Garden Bloggers' Muse Day: To Walk
This photo may not look that enticing but it's deceptive as it shows the start of a marvellous adventure I've had this year. It's the footpath which runs by the side of our house and marks the beginning of nearly all the walks I take locally.
When I set myself the goal of walking 1,000 miles in 2020 my heart said yes and my head said no. It's a mind boggling number and even dividing it by 366 didn't make the target seem any easier. Could I really walk 2.73 or so miles every day?
The answer to that question is no, because I didn't walk every day... but on many of them I walked far in excess of my daily walk allowance. It took my head nearly three months to acknowledge that it might, just might be possible.
Then in March NAH had his heart attack and Lockdown happened and amongst all the angst and sleepless nights walking kept me going. The simple act of putting one foot in front of the other helped calm my whirling mind. I deliberately parked my car in Bristol far enough away from the hospital to get my walk in and then when NAH came home we walked together at the start of his rehabilitation. Gradually he walked further and faster, until one day on our regular "quick puff up the hill", he no longer puffed and he had to wait at the top for me to catch up.
We went our separate ways towards fitness then, he on a new bike and me on ever more challenging "puffs" and distances. In many ways Lockdown kept me going and in turn the Walk 1,000 Miles challenge* helped my Lockdown. Walking has been one of the few things within my control during these crazy times.
Last week came the big day when I finally did it. Yes, I've walked 1,000 miles! In that time I've lost so much weight I had to buy some emergency knickers during Lockdown 2.0 as they'd started to fall down. They might not quite be the 'essential shopping' the government has in mind, but well, they are in my view.
And that "puff up the hill"? It's no longer a puff, neither is the "bigger puff up the hill", nor the two of them combined. I seem to have lost my niggly knee along the way as well.
I've also changed into a person who wears some seriously loud leggings. I was happy to wear them to Zumba at the start of the year, but outdoors? Er, no, I'll wait until after dark, thank you very much. Now, who cares? And I love the comments I get when I'm out. It seems loud leggings cheer people up and in these times that's got to be a good thing.
So three cheers for the Walk 1,000 Miles challenge, long may it continue!
The quote from Thomas Traherne's poem Walking at the top of this post sums up what walking during Lockdown has done for me. It has slowed down the world, allowed me to observe, and find richness close to home.
To walk is by a thought to go;
To move in spirit to and fro;
To mind the good we see;
To taste the sweet;
Observing all the things we meet
How choice and rich they be.
~Thomas Traherne, 'Walking'
* = the Walk 1,000 Miles challenge is an initiative by Country Walking magazine. I found out about it last year via a friend who sometimes writes for them. One of his pieces coincided with their annual relaunch of the challenge and curiosity led me to want to find out more. It was inspiring stuff and now here I am having completed my first - but not last - 1,000 miles.