I have inherently known something for a long time, but only recently consciously discovered it – that I am a much happier, more balanced person when I have a chance to get outside and walk by myself. I discovered this by finding myself drawn to the large park near my office each morning before work just so that I can walk. There, in the cool morning, I find myself and prepare for the day. I walk in a big loop around the park, only to find myself back in my car forty minutes later driving a few blocks to the office ready to face the day. This “discovery” was made possible by my job change in January. I have enjoyed my morning walking routine so much that I expect that I will stick with my morning walking habit for as long as I can bear it into the winter, after which, I may have to find a treadmill before work.
Of course, this discovery should have been obvious to me, for my joy of walking goes back at least a decade. In New York, I used to go out of my way just to walk around that city, and I did so regularly. Even on busy days when I had no extra time and had to rush to catch my train, I could always count on my walk to and from the Metro North Pelham train station from New Rochelle.
And then came California, where again, I went out of my way to travel by foot to the Pleasant Hill BART station while my bike and car sat in my garage. The East Bay climate made my walk possible year round and podcasts, audio books and comfort music were my constant companion.
When we first moved to Salt Lake City, both my commute to work and work schedule kept me from walking as much as I would have liked on my own time. The result was a feeling of complete imbalance in my life and higher anxiety and stress. My morning walking of late has restored that balance and relieved the overwhelming feelings I sometimes experienced in my prior job.
I know I am not getting any younger and my body is already not as nimble as it used to be, which is why I am grateful that the one hobby I can point to having has multiple health benefits. May you all keep walking.