I have a difficult time containing my urge to go from zero to eighty with no intervening speeds. I’m talking here of my recent revival of walking. I don’t like the idea of slowly getting back into it; instead, I’d prefer to return to the level of stamina and capacity I had reached when I became an indolent sloth. But if I tried to do that, I would almost certainly hit a brick wall, crashing headlong into disappointment. So, I am taking it slow, attempting to increase my stamina a little bit at a time.
At the same time, I am attempting to gain some of the flexibility in my joints that I lost (if I ever had it) in my late teens. Yesterday, thanks to the rain and fog, I opted not to do my walk. Instead, I used my new exercise mat and followed an online tutorial for stretching exercises. It was excruciating, but I did as much as I could. The flexibility in my knees and shoulders is remarkable for its absence. Today, I awoke to find that something (and I blame yesterday’s attempt to replicate stretching exercises meant for agile teens) put a horrific kink in my right neck and shoulder; I wish I had a masseuse on call. Another argument to take things slow.
Today, after meeting someone who wanted to discuss ideas for a couple of books over coffee, I decided to go for a walk on a trail. Originally, I intended to make the full 3.4 mile loop. But though I felt good, even after a couple of jaunts up some steep trail offshoots, I decided to follow my own advice; take it slow. So, I turned around and walked back to the trail head instead of following the loop, making my walk 2.23 miles at a relatively good clip. Still, it’s a slight increase over days past. I’ve decided not to challenge myself too much; I do not want to get discouraged and find myself loathing the idea of going for a walk.
For some odd reason, I find myself wishing I would encounter no one on my walks. It’s not that I feel compelling to engage in conversation with people I meet on the trail or on the street (though I do acknowledge them and exchange pleasantries); I suppose it’s that I simply value my solitude. I feel obliged to exchange polite pleasantries when I encounter other people, but when I do, my train of thought gets momentarily derailed. It’s silly even to write about this utterly unimportant thing, except that I want to make note that I feel slight disturbances in my sense of serenity when I come across other people on my walks. As I reflect back on it, I’ve always felt that slight dislocation. I think my attempts to achieve some form of serenity began in earnest when I started walking, in earnest.
Ach. I really don’t seem to be able to write, even about walking, without rambling off in an unintended direction; it’s like I’m chasing my psyche through a crowded rabbit warren.