I have always and forever loved going for a walk. Even as a little kid, I would walk the mile from our home on Berry Road to downtown Fredonia and back, sometimes twice a day just to visit the Library and check out the next Nancy Drew book. Other times I’d walk the opposite direction and head out towards the golf course. I’d wander by the pastures where horses and cows were contentedly munching and hope one would come close enough for me to pet. Continuing on, crossing the bridge over the NYS Thruway and waving at the truckers so they would blow their horns! Turning the corner at Ferrell Rd., I’d look at old barns falling down and new houses being built. Walking up Van Buren Rd., there’d be tractors plowing the fields and milkweed pods to pick and open letting the silk float away. Some days I’d walk 5 or 6 miles. It never took much to entertain me. Just being curious about what was around the next corner kept me walking and happy. Years later, when my kids were little, we’d walk and walk and walk all around where we lived. So much so that our neighbors called us the “Walker Family,” as if that was our last name! It was good exercise and fresh air for the kids and they enjoyed it even more than I did.
My love of walking has stayed with me through the decades, and over the years, walking has been so many things for me. If it was just exercise, I’m sure I would have stopped ages ago, but it is so much more. It’s a tension reliever. I can’t tell you how often when I have been at my breaking point with whatever, just getting outside and putting one foot in front of the other for a couple of miles just releases all that tension. Sometimes to clear my head, it’s mindless walking, just plodding along, head down step….step….step….step. Often walking in the brisk air of Fall is invigorating and I find myself staring upwards at the clouds changing shape and turning into elephants or rabbits or the face of God. Oh, and there has been many a walk taken for solace with tears streaming down my face. But mostly I walk just for the joy of it. Rain, snow, heat or sunshine. It’s all the same to me and I walk in any weather and at all times of the day and evening. I always come back feeling better than when I left the house. Never fails! Location doesn’t matter to me either. Whether it’s around the neighborhood or through a forest or alongside a river, it’s all good in my walking world.
And, you never know what you might see and some things are quite entertaining. I have seen black bear and fox. Owls and porcupine. Moose and deer. Weddings,funerals and graduations. Love beginning and love ending. Great Blue Herons fishing and men fly fishing. Rainbows over waterfalls and storm clouds over the oceans. Sometimes I wonder how much of life I would have missed out on if I just stayed inside.
One of the nicest aspects of walking is that no special equipment is needed. There’s no time needed to get your skis out or your ice skates sharpened. Just lace up your shoes and head out the door.You don’t need a team or a friend or even a dog, though dogs are great companions when walking. They listen well and never, ever talk back to you. I have heard repeatedly that walking is the best exercise for you physically and I agree!
After arriving in Germany, I was so excited to find out the Bavarian people are walkers! These folks walk like I do. Winter, rain, snow, Autumn, heat and freezing cold. Everybody walks. There are paved pathways through corn fields and pastures as well as alongside rivers and lakes. We’d be driving down the road and see people strolling through the barley and I’d think “how odd” to be walking through farmer’s property. But, the farms actually have paths through them for people to walk and bicycle. Sundays here are family days and whole families are out with new Mom’s pushing strollers and Grandpa with his rolling wheeled walker! I also noticed that a great many people, both young and old, used Nordic Walking Sticks. After a little research, I saw decided to invest 20€ on a pair. Not only do they add arm movement and a little cardio to your walk, they also help with balance and keep you upright when it’s icy.
So, here I am, The Journey Girl hitting the road less traveled on my Monday morning in the drizzling rain walk!
My footwear varies depending on terrain and weather. These are my new Brooks Ghost 8 walkers. With Plantar Fasciitis, the Brooks are like walking on pillows. This was the only color they had in my size. WOWZA! Until last year every pair of sneakers I owned were white. Then…I moved to Bavaria and my inner wild child appeared. LOL! I wear these on nice dry pavement over rolling hills.
LL Bean what would I do with out you? I simply adore these medium support hikers! Great ankle support. My heel doesn’t slip and they required minimal breaking in. Waterproof and they handle the steeper hills just fine.
Gotta love my Big Girl! Gracie had to photo bomb this one. She sees me lacing up and knows the plan includes her!
My Columbia low hikers. I really disliked them at first. Oh did they hurt! But, with perseverance, they finally broke in well and they are my first choice for for walks of all types. They have fantastic gripping tread that works great in mud or ice. Oh…..and the socks! Wearing stylish trend setting socks is mandatory. In cold weather I wear woolies over white cotton socks. I mean……what if you were in an accident and were caught wearing plain socks with worn out heels? Perish the thought!
My sticks! There is a technique to properly using Nordic Walking Sticks. You don’t grasp the handles but rather loosely hold them. They are meant to walk with you and not out front. Once you get a rhythm going you’ll wonder how you walked upright without them!
I’m not a fan of pedometers or measuring distance. It just takes away from the pleasure of my walk. I just figure 20 minutes per mile. An hours long walk is 3 miles. I will use a pedometer if trying out a new trail just to mentally mark the distance.
And off I go! Right foot, left arm. The Sticks have a strap to go around your hand and wrist so I can let go of the stick but not drop it.
Monday’s fun were these chickens and their mighty fine Rooster! Even the little things entertain and amuse me. I laugh at how chickens walk and how roosters fan their tails. Some days its the little things that grab my attention. Not spectacular, but then spectacular is not the point of my walk.
But then, there are days when spectacular makes an appearance………………………………………
This was this past Sunday. And if I had not chosen to go for a little walk, I would never have seen this incredible Bavarian moment.
And this dear friends is why I walk. Thanks for stopping by today. Journey on!