I walk a lot. I love to walk. Yes, it is great for my physical health. I walk, so I can drink wine without too much guilt. Some dark chocolate = 10 more minutes. Fries? Another mile. Burger & a shake? Another 3 miles. Big Mac? Well…I haven’t had a Big Mac in 20 years. That would be a marathon. Not worth it. Rather have wine. It’s not a perfect science, but I can enjoy life a little more knowing I am doing my best to balance the crazy. Food and diets and exercise can make us crazy. Got a big occasion coming up? That equals no bread, no wine, no chocolate for 2 weeks. And an extra mile a day. Oh Lord.. the Whole 30 plan calls for zero dairy & sugar (along with a myriad of other evils) for 30 days. My coffee needs raw sugar and 1/2 & 1/2. Needs it. Like a bee needs pollen. If I give up drinking coffee with the vices, I am NOT happy. Because that means that I have to have coffee with fake stuff to try and make it look like and for the love of all things creamy, taste like it’s the real deal. Mama don’t do fake. I resent coconut milk 1/2 & 1/2. I can taste stevia for a week if it is accidentally added to my coffee. (Starbucks 4.22.18) (but whatev) Yes, I want all of the compliments…and the satisfaction of wearing an outfit that I might not have to delete all of the Facebook pictures of the minute I get home, but to give up coffee with beloved cream and sugar? Well, life is too short for that shit. The Whole 30 plan is a kickstart to finding out what you need and don’t need in your diet. Your body will feel great after eliminating certain foods. That I can agree. I can tell you right now… giving up pasta…no big deal…bread…beans…hell, no prob….cheese… my Wisconsin relatives will disapprove, but fine I can do it… alcohol, I guess I can do that for the cause too, sssssugar…well, ok, maybe for awhile … 1/2 & 1/2…. I shall kill thee.
Walking for health has taken on a lot of different meanings to me these days. It is my therapy. It is my prayer time. It is my creative time. I talk to God, pick up trash along the way and look pretty ridiculous. I know the driving people talk about me. This little city has gotten so very busy in the last 5+ years, that the streets are always packed with cars. I have kind of a routine and see some of the same vehicles on my route. I know they wait for me to see if I am taking out loud or singing out loud or stuffing my pockets with candy wrappers that the kids drop on their way home from school. I am that lady. I have the same 3 outfits that I wear (no, not at the same time), so there is no mistaking me. I have the same exercise bra from 1998 (the drivers don’t know that, but I thought I would share it with you) that I love and I know it’s too stretched out to do any good. But I can breathe in it. It doesn’t make me gasp for air each time I squeeze it on. Ok. I have 2. A pink stretched out one and an orange super stretched out one. Bra shopping sucks. Especially sport bra shopping. How can you really tell if it is going to hold the girls well in the Dick’s Sporting goods dressing room. Do I blissfully open the door and speed walk though the Carrie Underwood area? Her tiny bralettes (evil invention) wouldn’t even hold two strawberries, lest 2 small cantaloupes. Good singer, bad bra. For me at 50+, that is. I am sure it’s awesome for middle schoolers.
So walking. For the first 15 minutes I cuss a lot. I let my frustrations fly. Then for the next 15 minutes I apologize to God for my language and my lack of gratitude. Then I ask for blessings for my family & friends and lean heavy on my direction. Hea-vy. I know where I am going on my walk, but on my “Walk”, I do not have any idea. So I humbly ask for guidance. By the time I get back home, I have enough serotonin in my system to love the world. I love everyone. I love me. I think I am so totally awesome and I am full of all kinds of hope and creative energy. Things creep in in-between the walks and again, I am ready for a purge. I dislike that word, purge… it is an onomatopoeia of sorts, I think, but yes, I need a negativity purge. (ew)
So I find time to walk. If I skip a day because we are traveling or I simply just didn’t make time, I can feel it. I am not as understanding and as calm. It can become mostly cloudy in my head those days with a good chance of thunderstorms, without my walk and meditation. We do not want tornadic supercell activity brewing. The swirling green vortex that looms is not fun in my head. So I walk and the weather clears up and it’s sunny for another day. Good medicine, these legs.
I have this big goal. I want to walk the The Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James). I have had walked marathons and 1/2 marathons. Those were lofty goals and I am proud of my physical accomplishments. “The Way” is a pilgrimage for the soul. The trails start in France and end at The St. James Cathedral in Spain. There are abbreviated versions of the hike, so one can choose many options for their spiritual adventure. I am not sure when or how long my walk will be, but I know it’s calling me. Not sure what I will find or discover about myself. Maybe I’ll discover that I could have walked the Cedar Park Trail and felt the same at the end of my destination, but I am willing to train, buy the ticket, plan the trip and see. Maybe I’ll discover that cream and sugar are indeed the answers to a happy life and I had the answer all inside me all along. I do not feel lost, but I am willing to go and be found.
Let’s take a walk together. No, you do not have to join me on the Camino. Just a walk around your block would be wonderful. You can vent all you like and I will listen. Or we can just laugh our way down the street. Maybe you will feel lighter in spirit. I walk kind of fast, so you might burn an extra calorie or two…and then you we can have a donut. That might be the ultimate pay-off!
Saturday, May 12 11:35 pm
Coffee with my beloved sugar in the raw and 1/2 & 1/2. My “Spirit is Ageless” Journal, handmade by Marti Perkins.