Free Man in Paris

I’m starting to go back to walking. I had been going to the gym downstairs in my office (it’s company run, so free membership), but it always seemed to be a thing because I’d have to schlep along my gym stuff, change and store my things before going out to see if a treadmill was open and hope I didn’t get the one in front of the television running Dr. Oz. No offense to anyone who might enjoy the show, but being told how we’re all eating ourselves to death or viewing pictures of someone’s colon is not something I find conducive to a relaxing workout. Then you have to clean off the equipment, get your stuff out of your locker and then head out of the building for the day. That is, if some contractors don’t stop you to ask a question about work on your way out. (This has happened. More than once.)

Over the weekend, though, I felt restless, pulled on my trusty chucks, grabbed my pod and headed out to the bike path that runs near our house. And it felt good. It felt more than good; it felt easy. Well, not too easy. I definitely felt the effort in my legs. But I enjoyed myself and on Monday, when I felt like digesting on the couch, I pulled on the chucks and did it again. And again Tuesday night.

In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron urges folks to take walks and there’s a wisdom to that suggestion. It’s not just good for the body, it takes you away from the blinking cursor that’s staring at you or the reality show that seems much preferable to facing that blinking cursor or the pile of laundry you need to fold. I tend to walk in the early morning or in the evening, when it’s not fully light and I can pretend the world is my own, even with the other folks sharing the bike path. I have the pod going and let my mind wander where it will. Even if I do the walk at the end of the day, I come back feeling refreshed. Like the chorus in Joni Mitchell’s song, I’m free for that time, no one wanting things from me and anything is possible.

Walking Tuesday night, I made some decisions about a project I want to begin, something that is going to need some effort to begin with, but that I think will be very rewarding. It was nice because I had that time to think and make the decision that yes, I do want to do this. No one guilted me into this; it came from inside and that’s a good feeling.

I think I’ll be skipping the gym for a while and hitting the bike path instead. How about you? What’s the way you get some time for yourself?