Destination: Some Place Else

…to get away for if only a moment

13. Walk to happiness

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I just walked down the street to pick up my lunch. As I smiled and said hello to this old, little Italian lady she giggled, ‘oh you run, run and I move like old turtle’. Now I wasn’t quite running, just walking my usual pace, but it really got me thinking-wow we need to look after our bodies while we have full use of them. I’ve got to say that the last few years; I’ve really been trying to live this mantra. Sure I still like to go out and party, wake up occasionally more hungover than I should. I still like to devour a big, fat, dirty pizza from time to time, but I also balance the good and the bad-so I can do these things. As life is meant for the living and I’m not going to completely deny myself of a piece of chocolate cake from time to time. Though that old phrase of you just watch out, when you hit 30 it gets harder, is true.

Gone are the days of ‘I can like so eat anything and I don’t even need to exercise, I just don’t put on weight.’ Now I’m not sure I was ever fully like that, but there was once a stage where I really didn’t have to try that hard not to stack it on. But by my late 20s, I was starting to get more aches and pains, sore neck and back, always tired, my jeans started to feel constrictive and I thought you know what by the time I hit 40, I’m screwed. So I made a conscious decision to get fit and quite frankly, I’ve never been fitter than I am now. There is no reason why you can’t get fitter as you get older, you just have to decide to want it. I started looking at what I was eating-less carbs, more protein, more vege, less sugar-and really you don’t have to be a scientist, it actually made me feel better and lose weight. This is not meant to be a preachy blog about losing weight, as quite frankly I hate diets. But rather than falling for the disgusting gossip magazines picture of ideal weight, how bout we just get healthy and learn to love our shape, curvy, round, boyish-but please not paper thin.

Now I know there are a thousand diet fads out there, but I think this healthy eating combination and one very simple equation can make you feel better-exercise. Weird hey? I swim, I do yoga, I do boot camp, I run, I dance and I walk. Maybe none of this is your cup of tea, but if for nothing else-just walk. I decided on our trip to Peru while walking along the Inca trail, that life is so precious that why waste the time we’re given. I don’t want to waste my ability to go outside and walk under the sun or in the rain and notice the world go by. Because one day, it is a fact that I will get old and I will find that simple pleasure, much harder. One day I will be slow like old turtle.

Since I’ve been back I’ve been walking to work 1-2 times a week. It takes me an hour and it makes me darn happy. I listen to my music, and walk fast or slow depending on my mood. Hey sometimes I try and mix it up and run a little if I feel like it. Especially while it is summer, take advantage of a free, fun activity where you can -see things you never see when driving in your car. You smell flowers, get smiles off fellow walkers, hear a dog bark or a baby giggle or you can just crank up your favourite track and clear your mind. Any stress that I might have just leaves. I find I actually have more energy too.

So maybe this year, instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs. Instead of driving to the shops 20 minutes away, just walk. You might find that your bad day gets great, that a worry you can’t shake, doesn’t matter anymore and you also get a great bonus-you get healthy.

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