Renewed Commitment

So here’s the truth of the matter:  I don’t like to walk.

Sure, there are days when a walk is absolutely lovely, but there are more days when walking is simply uncomfortable. My gut reaction to an invitation to take a walk is fear.  Will it hurt?  Can I make it? Every walk is unpredictably different for me in comfort level so I’ve been conditioned to expect the worse.

Last year I walked everyday for six months. Over time, walking became easier and more comfortable, but I could never free myself from the twelve pound prosthetic leg I have to haul around with me with every step. Once the commitment I made to myself and to the Prosthetics Outreach Foundation was over, I slowly stopped walking.  Why?  Well, I said it was to finish my book, but I suspect there was something deeper going on.  What I know now is that, half a year later, I miss walking.  Well, not really walking, but I miss the side effects to my walks.

I miss the daily connection with my husband and kids.  I miss our conversations – the ones that come so naturally when taking a walk.  My husband and I are at that stage in life when we’re managing a busy household.  By the time the kids go to bed at 10:00 pm, we’re spent.  Our daily walk, whether we talked or not, was a touchstone to our day when we connected as loving partners.

Motion is lotion and I can tell my body misses the daily tune-up.  The changes to my body when I walked for six months were subtle yet profound.  Now that I’m not walking, my tendinitis and bursitis have flared up and even a few new maladies have surfaced.  All emit low levels of pain, making their irritating presence known.

I started my six months of walking in January when the trees were bare and the neighborhood gardens were brown and dull.  Over six months I witnessed the earth’s yearly emergence into spring and then summer: bare trees swelling with tiny buds that slowly opened into fragrant blossoms that slowly wilted and dropped to the sidewalk  and were slowly trampled into dust.  I miss being outside and feeling the wind, the rain, the sun, just the air on my face.

But mostly, I miss being proud of myself.  I had never walked everyday for six months in my life. Some days I really didn’t want to walk, but I honored my commitment.  Like the energizer bunny, I kept on going. There was a level of deep contentment I felt in knowing, that when I took my walk, I was stretching myself out of my comfort zone, outside of the safe place where life is stagnant.

So, I’m going to start walking again five days a week.  I’m not committing to a mile a day like last time, I’m committing to a daily stretch outside my comfort zone.  I’m committing to stepping outside of fear and into trust.  I’m committing to me.

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2 Responses to Renewed Commitment

  1. Brooke says:

    Good for you, Colleen. Way to go on the renewed commitment. I love what you say here about your daily walk being a time to connect with your husband. My partner and I were very committed to Friday morning walks last year, but now we’re not doing them. I’d like to recommit and your post has inspired me to talk to her about figuring out a regular day. Especially with daylight saving time reverting this weekend!

  2. Kathleen says:

    Yay for you!! Congratulations on a renewed commitment.

    You always bring a fresh dose of perspective. My husband and I used to walk regularly “pre-k” (pre-kids). Your comments about connecting in relationship rang very true. But what resounded most for me was your sense of pride when you stretched yourself beyond your comfort zone – outside of the stagnant (albeit safe) place. Your renewed commitment forces the issue in my own life.

    Happy Walking!

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