Walking for Sanity

I love to workout. I began my athletic career at the age of 7 as a swimmer and started triathlon shortly after college. I have never taken an extended break from training; I enjoy the outdoors too much and the movement of exercise is vitalizing, whether it is a recovery run or an all-out session. For me, working out is more than just training for the next race. So, you cannot imagine the frustration of my clavicle fracture and subsequent surgery which rendered me unable to swim, bike or run for varying periods of time.

Fortuitously, we were dog-sitting for three weeks for some friends away on their honeymoon. The day after surgery I took Bogart for a walk. It was so nice to get outside. Boulder was in the midst of an Indian summer with daytime temperatures in the 60’s with plenty of sun. I am not a walker. I have always found walking an extremely inefficient mode of transportation. It just takes so long to get from point A to point B. In fact, I have been known to leave the grocery store if there is not a close enough parking space! But, now, suddenly, walking became salvation. Instead of waking up in the morning and lazing around in my pajamas wallowing in self pity, I was dressed (an ordeal when you cannot lift your arm) and out the door by 7 am for my first walk of the day. I was introduced to a whole new group of people and their issues (let’s band together to abolish the proposed neighborhood leash law!). I started to notice things I would have otherwise ignored, such as a 60 year old man running past a 20 year old woman like she was standing still.

Then something happened. I began to enjoy walking. I walked three times a day. It gave me what I craved. I felt the sun on my face. I got vitamin D exposure, which is the new vitamin C in case you haven’t heard. I began to process my anger and grief over the accident. I dealt with the post-traumatic stress. Ideas for my writing and work suddenly popped into my head. I am even setting personal bests for the distance walked in a given amount of time! And, endorphins happen to be the best pain killer out there.

I like to joke that with all of the walks Bogart has been the biggest beneficiary of my convalescence. But, truly, I have been the biggest beneficiary of all of the walking. It allowed me to stay sane during a time when insanity was probable. I will be sad to see Bogart leave. Because, once he is gone, I will no longer be out pounding the pavement with a socially acceptable purpose. I will just be the crazy lady walking around the neighborhood with one arm in a sling.

Race hard, have fun.

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4 Responses

  1. I offer my services to be “taken for a walk” anytime! Be assured I will NOT wear a leash around my nose or sit patiently for a treat while my butt gets cold sitting in the snow …. but I will enthusiastically run around you in circles, thrilled at the mere idea of my walk with Aunt Jojo. I may not be as cute as Bogart, but I will always come back right away when you call!

  2. Lara says:

    You know that race-walking is an Olympic sport, right?…this could be your chance!

  3. I did think about it, but the technique looks too funny.

  4. Sue says:

    I must make a comment on that walking thing..My daughter Chloe is a runner chick, in a big way. Me, not so much, but I am a walker and a fast one at that. It is therpy for my soul and has been for a number of years. Wish I could run, I admire it alot..and the people that do. Thanks for sharing