An Honorary Dedication
- Five Myths about Running a Marathon
It takes an incredible amount of training, courage, determination, and perseverance to participate in and finish a marathon. Lisa More is making a commitment to engage in this endeavor for a worthy cause. Let's all give her our moral support!
My Walking Program for 2013
% of Days Walked
% Towards Goal
Weight on 01/01/13
Weight on 05/01/13
% of Weight Loss
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Walker
Always be a poet, even in prose. ~ Charles Baudelaire
May 1, 2013. Seven minutes before 8 AM. I'm dictating these notes to my brain.
The temperature is surprisingly cool for this time of year. The air is crisp. Menthol crisp.
What can I tell you about the sky? It is a shock of naked blue--not a cloud to hide behind except in the distance, about twenty miles away, where a group of them, fleecy sheep before the shearing, hover like marshmallows over the stoic foothills and snow-capped mountains.
The sun has full range to play in the baby blue canopy. It plays peek-a-boo with me now through the leaves of a gigantic maple tree that leans, too liberally, I fear, over the sidewalk.
Less than a hundred steps into a ten-mile walk this morning, it's clear to me--very, very clear--that loneliness is a familiar companion on these long walks. He's that little mongrel pup that refuses to stay home, having instantly bonded with me the moment I weakened when I looked into its soulful eyes and gave him a bowl of milk. Never mind the metaphors; this pup is as real as it gets. I should know.
I wax creative when I walk.
...my writing builds a bridge...
To touch the soul of another human being is to walk on holy ground. ~ Stephen Covey
Transplanted here in the mainland, my writing builds a bridge connecting me with the islands. As I walk along this bridge that I've fashioned with my passions and my dreams, I encounter the most beautiful, talented, and charismatic writers. We walk together for a season, and in the exchange, I discover something new and provocative--another piece of the puzzle, as it were--that I add to all the other pieces until, finally, the tapestry of my life is complete.
The gifts I receive from other writers in this literary sojourn transcend the written word. Every now and then, I am blessed to have my soul touched by theirs, and it gives me hope that when we, as Hamlet eloquently put it, have shuffled off this mortal coil, the story doesn't end. Instead, it simply finds its genesis in a new chapter.
What Do You Think?
Do Writing and Walking Go Hand in Hand?
...we build this magnificent tsunami of goodwill.
We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection. ~ Brene Brown
It was nearing the midnight hour last night. I'm always conscious of the enormous demands the long walks in the morning exact upon my body, so I needed to get to bed. Still, I wanted to respond to comments on one of my articles from fellow hubber and health/nutrition expert, Rajan Jolly.
I wrote: My friend, I know you are well acquainted with the physical properties of water, especially when something has disturbed it. Our mutual friend, billybuc, has inspired me with his movement to make a difference for the good. You inspire me with your benevolent health and nutrition message. Others inspire me in similar ways. We put all of that energy together, casting the proverbial bread upon the waters, as it were, and from the resulting ripples, we build this magnificent tsunami of goodwill.
For the sake of connection--the ultimate payoff, far more valuable than any currency--a good writer responds as promptly and proactively as possible to the comments his peers have left him. He makes a special effort to comment on the work of other literary artists. He elaborates on the common denominator, that point of relevance that fuels the fire in his belly, that literary umbilical cord of connection that inspires, motivates, propels us to artistic heights we had not deemed possible.
Writing might be a loner's sport, one in which the individual agonizingly tills the rocky and infertile synapses of his brain, but in the end, he looks to his home team for affirmation.
It is one of the sweetest paradoxes I know.
And as I walk, each step linked with the thousands of steps before it, forging a brotherhood of miles until I return, full circle, back home, I am even more convinced of the parallel between one activity and the other. Writing and walking, having once been separated at birth, are reunited in creative synergy.
...a lofty resolution...
If you would continue to be alone for a long time, amblingly swinging your legs for many miles and living in the present, then you will be rewarded: thoughts, good ideas, plots for novels, longings, decisions, revelations will come to you. ~ Brenda Ueland
In December of 2012, when I committed to paper my goals for 2013, one of my aspirations was to walk 1000 miles. It seemed a lofty resolution at the time, but I'm pleasantly surprised to have thus far adhered to the plan.
That said, the G-mark pales in comparison to what our pioneer writing mentors accomplished. William Wordsworth, the major English Romantic poet is said to have walked 175,000 miles in his lifetime. 175,000 miles? Doing the rough math, assuming that Wordsworth walked for 65 years (ages 15 to 80), that works out to approximately 7-1/3 miles a day. If he walked every day, that came to over 2600 miles a year.
Henry David Thoreau, an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist, constantly went on 20-mile walks through the woods and countryside. Given his work schedule, how in the world did he find the time? Well, for one thing, he never had TV or any of the other contemporary distractions that bedazzle us these days. And unlike me, this hardy outdoorsman was never an accomplished couch potato!
The fact is, thousands of contemporary writers, young and old, published and aspiring, veterans and newbies, thrive on the solitude and meditation that walking affords them. We're rediscovering, you see, the age-old secret of how to prime our well of creativity.
Constant movement over a period of time. Not just for today, but for a lifetime.
...play it safe...? Or...sally forth...?
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. ~ Helen Keller
At about the 6-mile mark of my walk this morning, I began to wonder if I was lost.
As is my custom every few days, I go looking for new routes, not unlike being on a walking Star Trek mission--To boldly walk where no Hawaiian has ever walked before...that sort of thing.
I had to make a decision...and fast.
If I indeed had lost my bearings, I might just end up in Oregon, and I wouldn't make it back home for hours. I was already an hour and a half into a projected two-and-a-half-hour jaunt.
Should I play it safe, turn back, and return on familiar ground?
Or should I sally forth into who knows where?
If we extend the metaphorical relationship between walking and writing, what would you as a writer do?
I'm sixty years old, and I'm doing things I've never done before in my life.
And I'm happier than a five-year-old kindergarten kid in a sandbox!
So, with that in mind, when I come to a point--whether it be in my writing or my walking--where I'm tempted to play it safe, there's really only one true option left for me...
I'M FORGING AHEAD!