Tag Archives: walking

Day 18

6 Aug

Day 18: A picture of your biggest insecurity

That’s right, folks, it’s big.  I’ve struggled with my weight for most of my life.  I’ve yo-yo’ed all over the place, gone on crash diets, joined gyms, fasted, tried to walk it off, sweat it off, the list goes on.  This winter I decided it was time to gain some control.  I try to follow a regular schedule of fitness activities including swimming and yoga while taking advantage of our small town to walk at any opportunity.  I couple my workouts with healthy eating choices; lots of fresh veggies and alternate protein sources like beans and lentils.  I was fortunate enough to find a doctor in town who shares my philosophy on weight loss and thus has greatly increased my self-confidence around the “big” picture.

This is why I walk…

11 Mar

A lot of people ask me, Fawn, why don’t you have a bike?  You could get everywhere you need to go faster and it’s a better way to exercise. First of all, I don’t walk just for exercise or to get places.  I walk so I can look around.  Lots of people just don’t see what’s around them, or what’s right in front of their faces for that matter.  When I go on a walk, I like to really open my eyes and SEE.  In high school I was part of a meditation group that met on Sundays.  It was our little non-secular version of church.  Sometimes I would arrive late, since in high school I was always that one person who was late to everything.  Instead of interrupting, which is terribly rude to do during a meditation, I would walk around town for an hour.  It’s so much more peaceful when you walk for the sheer pleasure of it than when you are rushing around someplace.  So now when I walk I find myself becoming overjoyed by the ordinary; a cat sitting on a sunny patch of lawn, a child’s tricycle overturned on a lawn, and of course, in the spring I’m always on the lookout for gardens.

Okay, let’s backtrack a little bit here.  I awoke earlier than normal feeling refreshed and healthy again.  I spent a good hour and a half working on entries for an up and coming fitness blog I am co-authoring.  I did a little shopping online, and then headed out to the pool for my daily swim.  While I was in the pool I did two things that really surprised me.  First; I decided to up the intensity of my workout.  I usually break it down into sets of 150 yards and the 3 main strokes (breast, free, and back) I do one lap of 50 yards in each stroke and then start over.  It was easier for me to break it down into small pieces so I wouldn’t have to put my face in the water for so long during the dreaded freestyle lap.  But lately I’ve been getting better, so I amped it up and went 100 yards in each stroke.  The new intensity was great.  I could really feel it in my legs, but what was better was that I was able to sustain that pace.  Then, I acted on an impulse that has been hanging around in the back of my mind for about two weeks now.  I kept asking myself, What’s another 200 yards?  Eric is at work all afternoon, you really don’t have any reason to rush home. So I went for those extra 200 yards, bringing my total to 2,000 yards.  When I got out of the pool I wanted to whoop.  Five weeks ago I didn’t think I could swim 1,000 yards, let alone a mile.  This is a huge win for me.  If I’ve learned one thing since I started out on my exercising voyage, it’s that I have to recognize my wins, even if they are small, and this one is SO not small!  I can now realistically set my goal for March to 1.5 miles, or 2,400 yards.  After all, it’s only 400 yards more than what I did comfortably today and that was after a week of respiratory dismay.

I left the pool feeling like King Kong.  I had my mojo working, I was rocking my Darth Vader hoodie, and everyone was smiling at me.  I headed downtown to return some library books thinking to myself, Could this day possibly get any better? I was looking around at the trees, enjoying the spring songbirds who recently started making their voices heard here in Grinnell when I spotted something weird.  On a low tree branch ahead of me, were these big puffy looking pods.  This can’t be. I thought.  It’s got to be some kind of seed left over from last fall. As I got closer, I started to get more excited.  The tree was covered in these fuzzy pods, and I realized, with my heart in my throat, they were buds.  I was so happy, I thought I would burst.  I pulled out my phone and started snapping pictures.  The student walking behind me gave me a look that clearly questioned my mental stability.  I laughed out loud.

Suddenly, as I continued down Park Street, there were buds everywhere I looked.  I was baffled at how this uncanny luck could have befallen me.  To end my not-so-great week with this sudden discovery of spring life is more than I ever could have hoped for looking out my window at the sun for the first time this week.  This is why I walk.  So I can make a discovery that will change the way I look at the world.  Now everywhere I look I see signs that Spring is finally right there around the corner.  I’m fully aware it’s only March in Iowa, that it may still snow yet, but we’re on the home stretch finally, and everything truly is going to be alright.