Thursday, June 28, 2012


I've always loved to walk out of doors. It is a low stress activity. It releases any tension I may be carrying around. It is fresh air and discovery. It is purposeful movement and unexpected moments. It encourages both acute observation and becoming lost in thought at the same time. The repetitive motion puts my world in perspective. It is good for me. 

Throughout my twenties, I took long walks around Greenlake in Seattle several times a week. With my earphones on and my Walkman (it was the 80's) tuned to the classical station, I made my way around the 3 mile path (often more than once) and watched it change with the seasons. At the time I worked in  a hospital lab......a fairly precise and uncreative way to spend 8-10 hours a day......but on the path around the lake, bird calls, breezes and a multitude of instruments provided background music that highlighted the movement and drama of nature.

At some point, as they say, 'life happened'. My walks became fewer and farther in-between, and since I no longer lived close enough, were rarely around the lake. Now and again I've picked it back up, but other responsibilities regularly began to take precedence over the time I used to give myself.  Sometimes I have stopped for weeks or months or ended up walking only when I was either out of town or on vacation. 

This fall a few friends and I decided to meet up twice a week to walk. We had the same goals in mind:  fresh air, exercise,  friendship,  fun. I love that I've made a commitment to show up, not only for myself but for the others as well, and that we spend time out of doors rain or shine. One of the women is a realtor, which translates into the fact that she knows just about every steep hill in the area. We push and/or wait for each other. We encourage and support each other. 

Early on we set a goal of walking the Seattle Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon together and on Saturday we did it.  Although we had planned to keep a somewhat slower pace than normal......for some reason no one did. In fact, I think we all walked faster! We strode past shops, the Public Market, sports stadiums, industrial areas, neighborhoods, schools and parks. We walked into and out of two tunnels, across a couple of over-passes and along the shore of Lake Washington. It was a beautiful and priceless opportunity to view our city in a way we never have before. And......although it had been pouring rain for the couple days previously......and although rain was predicted to fall on that day......the sun came out and there was not a drop that fell on us during the entire 13.1 miles.

3 hours and 37 minutes, and lots of encouragement from bands and bystanders later, we crossed the finish line together. I've been outside walking several times this week. I have my sites set on next year.

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

Warmly, Margaret

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