Walking for Sanity
Just over a year ago, an article was published in my hometown newspaper, The Commercial Review. The tale of a husband and wife that walk together every night, rain or shine. The article was about none other than my Mom and Dad! To their surprise (aka mortification), the article made the front page of the daily newspaper - full-size photo and all.
My parents may have been embarrassed at the time, but I couldn't be more proud to have grown up as a child of "the walkers". For as long as I can remember, my Mom has gone on a walk after work each and every night. She started the practice by herself nearly 40 years ago, and my sisters joined the tradition until they headed off to college. I then started walking with her when I was in junior high.
I have such fond memories of those walks with my Mom. Sometimes we would go the entire route and not say a word. Other nights, we would chat non-stop - often walking faster and faster if the conversation got us really fired up. :) It was the perfect way for me to gather and organize my thoughts and catch up with my Mom on a daily basis.
The day I left for college, I vividly remember not worrying nearly as much about my upcoming classes, roommate assignment, or finding my way around campus, but about my Mom walking alone each night. She and my Dad had kids at home for over 40 years, so this was all new territory. Well when my Mom came home from work that Monday evening, she found my Dad sitting on the couch with his tennis shoes on and ready to walk. He may be a few paces behind with a sweat towel in hand, but he has accompanied her ever since.
While I was at college, I continued to walk or run every day, too - often memorizing linear circuit analysis or thermodynamics at the same time. When Tyler and I moved in together after graduation, I informed him that after work, we walk. He gripped for a little while and complained about me walking too fast for several months, but we walked. Every night. Rain or shine - or snow, wind, 100+ and sub zero temperatures,.... Poor guy!
Tyler often says our walks are the only way he can get me to talk about anything. I attribute it to the only time in the day I have a chance to relax and think freely. Either way, he now looks forward to that time after work just as much as I do. Funny enough, we've been stopped several times by neighbors that tell us their families see us each night and refer to us as "the walkers". I guess it's a family thing! Walking may be great for my health, but at the end of the day, I walk for my sanity.
So I encourage you to get out this weekend. Whether it's a mountain hike, beach stroll, or just a nice little jaunt around the block, throw on those tennis shoes and start walking. Breath in the fresh air and soak up that summer sunshine. Maybe you'll find that you like being a "walker", too.