Bleacher Bits: Taking a walk through life
I recently began power-walking, because I wanted to make more constructive use of time on the weekends and during the week when I might have an hour or two between afternoon soccer and evening basketball games.
Besides the obvious health benefits that come with any regular exercise routine, I've also enjoyed the positive effect it's had on my mind — especially when I'm in the middle or near the end of a walk.
It's also struck me how the approach I take when embarking on a good walk so closely parallels how I view life. I'll share it with you here, in hopes that it may encourage or inspire others to do the same.
Often I'll see walkers or joggers wearing headphones. I've always preferred to go without. I have my own cadence I walk to — breathing in for a certain number of steps and then exhaling on the same amount of steps.
The lack of music helps me maintain my concentration from step to step, because there's a lot I need to think about as I walk.
My favorite time to get out is early in the morning, when the day is new and you can watch and hear the town around you just beginning to wake up. It's a new day, and anything is possible.
With the unseasonable warm recent temperatures, I've been walking in the afternoons to enjoy the sun and to work up a good sweat.
My return to regular exercise, just like the start to any walk I take, begins with taking the first step. My first time out I walked a certain distance — or established a goal - and on subsequent goals I always try to pass it.
It's important to set goals.
Now obviously if I try to add a half-mile or mile every time I walk, I'll need much more time in my day to cover much longer distances, and that kind of time is simply not there.
It's important to set attainable goals.
While walking, I've never once thought about the step I took a few blocks back or a few minutes earlier. Instead, I make sure the step I'm on doesn't come down in a hole or anything that could hamper the rest of my walk.
Don't waste time thinking about steps you took in the past — you can't go back to them. You only have the step you're on, and hopefully more ahead of that one.
And back to my choice to go music-free when I walk. I cross a lot of streets when I walk, and by being able to listen for any oncoming traffic, I know when to slow down or pick up my pace to avoid getting hit in an intersection.
It's important to always be alert.
Life has a way of trying to blindside you trying to flatten you with something that you didn't see coming. If you stay in the present and pay attention to what's going on around you, you have a far better chance of reaching your goal.
CONTACT Craig Purcell at 824-1036 or email@example.com. Like us on Facebook at TCN Sports; follow us on Twitter @TCNvarsity.