Walking to Walk

For the past few days, I’ve been taking walks, and it’s felt strange. I haven’t walked simply to walk in months. Ever since the advent of gardening season, I’ve spent the cooler hours in my yard — digging, planting, weeding, watering, mowing, sometimes for several hours at a time. Supposedly gardening is exercise, and if sweat is a meter to go by, then for certain I was exercising. By the time I finished my gardening chores, it was too hot to walk, so I stopped walking. Actually, that’s not true. I’ve been walking all along, but any walking I did had a purpose — going to the grocery store, stopping by the dollar store, visiting the library, heading to work.

With gardening upkeep at a minimum right now (nothing to plant, whatever grass there was is dead, and the big weeds haven’t grown back) I’ve suddenly had the time and energy and inclination to walk. So I did.

That’s what feels so strange — walking for no other reason than to walk. To be honest, I’m pleased I still have the ability to walk. I think a person ages rapidly once the ability to walk diminishes. Right now, I’m walking less than two miles, which at one time felt like no more than a walk around the block, but now . . . well, come to think of it, it still feels like a walk around the block, but I’m not ready to ramp up my walking to a more challenging distance. I need to ease into it to make sure I don’t overtax my knees.

It’s a shame there’s no open space with trails right around here — the closest place, from what I can gather, is about fifteen miles away, and although it’s a nice place to walk, driving to walk feels even weirder to me than walking to walk.

Once the garden season comes to an end and my flowers start dying, I’ll probably have to do a lot more digging and hoeing to get rid of the old plants and to try to tame the grass and knotweed that creep into my flower beds, but perhaps I can work just a bit at a time so I can keep up with my walking.

But that’s getting too far ahead of myself. I’m just glad to be able to roam around town even if there is no real reason for the walk — other than to walk, that is.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator