I know I’ve written about walking before — it really is a big deal in my life. I went this morning for roughly 2 1/2 hours, and I figure I clocked between 6 and 10 miles. Not very specific for someone who can be so “into” fitness, is it? The whole point of today’s post is to share with you what I learned as I was thinking about it.
I’ve tried clocking time and distance, trying to figure out how many calories I’ve burned, how fast I’m going, how much weight I’ve lost — and I nearly lost my desire to get out and go. None of those things are my real motivation. Focusing on them made walking and running stressful and unrewarding — as soon as I came close to a goal, I set it higher. I was burning out and hurting myself physically and mentally.
Over the holiday break, I became aware that I needed to seek out the joy in life. Walking and running are a BIG source of joy in my life. I love the feel of my body rhythmically moving. I love the sights and sounds. I love putting all of the stresses that wait for me at home out of my mind. I choose carefully the scriptures, talks from church, and music that I put on my phone for listening. I can cry out in silent prayer. I have heard the whispers of the Holy Spirit. THOSE are my reasons for walking and running!
I love that I have time on Saturdays for what I now call my “grand walk-abouts.” By Saturday morning, my spirit is often very worn and agitated. I have spent a week dealing with trying to make friendships work where personalities aren’t compatible, I’ve fought against the stresses inherent to educating young minds, I’ve had to ignore the crusader in me that wants to right all the ills of the world, I’ve hacked away at a never-ending todo list. I worry and fret that I’m putting all of my efforts into the wrong things. Emotionally, I’m beat!
This morning, I took an approach that I haven’t really tried before. I left the house without checking the clock — it was sometime between 7:30 and 8:30. I started by walking, and ran a little bit when it felt good. I really didn’t choose a route beforehand, so I just went wherever I felt like. When I finally felt my spirit relax and my soul come back into focus, I planned my route back home. I got back around 10:30. It’s one of the best “workout sessions” I’ve had yet.
So now, the teacher in me wants to tie this all up with “lessons.” What do I want you, my dear reader, to take away from this?
- When our motivations are right, we will find joy.
- It’s o.k. to do things differently.
- Exercise is great, but finding Heavenly Father is even better!
Whatever you do this week, I hope you find joy and peace.