The nice thing about all the walking I do these days isn’t the opportunity for weight loss. I mean, sure. That’s why I started it, and that’s what I’m hoping will come out of it as I get myself back on track with my goals. But it really isn’t the best part about walking. Weight loss is a side effect, these days.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned the nature trails at my place of work. They’re really quite nice, particularly when you consider that I work in a call center for a national financial firm and that they could have just set us up in a windowless concrete box somewhere. But, instead, I can get out and wander up and down trails that lead through trees and over a (usually dry) creek bed, and that end at one point with a spectacular view of the nearby town. And there’s a lot of flowering shrubs and trees and parasitical plants, too. Dogwood and honeysuckle, mostly. They beat twelve kinds of hell out of my sinuses if I don’t keep up my allergy medicine, but there’s a subtle sort of perfume that fills the trails. Not heavy and cloying, either. Just enough that you take a deep breath and you think to yourself “I’m glad I’m outside.”
I hit those trails on my breaks, weather permitting. Sometimes – like now, because my legs are a little sore from the exercises I’ve been doing – I try to talk myself out of going for walks when they start. “I’m tired,” I’ll say. Or, “I’m sore.” And I’m sure that I don’t want to go, and that it’s going to be a chore, and that I’ll hate doing it. But then I get outside, and the weather is just warm enough and just cool enough to be pleasant, and the floral scents hit on a gentle breeze, and I can feel myself unwind. I start walking, feeling the concrete sidewalks give way to the shifting gravel of the trail, and I start to relax.
Sure, I walk for exercise these days. But also, I walk just to walk.