Four years ago, I walked all the time. I have no idea when exactly I managed to find the time to do this between work from 8-3, grad. school filling some amount of hours between 4 and 9, and babysitting filling in any extra afternoon hours I could find, but I have vivid memories of getting outside and walking frequently. I’d layer on two fleeces, and multiple pairs of pants in the winter, gradually losing layers as the weather got warmer. I watched buds emerge on trees as I walked around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, sweated it out in the summer until I got to Starbucks for my favorite summer drink, and generally managed to squeeze every minute out of the day.
I was reminded of that today as I came home from an absolutely exhausting first day back at school. The day was mostly exhausting because I got a grand total of 5 hours of sleep the night before, and I had to resist an incredibly strong urge pulling me into bed when I arrived home at 4:20. Instead, I took a ten minute break, threw on some layers, and headed out the door. I only walked for a half an hour, and sure, my exhaustion hit a new peak afterwards, but I was struck by how much calmer I felt. There’s something about the repetitive motion, the sound of feet pounding pavement, that keeps the worries of the world at bay. It’s supposed to rain/snow/spit the rest of the week so I won’t get the added bonus of outdoor endorphins for my exercise, but I’m planning on making that afternoon walk a more regular part of my week. Even if it has to be at the gym.