Monday, June 15, 2015

Walking at Sunrise

For the last three years, Herman and I have started our day at 6am with a sunrise walk. We have four different routes around town that we alternate, but they are all about three miles long. It gets us out of the house when it’s still cool, gives us plenty of exercise, and allows us an hour alone to plan out the day with no distractions. I also like greeting people we pass and cheerfully wishing them a good morning.

But for the last few months, every since Herman and I returned from out South American trip, he and I have not been walking because he developed a problem with his foot while on vacation and the doctors told him: “No long walks, no tennis.” In an effort to be supportive, I gave up walking too.

I knew that I loved those morning walks, but I didn’t realize until we stopped just how much my mental health needed them. Since we stopped, I’ve been depressed and moody, just going through the motions. We have a lot going on in our lives just now, and I assumed it was simply pressure from juggling a full plate. But this morning I told Herman, “To hell with it. I’m walking. You can stay here or tag alone, but I’m outta here.”

He joined me, and although he complained of pain in his foot, he walked the entire three-mile course. It was during our walk that I felt my shoulders relax, my mood elevate, and myself getting back in touch with this wonder place we live. The sunrise was lovely, and we greeted people (all the old regulars) along the way who said they missed seeing us. I’m riding a high, still, from the walk.

Who would have thought that something so simple as getting out at the crack of dawn and walking the streets as the rest of the town is walking up could be so therapeutic. I feel like I’ve just woken up from a two-month long coma.

I sincerely hope Herman can continue to join me without his foot getting worse, but if he can’t join me, I’ll go it alone. I know now my mental well-being depends on it.

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