I love walking, always have. It has been my thing for as long as I can remember. A thing I mentionned several thing on this blog. To me there is no easier, cheaper way to get in shape and be healthy, and, anybody can do it. The pace doesn't matter, neither does the place, nor your age. All one need is two working legs.
However, my reason for walking isn't necessarily to get in shape. Of course I don't mind it, but that isn't my prime reason. This isn't the part of walking I love above all. And, I never had getting fit as a prime goal. Getting fit is one of the perks, but the reason I walk is more mental than physical. I walk to get alone with myself. I walk to ponder thoughts, solve problems, distress, get rid of worries, anger and woes. I walk to beat what is bitting me, and I walk to get inspired. From the moment I was old enough to be outside on my own, I walked around without any particular goal. As a teen I remember just wandering downtown while window shopping, while in fact I was more keen on rearranging my thoughts than actually buy anything. When I was first living on my own and dealing with the inevitable pitfalls of newly found freedom and the woes of young adulthood, I kept my sports shoes handy, ready to grab and hot the road. Depending on my problem, level of tension or simple need for quiet and solitude, these walks could last hours. I was fortunate back then to live minutes on foot away from a trail that lead straight to the countryside. I rearranged a lot of thoughts, created a lot of new solutions and mulled over a lot of problems pounding the ground.
When I first arrived to India, I spent a lot of time walking around my neighbourhood and discovering things on foot. And interestingly, looking over the decade I spent here, the periods of time I struggled the most with myself were the ones I had the less access to walking. It never really was the climate that stopped me from walking, but the stares of others. Walking is that activity I use to escape the world when I can, and there was no escaping the curiosity of people. But, I still walked as much as I could, so what if at times my walking served only an utilitarian purpose of going from A to B for a very specific reason, I still did, and still do walk whenever possible, choosing it over any other form of transport. Walking without goal is however, much more fun. And I no longer make excuses for not doing it. I probably got used to people starring, and I don't even let the heat or the rain really stop me. I hit the track to find myself back, to let my thought wander, and my imagination soar. I tire my muscles to energise my mind.
This is what I love the most about walking. My goal isn't a specific clothes size, it is reaching a certain state of mind. and no matter how tensed and chewed by issues I might be lacing my shoes on, I always come back from my time out a much more balanced and sane person. My best creative ideas always came from walking, my biggest problem always faded away with the rhythmic thump of me feet on the ground and evaporated with each droplet of sweat running down my skin. A physical activity never just benefit the body, but also the mind.
This is my reason for walking as much as I do.