Monday, November 3, 2014

Joy is... 31 Walks

The sound of fall: Walking through leaves

October went out with a bang here in Chicago; we had such a mighty storm that the waves were swapping over and Lake Shore Drive had to be closed Friday afternoon.

I myself joyous because I'm looking back at a month when I actually did manage to go for at least a 20-minute walk every day, many days for longer. I set out to do that as a challenge to myself. It was not the walking itself that was the challenge, but the consistency of it, i.e. what Natalie Goldberg calls practice.

So this is my celebration post that I did it, and also that I will continue on because it does make me feel good on so many levels:

  • I love to walk and feel my body move, especially with the sedentary lifestyle of a writer.
  • I love being outside, and to walk you have to go out.
  • Walking is a great way to savor fall which I always try to do as fall is my favorite season and it always seems too short.
  • Walking is good for a writer: Not only because it gets you off your butt, but also because it gives your mind time to percolate, while you notice all kinds of things you wouldn't notice otherwise.
  • Walking is good for a photographer. Invariably, I'm always snapping photos while out and about, even if I don't plan to and have to use my Smartphone. Sometimes I even take videos, see above.
  • Walking does make you feel better emotionally, especially if you are upset. Just head out, walk it out.
  • Walking also makes you feel better physically, that whole endorphin thing works.
These are my observations from a month of walking every day. This is the most consistent daily exercise I've gotten since I was a teenager, and I feel great! Has anybody experienced something similar?


  1. I just now listened, here in Kansas City, to your Chicago leaves shuffling as you walked through them. My husband said, from his computer in another room, "Is that you?" I like your thoughts on walking outdoors and commend you for walking every day in October.

    1. Barbara, I love the image you conjure of you listening to me shuffling through the leaves; it's nice how media can connect us. I'm still aiming for piles of dry leaves when I spot them on my walks.

  2. Nothing quite like the sound of leaves underfoot like that to put a smile on your face!

    1. Right, it's one of those unique pleasures of fall.

  3. I use to walk very regularly but had some hip problems and stopped. It took awhile for me to establish the habit but, once I did, I looked forward to the walks and used the time to sift and sort many things. Even got some ideas for stories I wanted to write. I'd like to get back to walking again, but it seems more difficult to get the habit going again. I need a giant push, not a gentle nudge!

    1. Nancy, perhaps I shall push you when I see you in April?