In Love and Walking

Walking – it’s one of the best forms of medicine.

I felt it this weekend. I’m injured. This meant no gym, no walks – it even meant taking a taxi to work instead of my usual leisurely stroll first thing in the morning.

Even just a few days of no activity has meant me being stuck indoors, being unmotivated. This has been especially hard since my mind’s fixated on one thing…it has been for some time…and usually in these situations I walk, however today’s been different.

When it’s a nice day I usually change into a pair of leggings, put the leash on the dog, grab a bottle of water, and put my trainers on and walk – earphones in, music on.

Before Storm Doris hit and before I injured myself working out the other day, I recall a day not too long ago when I was in this real weird space; so many things were running through my mind; I was missing NZ, some people in particular. The time difference meant I couldn’t call, so I walked…

It was a beautiful clear day, albeit a crisp one. It felt amazingly good to actually be moving, to be outdoors in the fresh air. Even the biting cold wind hitting my face felt great. I just walked and walked without really paying attention to the time or where I was heading.

Just being outdoors and walking made me feel liberated from the mood I was in. I walked, minding own business, but as I did, I passed other people walking, cycling, playing, taking their dogs for walks…

On the way I stopped momentarily, taking in the views, taking a few photos at the same time. I had no idea how long I’d actually been walking for, but I knew my app would tell me when I eventually returned.

I knew I must’ve been walking for some time – the sun was beginning to go down, and the shadows of the trees were lengthening. There was still a bite in the air, so I walked quicker to ensure I remained cosy.

After pausing at a farm to look out into the distance, I proceeded to move. My mind was calm, and although my legs were beginning to tire, everything seemed OK again. I continued to walk until I felt discomfort – in a strange round about way the discomfort was good for me, so I continued…

The sun was a dazzling neon pink, simply breath-taking. And although I stopped once again to take a picture, my phone wasn’t able to catch the true beauty of it all.

I went on walking the hilly back roads, marvelling at the skies that had been painted in shades of purple oranges and that magnificent neon coloured sun.

I was still a good 5km from home and my legs were tiring, but I kept on walking – I didn’t have much of a choice; anyway I wanted to.

Winter means short dark days. I walked home in the dark in the faded streets with the distant lights of the dotted homes reminding me that I wasn’t the only person in the world. Everything was still and eerily silent. The feeling of being alone was immense; I was very aware of my own solitude, and even if I’d wanted company (and do crave it from a few), I couldn’t have it.

Home was warm, I was cold. Thankfully, I’d left the central heating on. I’d never planned to wander the back country roads for so long, it just happened. It might seem odd to some, but it’s amazing what a good walk can do – it clears my head, and at the same time it pushes me into a realm of discomfort, which I believe is important to consciously feel and be aware of.

I’m slowly learning to walk away from all the things that aren’t for me and walking in the right direction that’s meant to be…


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