Walk, don't run

>> 8.30.2009

The title of this post has a double meaning, of course. First, the literal. I haven't done much walking or running (for real exercise) this summer, and apparently with 40-something temperatures upon us in August, summer is over.

When I occasionally did venture out for fitness, I was trying to do more jogging than walking, in theory to get a better workout in less time. In reality, I just gave up on jogging early on and walked home slowly.

I, a speed-walker, had lost my walking groove. But today it returned; I don't know how or why. I was leaving my part-time seasonal gig, trailing a professional athlete--who had an off day to get to--by 50 feet or so, and I still had to stop and clock out. But by the time I got to the parking lot gate, I had passed him, walking my normal, in-the-groove pace. For holding the gate, I received a "Thanks, have a good one."

To make sure this wasn't a fluke, I took a lap around the subdivision this evening. The speed-walker was back, practically floating down the street. Walking was suddenly so much better than running again.

The other meaning? I had my annual "summer is over I spent no time outside I hate cold weather when am I ever going to get anything done my house is a mess" meltdown. And with everyone going back to school, you can throw in a little "I don't know what I want to do when I grow up should I go back to school or maybe just move to an island and live off the land" to top off my crisis.

I need to breathe, relax, and realize that I shouldn't run the race called life, but rather walk it, one baby step at a time. It'll all get done, or not. (Maybe now was not the time to bring up bins of old photos from the basement to scan and organize.)

The child is looking at September 1 as Day 1 of 180 days of school. I'm looking at it as Day 1 of 12 years of school, 12 years of the biggest challenges as a parent. I think I need to adopt her outlook, or take it one step further. It's just Tuesday, September 1, and there's a three-day weekend ahead. Maybe I can sit on the patio and enjoy the fading flowers.

If you've made it this far, you get to look at photos that can only be obtained by walking. Our four-day summer "vacation" didn't involve a single beach or golf cart, but we did walk. A lot. I love not getting in the car if at all possible (especially after a six-hour drive).

View #1 of St. Louis, available only by walking across the Eads Bridge at the end of a day of urban hiking.

View #2 of St. Louis, available only by hiking the Ridge Trail in Pere Marquette Park, near the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.

Two meanings, two points of view, two hikes. One step at a time.


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