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I have this 4.5 km loop that I walk. I don’t walk it every day, but fairly often.
A few weeks ago I was out walking, and as it started to sprinkle, I hoped feverishly that I would make it home before the rain. Luck was not on my side that day.
It didn’t take long before it started raining buckets, so much so that I actually ran to get home faster. I had to take my glasses off because the rain was so heavy that I couldn’t see and when I did get home, I had to wring out my sneakers. I’m sure the people in the cars who passed me on the road were wondering what in the hell I was doing out there, lol.
Now let me tell you that I am not a runner. I’m not built for running and the last time I ran was during the summer when I was 19 or 20 and a good friend made me run with her. I don’t really like it, it bothers my knees and I have to wear an extra bra or something like that.
Yesterday, while I was walking, I felt like I should try running again. I’m not sure why other than perhaps I am in better shape than I have been in awhile. During the 4.5 kms I ran for 4 short stints. I’m not sure how far I ran or how long but I actually ran nonetheless. Well, it was probably more like a jog, but definitely faster than walking.
During one of these short bursts of speed, I passed a runner on the other side of the road and she smiled and waved at me. She actually turned her head to smile and wave, and it was at that moment that I felt like a runner. I felt a connection, a type of camaraderie, like I was part of a special group.
Does all this mean that I’m going to become a runner? Probably not, lol. But never say never. I could attempt a few short bursts of speed again. It does make the walk go a bit faster :).
While I was out doing my regular loop around the neighbourhood, a thought popped into my head. The thought was, “I love walking”. It felt a little weird for some reason, I guess I always knew that I enjoyed walking but it seemed weird to frame a specific thought around it.
Part of the reason why I enjoy walking more now than I used to is that I tend to be more in the present while walking. I like to focus on the strength in my legs, the feel of my muscles, the breeze blowing, and the outdoor sounds. The other big reason I like it is because walking makes me feel healthy.
Just under two years ago, I had some kind of infection in my thigh. The doctors weren’t 100% sure what it was, but, they thought it could have been cellulitis. Anyway, the infection was debilitating, I could barely walk. But being a single mom, I kept going to work and running errands, looking after things even though I could barely limp around some days.
The whole thing was pretty scary. They didn’t know what it was and the regular antibiotics weren’t working. At one point they gave me the super-bug antibiotics and told me to continue to take the regular ones at the same time. That eventually did the trick but in the meantime I hobbled so much that I strained both of my ankles and they swelled up too.
This swelling caused me to think that the infection was spreading and I called my sister crying and having a minor panic attack. The doctors reassured me that the drugs were finally working and that my ankles were swollen due to strain and not infection.
I ended up going to physio to speed up the healing process and since then everything has been fine. But there is nothing like a good scare to make you appreciate your health a bit more.
So when I walk, I like to feel my muscles working and feeling strong. It’s a good feeling that reminds me how lucky I am to be healthy.