I have written about my walks and paths taken before (Killing Time,10/26/12 and Sharing My Path, 9/25/12). I haven't been on one in a while.
It is the middle of winter here in the Midwest. I started walking regularly last spring, when it was
50-or-more degrees outside. I can find no motivation to pile on the layers and attempt to go walking for half an hour when it is 40-or-less degrees outside.
I think about walking; how if I just get out there and do it, it won't be nearly as bad as my inner couch potato wants me to believe.
So while I was thinking about walking today, about where I would go to do it, it dawned on me that even though I can just go out my front door to walk, my preferred place actually involves getting in the car first. Here are my three most walked paths.
My neighborhood is a big square made up of two blocks. I would need to walk around it several times to reach my 30-minute-minimum requirement. That can be dull. The only time I do this is when I am lucky enough to be with a couple of neighbors. We walk until we are out of breath from gabbing so much! Without the company, this walk is dull and predictable.
The 'Hood II
My backyard borders a different neighborhood. My yard happens to connect to it via a walking path. It is a larger neighborhood, with a windy, circular road and even a couple of inclines. And it is large enough to just meet my time limit. A little less dull, but still a predictable walk. Same houses, driveways, and barking dogs.
It used to be a racecourse for Jaguars and Ferraris in the '50s. It is now a public space preserved into a walking/biking path and is surrounded by woods, prairies, and hills that will make my heart pound and thighs scream. It is ideal. My preferred path. Its twists and turns make it a more interesting exercise. (And with friends, it's even better!)
As I thought about these three paths, the two predictable ones and the one less predictable, I realized why I preferred the one. Because of the unpredictability. I prefer the one in which I can't see too far ahead. I don't know what will greet me around the tree-lined bend. Another walker? A hill? The end?
Sometimes in life I wish I could see into the future, to have a predictable path. It's the safest way, right? But then I would become complacent. Always knowing where I am going would probably breed discontent and laziness.
Better to be kept pondering and alert, wondering what is just around the bend, and delighting in the anticipation of what is to come, be it an uphill climb, or downhill relief.
Yes, it is the middle of winter here in the Midwest. And after yesterday's ice storm, tomorrow will be record breaking 60-degree warmth. Guess where I'll be walking?