Monday, September 17, 2012

Balance in the Morning

...so I'm back to taking a regular walk in the mornings.
I've been doing a morning walk for YEARS now, to the point where I can hardly remember when I didn't do one. And yes, I did take a hiatus from the morning walk for a little while--under the guise that "I can get more work done if I don't spend a half hour in the morning walking nowhere."

I'm here to tell you, however, that for me...that's bunk.

I need that walk--not so much for exercise, although it certainly serves that purpose.
But I need it to establish a sense of balance in the morning.
Sounds odd, but that's the best word I can use for it.

I CAN start my workday immediately after my bath and first cup of coffee.
I DO go to adoration, two days a week, right after said bath and coffee.
But even to adoration, at this point anyway, I walk. It's not MUCH of a walk, but it's a walk.

Now, I do anywhere from 15 minutes to over a half hour, and at times, almost 45 minutes' worth of walking in the morning.
Depending on how I feel, what mood I'm in, etc.
And it's important to note that often, before I start out, it's with the intention of only going 15 minutes or so...but that by the time I've gone about two blocks, I feel like a longer walk, and by the time I've gone about five blocks, I'm ready to keep rambling.

There's something about fresh air, being outdoors, and just walking in the morning that gives me a sense of balance. It makes me feel like, no matter how I woke up, I can start the day refreshed. It does refresh me. If I'm desperately overtired, the fresh air soothes me. It can invigorate me. It makes me feel more relaxed, which paradoxically gives me more energy to start the day. And on the days when I spend the walk praying, it gives me extra "prayer points" as well.

However, it needs to be said that I have to keep the walk unstructured for it to work this way. The moment I start designating it a "prayer walk" or a "fitness walk" or determining that I have to go such-and-such amount of time or distance every day...it loses all its benefits for me. It becomes another thing to check off the list rather than a breath of fresh air at the beginning of the day that enables me to plan the day, shake out the cobwebs, or just enjoy everybody's garden as I amble along.

If for some reason I need to jump in the car to go to adoration--say, there's a dangerous storm or the like and it's hazardous outdoors--I feel the lack of that fresh air respite.
It really DOES make a difference.

So I'm doing the walk every morning again, and I'm feeling much better balanced because of it. To the point where, at least in theory, I can think more clearly and calmly about everything, and in the long run, be more productive.

Which kind of shoots holes in the idea that it's "spending a half hour walking nowhere."
It may be, technically, walking in circles. Walking a few dozen blocks away, and coming back.
But it's far from going nowhere.
And I'd highly recommend it as--paradoxically enough--one of the best ways to actually find yourself, at the end of the day, having gotten further than you thought you would when you woke up.

Just a thought.
Anything that gives YOU balance in the morning? Share it here!

Janny

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