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It’s All About Joy

Why Walk?

The short answer is because it feels good to get outside.

I’m not talking about walking on a treadmill inside. This is an option, of course. A treadmill is good for exercise and I don’t mean to stick up my nose at it (well, I am) but part of the rich value of walking is being outside.

You might only walk around your neighborhood, but nature is always there with you. Birds are there or someone passes by and says, “Hi,” or flowers are blooming or, oh, I don’t know. There’s so many different possibilities of what might be a treat for you on that day.  And you wouldn’t get this treat if you were on your treadmill inside. You’d be thinking, “When is this going to be over because I’m so bored and I’m just doing this so I can get some exercise.”

It’s a bit like diets. You’d be depriving yourself of food and who wants to do that? Not me. I love food.

Walking is about so much and so many things to different people. I was talking to a woman about being a member of WomenWalking. She was in a wheelchair and she came alive when she excitedly told me about how she met a woman for a walk “uptown. We strolled around the town looking in shop windows, talking to other pedestrians, had a bite to eat at a local restaurant and it was just lovely.”

(Excuse me while I move this little worm trying to get across the path. I’m moving it into the wet grass so it won’t dry out even if it’s slightly objecting. See you wouldn’t see a worm on a treadmill.)

The woman was so excited about “strolling” around with a companion to share the day. She was thinking about it in terms of getting out and sharing the outdoors, greeting others, feeling the air on her face, so much to describe. It’s Ineffable. Ineffable is a word that describes the indescribable. It’s hard to put my finger on it, but being outside is indescribably delicious. Being outside gives me such pleasure and buoyancy. Even when I can hear the rush of traffic, I can still witness the life that is taking place around me. The little peep perched on the fence or the tender blades of grass, drenched with morning dew, bending towards the earth, waiting to be munched by a cow (okay, I made the cow munching up, but you know what I mean, it’s ineffable).

But it just so happens, there are cattle that hang around the pasture adjacent to my neighborhood. They come in cycles for when they are there hanging around. Or the geese that used to honk their way onto a nearby pasture. Each morning the geese would flap their way in and land in the grass. Honking as they flew in from different directions in small groups, jockeying for position to land. Honk, honk, settle, settle. But now they don’t come in anymore. They’ve changed their pattern. Why? I have no idea!

So many, little, scrumptious things to see. It’s fun to go to a park or wilderness, but you don’t have to. Even just walking around your neighborhood is fun, but you have to get outside to witness it all. This is why having a walking partner, someone to share it all with, is important. When you are by yourself, you can say (and I do), “I’ll go later,” but I don’t. When you have somebody to walk with, you have accountability. They’re waiting for you. And it’s motivating. You walk fast, you walk slow, you walk up steep hills or walk down steep hills and you don’t even notice because you’re gabbing away with your companion. It’s a fine way to begin your day, end your day or mid your day.

Come on. Let’s go for a walk!