Friday, September 25, 2015

On a Walk: 17 Weeks of Learning to Live a Beautiful Life

We take walking for granted.

I know this because there was a period of my life when I couldn't walk.

My journey to walk again wasn't dramatic. My muscles had simply lost their memory. And my body had to get used to the many pins and screws that bolted it together.

3 times a week I had a physical therapist visit my house. She worked on strength training exercises with me. We practiced standing still and walking backwards. It was years before I could do the later with any success. I still have to think about it.

When I was able to get up and on my feet again I had to be aided by a walker. Then later I used a cane. In fact, I used the cane for years.

I can remember the first time I felt like I was striding. It was in the doctor's office. I was walking down the hall. I wasn't thinking about every step. I wasn' looking down at my feet. I was swinging my arms. I wasn't worried about falling. I was really WALKING!

It is still difficult for me to walk long distances. This is why the majority of my exercise consists of activities that are low impact.  Just last year I was able to complete a mile fun walk.

I felt like I was queen of the world!


Without the cash. And the big tiara.

So what does taking a walk have to do with Living a Beautiful Life?

When was the last time you paid attention to your surroundings?

Is life so overwhelming that you fail to appreciate the small things around you?

This is your assignment for the week.

Take a walk.

Don't worry about your heart rate. Just be sure you have proper footwear. We don't want you to break anything.

Earlier this week Josiah and I headed off to a popular walk/run/bike trail just a few miles away. I have to have fairly level walking trails and this particular place is perfect.

As you walk look to right and then to your left. I found this particular little cubby hole. It reminds me of the nooks and crannies that populated my backyard growing up. I grew up in the woods. Lots of adventure!

Look up! Can you see pictures in the clouds? We saw a hawk.

The leaves haven't begun their change yet in the Ozarks but we did see lots of lovely Queen Anne's Lace. I even picked some to bring home...only to throw it out. It didn't look as pretty in my house.

As you walk pay attention to the colors you see around you. God created a beautiful world!

You might even make a new friend! Josiah suggested that this might be a Copperhead. I suggested that we needed to review our Snakes of Missouri pamphlet. This guy is harmless.

Is there anything you see on your walk that prompts memories? We saw Cedar Trees on our walk. I was able to share with Josiah the wonderful memories I had of Cedar Trees. We hardly ever had fake Christmas Trees. The first week of December would find us in the woods choosing the perfect tree to be our Christmas Tree. I remember having to avoid all the prickly leaves.

On this day (our walk day) we touched the leaves.

We have had quite the bagworm infestation this year. I decided not to touch this. Icky.

As you walk think about your blessings. Breath in and out. Swim your arms. Can you feel the sun and the wind kiss your face? What are you smelling? What are you hearing?

We were unsure what we were looking at here. It looked as if something had already been having a snack.

Yes. Those are my sons big feet and hairy legs. Mine look a little dirty, but I assure you it's just a shadow.

So you might be telling me that you can't walk. Or that you don't have time for a walk.

I've been there.

If you are able ...try and get outside and sit for just a bit. Close your eyes and let the sun shine down on your face.

If you can't get outside have someone open a window for just a bit. I love to see the breeze blowing through curtains. Can you hear any birds? This time of year we hear lots of crickets. What kinds of memories are you having?

If your walk is to and from the mail box everyday, go slowly. Take a few minutes to take deep breathes and look around you.

This whole exercise is not to add minutes and pressure to your day. To appreciate our moments we have to become aware of them. I also find that when my life if complicated and messy I can always find something pretty in nature to look at. God created an orderly and beautiful world.

There is also a whole slew of health benefits that come with walking. I think sometimes we make it too complicated.

I can't walk until we find a buddy to walk with . If you can't find a buddy to walk with use this time for some serious meditation or motivation.

I need to get some better workout clothes. I saw a lady on the trail this week in her work clothes. She had simply slipped on some walking shoes and was taking advantage of her lunch break. Besides I'm not talking about walking a marathon. This exercise has other benefits other than your physical health. Your emotional health needs it as well.

It is just too hard for me to do at this point in my life. I saw a gentleman in a wheelchair pull himself up onto an exercise bike this week at the Y...You bet your bippy I was ashamed of myself after that...If he could do that I can certainly do what I can do.

Don't make it a production! Just do it! After supper, before supper, before breakfast, after work, With a kid. Without a kid. Take a camera. Or not.

Just make plans to do it again.

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