I like taking long walks.
I’m talking about the kind of walk where you keep moving so long you get lost. The kind of walk you take on overcast days, and with the sun behind the clouds you get so accustomed to the half-light you forget you’ve ever had any other feeling. You forget how long you’ve been moving, forget how to turn off your body’s autopilot. Only then does your mind wake up.
I used to measure my walks in the miles that I had travelled. I would wear pedometers and check mile markers. I don’t do that any more. Counting my steps tethers my mind to the present, to the ache in my legs and the sweat on the small of my back. On a hot day one single mile can be more prolonged and more painful than four times the distance at a nice, cool temperature. So now I walk until I’m tired, and then about face for the return journey.
You see, I’ve never been very good at the “working out” thing. I find gyms to be overcrowded and uncomfortable. I don’t mind lifting weights, but I’d rather do that in the privacy of my home. I don’t like to run, and even if it wasn’t a bad idea due to my weight and weak ankles and my corrected club-foot, I probably still wouldn’t do it. I can’t convince myself to sweat and struggle through a workout every day. I’d rather approach it on my own terms.
I do walk to work out, but I don’t approach it the same way. I walk so that I don’t have to stand in a line next to other, more in-shape guys and lift weights. I walk so that I don’t have to lay on the ground and try to head-butt my crotch in pursuit of six-pack abs. I walk because I’m fighting years of video games and pizza and beer, and even though I’m taking the slow way ’round, I’m winning.