trick is to make this an automatic behavior, like brushing your teeth or going to the refrigerator when you are hungry. Because the good news is that you will be able to go to the refrigerator and feel good about it. You will still lose weight and be healthier.
Because . . . a strange thing happens when you are out there walking that little mile, using up just 30 minutes and listening to your favorite music. You will inevitably want to walk more. You will challenge yourself to rev it up once you start to see results. You will feel like testing your abilities. Sooner or later, you will be running in local races or hiking nearby hills or mountains.
That’s just the way it is . . .
Here I am testing a bit of food from a bush or something. Our guide on this Trailblazer event was sharing with us the medicinal uses of some common plants at a local state park. It’s pretty good, actually. See the techie jacket? It was raining on this day. Did I care? Not much. Wearing a jacket like this one is a lot like wearing nothing at all. They breathe. They shelter from the cold wind. A good jacket is your friend.
Here we are on a local hike downtown. I would suggest looking for a local Meetup group once you have established a routine. Not all your walks have to be solitary (not that this matters). I must admit that I was enjoying this moment. There’s my favorite beer truck. And I can drink some beer at this watering hole without gaining weight or overdoing it. I’m such an idiot. Betsy has been very supportive and I love her dearly because she trusts me to have a good time but not get myself into trouble. Trouble, you say? What trouble? Here’s a photo I took at The Museum of Fine Arts In Richmond.
Listen, guys and girls. We are all evolving physically, mentally and spiritually as we go along the road. That’s why we are here. When I walk along those mountain paths I enjoy looking out over the crevasses at the huge expanses of trees and clouds. Nature is beautiful. But you have to respect its power as well and not play around the cliffs. Whenever I start to think “Oh, you are doing great!” I inevitably end up on my knees. Usually it’s when I try to climb a 2500 foot mountain trail with a thirty pound pack in the snow. But, it could be something else. So, as I was saying earlier, focus on the basic goal. Walk every day. Take a day off when you are sure you won’t use it to slide back. I had one cold this past winter. It lasted for three days. I walked when I had a cold. I walk when I’m feeling depressed. Inevitably things seem not so bad after the walk. When I absolutely don’t want to walk I go back to a baseline effort. And that is not the couch. It’s four or five miles, no running, just wandering about feeling sorry for myself. But it could be that simple mile in thirty minutes for you.
Like I said I feel a little uncomfortable writing this post. I always wonder about people who do this for a living. But maybe it will help someone. And now it’s time to go walk and stop worrying about how I may “come off” to readers. I’m a work in progress, or, a piece of work, according to my wife. Bless her. Marriage is like a base camp in the shadow of the mountain. You always want to have one where you can relax and be yourself.
Thanks to my Trailblazer friends for some of these photos!