I clearly remember the first morning I walked away from being morbidly obese. I actually got up early to go for a walk. I realized back then my finances didn’t allow the luxury of a gym membership! Who needs a membership to anything to just simply walk!
Fortunately, I enjoyed the ability to walk out my front door, and within 10 minutes be walking in miles of ongoing, uninterrupted beach. (One of San Diego’s perks is its miles upon miles of beaches!) That first day, I managed to walk about two miles. Given the amount of sweat pouring out of me, you’d think I had run a marathon. I didn’t mind! I proudly wiggled out of my sweats with a sense of glee unlike ever before. I felt a sense of wind beneath my wings that morning. I could sense my soul applauding me for getting off my lazy butt to start a process I’ve come to LOVE without question.
To inspire myself to savor my walking routine, I decided to create games to polish my observations skills. Each day, I’d pick something from my dream time to watch for while walking shortly after pulling the covers off. One morning, I recalled a most profound dream about being loved. Loved in ways I didn’t clearly understand (intellectually) but knew I KNEW at some soul level. I’ll never forget the walk that followed this dream. I recall this walk whenever the illusion that I’m somehow NOT loved bubbles up.
To set the stage for this walk, you need to know this walk happened months after I started my morning walking routine. I walked the same route every day at almost the same time every day. While my route and time remained fairly consistent, weather and tide variations always mixed things up a bit. One morning, I encountered May gray (a common seasonal weather event in San Diego – especially during the month of May) with high tides. May gray combined with high tides challenged my determination to even get out of bed! It’s cold. It’s windy. It’s cloudy. Not the most inspiring weather to walk in.
On this May gray morning, as I walked past one particular cliff (a cliff I’ve walked past dozens of times), with the help of a momentary ray of sunlight, my eye caught a shimmering Valentines-day-sort of heart twinkling on the face of the cliff. When I turned around to confirm what I thought I saw, the heart was gone. (So was the sunlight.) For just a second, I though I entered the twilight zone! I KNOW I saw a heart-shaped symbol shimming on that cliff wall! I decided to back up and look again. In the time it took me to back up and walk back to where I first saw (what I thought I had seen), the sun appeared for split second. In that second, the sunlight light-up some kind of transparent paint (much like Elmer’s glue, it’s white when you use it, it’s clear when it dries). Someone had painted a big ol’ heart on the side of the cliff in a medium that appeared only when the sunlight hit it in just the right angle at the right time.
What a magical moment, to say the least. I looked for signs of being loved that morning. I got it BIG time! In that moment, I cemented my resolve to continue walking no matter the weather, place or time. This resolution resulted in retiring my first 40 pounds in less than two months! Granted, walking is one part of my program. Increased consumption of purified water also plays a BIG role in helping the rolls around my middle to disappear. More on the benefits of drinking ample amounts of clean, fresh water coming up! Check out my next post!!
In the meantime, whatever your excuse is for not getting out for at least 30 minutes a day for a brisk, refreshing walk, kindly consider dissolving that excuse! For those living in the concrete jungle (big cities) I bet there’s an enclosed mall not too far away. Forget the shopping and focus on how many times you can walk around the entire mall and still see something NEW each time. I know of high-rise dwellers who purposely walk the stairs every day for exercise.
Of course, common sense is the key here. Listen to your body. Be gentle. Consult your health care provider if you have questions about how much walking you should do when first starting out. I’ve a hunch your body will tell you how much is too much – quickly! Allow your body plenty of rest on this program as well. We’ll review the power of rest in an upcoming post as well!
Now – get those walking shoes on and get busy! Post your walking ah-ha stories as well!