Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Why I Walk

I could tell you I walk to lose weight, keep my blood pressure in check, and reduce stress, but I'd be lying. I do it for the scenery, and by "scenery" I don't mean the guys who run bare-chested.

A bayou flows alongside the path in my local park, and the sight of its muddy water lifts my spirits. In some places the stream's banks are high and it's easy to see how water carved a path through the forest. In other places, the water trickles by or slips and slides over rock.

One day I might spot a turtle sunning on a fallen tree limb, and the next I'll see a blue heron. Or a possum. Or an owl.

The water's a constant. So is the path and my inherent laziness. After I've clocked the first quarter-mile, though, the going gets easier. Somewhere around the one-mile mark, my head clears and worries disappear. The next mile puts me in the zone, the zen moment, the delicious present.

I've tried mall-walking and walking in my neighborhood but failed at both because they lacked the extra something that prompts me to put on shoes and head out the door: the ever moving, ever-changing bayou.

If you've had trouble sticking to a fitness resolution, consider taking it to a place that's easy on the eyes. The work-out won't be easier, but the scenery will distract you from your aching muscles or the work you've left behind. If you're lucky, it will raise your spirits.

If you've kept to a fitness schedule, what's your secret? Do you listen to music while on the treadmill, catch up on recorded TV while stair-stepping, or run against a mountain backdrop? What's the extra something that gets you started?


Jennette Marie Powell said...

Beautiful photos! Don't blame you for choosing to walk in that.

I read while on the treadmill. That's the only workout I've stuck with. Sometimes knowing there's a good book waiting for me is all that gets me to the treadmill, but it works!

Liz Flaherty said...

I have a walk like this, the Nickel Plate Trail in central Indiana a mile from my house. I'm so glad you said it's okay to walk for the scenery, because I think I forget that and try to go too fast.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

A good book would get me to the treadmill, too, Jennette. I'm afraid, though, that I'd stop walking and curl up with the book.

My walk is beautiful, and I know I'm lucky to have that park close by.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Liz, I love the name "Nickel Plate Trail." You'd better believe it's okay to walk for the scenery. What's more thrilling: I walked three miles today or I saw a blue heron? I'll vote for the heron every time.

I'm impressed you go fast, though.

Patricia Rickrode w/a Jansen Schmidt said...

Now I want to go for a walk with you. It looks and sounds so lovely.

I try to mix up my fitness routine, but mostly I find that rewarding myself when I'm done is the best way to make myself do it in the first place. Like that glass of wine when I get home or maybe ice cream after dinner.

Keep it up girl!

Patricia Rickrode
w/a Jansen Schmidt

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

It IS lovely, Patricia, and I know I'm lucky to have that park nearby.

Ooh, I like the idea of rewards for exercise.

Sheila Seabrook said...

I'm just like you, Pat. If I'm enjoying the scenery, I forget that I'm supposed to be exercising. LOL. Normally, I just walk around our acreage development, but it's always the same. So I'm looking forward to when it warms up and I'm going to trek out further, head down the road and look for the interesting stuff.

Betty Bolte said...

I love your walking venue, Pat! I love walking outside, mainly on forest trails, but around here I'm forced to walk on a country road playing dodge with cars/trucks and tractors. But I'm fascinated by hawks and herons that live around us, as well as the song birds. If I can't walk outside b/c of the weather, then I walk on the treadmill while watching TV. Enjoy our bayou!

Patricia said...

Hi Pat! So, here you are. I was directed to your website because Sunday Industry News was where I saw you most. Now I have the pleasure of reading your blog posts.
I ride my bike every day and so weather has a lot to do with whether I get to see trees and the marina and smell the salt water or if I stay inside on my stationary bike. I prefer the outdoors. I love seeing the ducks and geese and birds as opposed to the television. I need silence so I don't listen to my iPhone music.
I'd never seen pictures of a bayou. Thanks for that.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Sheila,
I've seen photos of your acreage in spring and summer but picture it snow-covered in winter. Walking can't be easy. How about a blog post on what you see from your house's back window in February?

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Betty,
Thanks for stopping by. No trucks to dodge here, thank goodness.You know, a country road sounds nice, and I, too, like to watch hawks swoop. I stop breathing when I see a heron because they're elegant at rest.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Patti,
I prefer the outdoors, too, and, like you, crave silence so I can hear the birds (and the bicyclists' bells). Your bike ride to the marina and salt air sounds wonderful. I so enjoy your posts about riding your horse in the hills. The posts and photos have taken me there, too.

alarnarosegray.com said...

It's definitely the scenery for me. I'm not one for the suburban street walk, or exercise for the sake of exercise. But give me a nice beach vista - and I'm there :)