Posted in fitness, health, retirement, Self Care

Doesn’t Matter Why

I drifted, the words swirling around me and drawing me into their world. I delved into

Listening to my Inside Voice while icing my back. This is a blog I follow regularly; her words paint a picture of an ordinary life lived with inner harmony and balance. She’s a daily walker as well but her weather patterns are quite different than mine! This post talked about how her Fitbit makes her get up and be active and what happens if said Fitbit (called Connie) is broken.

At the bottom of that post I hit on the next link. I can’t find my way back to it which is a usual rabbit hole occurence. I don’t like to hit follow after only one read of their blog but often can’t find it again! This writer talked about driving to a historic area to take a walk daily and tracking it with her Fitbit. The post went on to talk about having forgotten the Fitbit and how the walk changed. The length and intensity did NOT change but the focus was entirely different. She felt more connected to the houses, the environment and indeed to herself.

Which brings me to our walks on the last three days. Friday it was already dusk when we left the house and instinctively we headed for the road. We hit the 1 km marker (a big rock in the pasture) and turned around. The footing was relatively easy on the gravel and the pace decent. The colours of the sunset were already fading as we returned.

Yesterday we got out the door a little earlier and with weak sunlight and a brisk wind we headed into the deer and cattle paths in the pasture, hoping to stay low in the hills and avoid the windchill. The footing was tricky as it always is in fresh snow and at times the ground was uneven and almost treacherous with rocks hidden under small drifts of snow. I did manage one picture of that evening light without freezing off my fingers or causing my phone to die (they dislike cold).

Today’s walk was solo as the carpenter was involved in his project. I really wanted to take advantage of the sunshine seems we aren’t experiencing seasonal temperatures right now and the sun always makes it feel warmer than -16! I’d checked the weather on my phone but then left it in the attic. Not wanting to lose the light I walked with no technology.

If I’d recorded today’s walk on my app it would been about 2 km, maybe a smidge more. The time was about 45 minutes, give or take. I was out long enough to be glad of my extra bottom layer.

I walked and watched the dogs (have our grandpuppies for the weekend) frolic and explore. I thought about how in the winters lite it could all be painted with just burnt sienna, ultra marine blue and a hint of yellow. Until I rounded the bend on the way home and that pop of vintage red sang out on the house.

By then I’d lost two dogs. First Whiskey had gone runabout after 3 deer that we startled out of the bush. The puppy, Jagger, had stayed close by during the lower treed section. I don’t think he’d ever been this far with us. As I picked my way through the trees and fallen logs I remembered why I do walk with my phone. This would be a bad time of year to break a bone and not be able to call for help.

I was in the lower pastureland when Whiskey returned. He and Lucky then set out after the rabbit they had flushed out. Zero chance of chasing it down but that never stopped those two male dogs. The puppy dutifully followed me back up the trail to the house.

I popped back upstairs to my happy spot, aka the attic, to spend a bit more time in the sunshine quilting. There sat my phone, right where I left it. I used it to capture the amazing sunset.

I thought about the three walks. The “road” walk was the easiest and the app said it had burnt more calories than the trail walk. I knew, intrinsically, that it hadn’t. The pace was slower but the walking harder in the trails. Today’s walk, unrecorded, still registered in my head and body as important as the other ones although it hadn’t been captured.

We don’t need technology to walk but there are times were we use it. Photos, fitness goals or for safety sake (my neighbour broke his ankle not far from where I thought about being phoneless in the trees) are all good reasons. But the best reasons to walk don’t include technology. That chance to connect with nature whether in the rural or urban setting. Birds, dogs, cats, deer, rabbits or cattle. Maybe less chance of some of those if it’s an urban walk but even so the trees and greenery help with our mental health in a huge way. It’s proven science.

My goal when I retired was to walk 5 km a day. I can’t say I’ve managed it many times in 9 months but I have walked almost every day. It’s no longer the stress reliever that it once was but I can’t imagine not heading out the door. The dog makes me go when the weather is cold and miserable. There are times that I would skip the walk but the it’s kind of like Where I Amost Win happens and we both feel better for it.

Don’t believe me? Go for a walk and find out! My cranky back feels better now and my head is clear.

Bernie

I went out today and did the same walk, with my phone this time. It was indeed just over 2 km. The wind was brisker today for sure but the sun was brilliant and cast these lovely shadows everywhere.

I did succumb to the urge to take two pictures and the puppy knocked the phone from my hand right into the snow bank. Fortunately it didn’t get too wet and seems to be fine. The picture does indeed capture the colours.

But more importantly was that I kept moving, back pain be damned. My mind refreshes as my legs move and I am full of gratitude that I live here, in this spot in this wonderful country that I am blessed to call home.

B

6 thoughts on “Doesn’t Matter Why

    1. Thanks for stopping in the read and comment.
      I try, diligently, to practise gratitude. My father was a very negative man and I don’t want that to happen to me as I age. So I daily find 3 items to focus on my gratitude. It’s easier some days than others. Walking is the best medicine for much of life!

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  1. Hiking in the winter is always a challenge with the cold, wind, snow and ice. Event though the scenery is beautiful in the winter, it’s an additional struggle to capture any pictures while hiking. Good for you for getting out there AND for taking some lovely photos.

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  2. Walking is our guilty pleasure. Winter changes that, especially when freezing rain falls. I have no desire to fall on my A– on the slippery sidewalks. When we can’t get footing, we go to the airport outlet mall and do a few loops for about 3 k. Hoping the rain stays away this winter. Cheers. Allan

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    1. Winter definitely makes it more of a challenge — sidewalks and road ways are so often treacherous. I’ve had my shares of falls throughout my life. As one ages it becomes more of a worry for sure — my mom at 93 rarely goes outside in the winter. And of course if you don’t use it you lose it so it’s a fine line isn’t it. Good idea to walk inside when it’s bad.

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