You probably know how to ride a bicycle and perhaps you know how to drive a car, but do you know how to walk? Do you really?
In a lifetime, you will make enough steps to cover the distance around the Earth on the equator, five times. That’s over 216 million steps.*
Most of the time we walk in ignorance of our walking, thinking about other things, talking on the phone, hurrying to get somewhere. But walking well is one of the best ways for us to relax and enjoy our health and our sojourn here on earth. It’s a great way to remind ourselves we are alive.
- Walking well begins with slowing down a little, not too much.
- When you walk, align your mind to your body. Be in your body. Walk with your mind.
- Feel the ground between your feet, the solidity of the earth, the indifference of the concrete, the indecision of gravel. Feel the squelching of mud or the splashing of water, if you’re walking in the rain. Feel the snow crunching under your feet, giving way yet bearing your muddy weight with dignity.
- Be conscious of your breathing between steps. Be conscious of the pendulum that your body becomes as you walk. Its center point – the heart.
- Look at things as you walk, don’t just glance at them. Feel them as they come near or recede. The world is anchored in wonderful details.
The beauty is in the walking — we are betrayed by destinations. ― Gwyn Thomas
I like to walk in the morning, when the air is fresh and the birds are whispering the rumors of the day. I like to walk after dark, in the soft orange glow of the streetlamps. I like to walk anytime in between, at home, in my yard, anywhere else. I like to walk in the rain, too. I walk when I have to, but I also walk when I don’t have to, because I enjoy it.
I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. ― John Muir
Walking can be a catalyst for creativity. Footstep after footstep, idea after idea, we can build better versions of ourselves while walking.
But walking can also be a descent into ever deepening quietness, into simple, affordable relaxation, even on a busy street.
When thoughts become footsteps, footsteps become echoes, and in those echoes, if we listen, we can find everything we need to feel great.
Home is everything you can walk to. ― Jerry Spinelli
Do you enjoy walking? What’s the farthest place you ever walked to?
*I didn’t do the math, but smart people did.