I have taken up walking – for exercise, I mean, not just for moving from one place to another. This is not normally noteworthy, I understand, but what you don’t know about me is that I absolutely hate walking. My feet always hurt, I get bored, and occasionally I even sweat. And I hate sweating more than I hate walking. It’s just so, um, gross. Nonetheless, I have determined that walking on a regular basis would give me more endurance, and heaven knows I could use a dose or two of endurance.
I’ve tried walking regularly in the past, but to be
honest I’ve been unable to find anything that would distract me from
the pain – and yes, I’m talking about real, physical pain. It appears
that my feet don’t enjoy the process any more than I do. My hope is that
eventually they’ll just get used to it and stop their whining.
my first challenge was to find something that could shout louder than
my feet. I figured out that podcasts required concentration and would
give me something to focus on, kind of like Lamaze breathing during
labor. My first day out I turned on my podcast, walked 15 minutes in one
direction and then turned back towards home. I took my phone along in
case I needed to call 911 somewhere along the way. Later that night, I
was trying to figure out how far I’d walked, so I asked my husband for
his guess based on the route I’d taken. When he said about a mile and a
half I was shocked! So shocked that I actually got up out of bed at
11:00 p.m., put my coat on over my pajamas, and drove the route to see
if he was right. Turns out, it was only 1.2 miles, but hey, this was
just my first day!
True to their natural bent, my feet have indeed
been complaining – some days more than others. Determined to have the
upper hand in this battle of the wills with my feet, I walk anyway.
After one particularly painful day a friend told me that she’d seen me
walking. I asked her, “Did I look like I was about to cry?” (Because I
was.) She told me that she couldn’t tell because I was looking down at
the ground. Note to self: When you stare at the ground, it puts your
whole body alignment out of whack – look up! I’m not sure when I started
the practice of walking with my head down, but I’m going to guess it
was during the 1980s when there were Lego pieces scattered all around
our house. Those babies HURT when you step on them!
my crying day I decided to take a day off and find other footwear, which I did. I actually found a pair of shoes that are pretty much an answer
to prayer. But even perfectly fitting shoes have a break-in period, and
apparently I forgot to pay attention to that fact. Before too long my
feet were back to shouting in protest, but I didn’t want to quit. So I
took a few Advil and persisted in my walking regimen. Apparently another
friend spotted me out walking that day (you gotta love a small town)
and told me, “Nancy, you know I love you, but when I saw you walking you
had the worst look on your face.”
“You mean, like I was in intense pain?” I asked.
“Exactly like that.”
knew so many people would be watching me while I walk? And who knew
that they’d expect me to look happy? That seems like a lot to expect if
you ask me. Clearly walking isn’t for wimps.
I will persist. I’m
convinced that once my feet understand my determination they will stop
protesting so loudly. In the meantime, I recommend you buy stock in
Advil. I hear it’s flying off the shelf.