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.