Walking and Talking (to myself)
Shocking revelation, I know. But I like to eat, and now that I’m slouching solidly toward my mid-30s, that food tends to stick around longer than it did. When I was 19, my metabolism was fueled by hormones and anger. It was a roided-out freak of nature. Now it’s one of those guys who has to use a Hoveround because his legs can’t support his weight for longer than a few minutes — it’s fueled by cheese and high-fructose corn syrup.
I used to work out all the time, but nowadays, not so much. So I know I need to get into enough shape to start exercising hard again, and that’s where walking around has come in this week. First day was 1.6 miles, second day was 5.2, and this morning was just shy of 6. Soon, I’ll have to start running to actually burn some calories, as well as use the lonely, forgotten weights sitting in my garage.
But I’ve realized I like walking around the neighborhood early in the morning. It allows my brain to work in the background, thinking about story problems, fermenting new ideas, figuring out the day to come. While my conscious mind is otherwise occupied by low-level tasks (put one foot in front of the other, look at that dog, wonder what that house is selling for, check that house on Google), my unconscious is free to take off its seat belt and roam around the cabin. It’s like meditation, I suppose, except that I always sucked at meditation — I’m bad at sitting still. I haven’t managed to screw up walking in a couple of years (though I have broken my ankle before on a complicated piece of walking equipment known as “the ground”), so it all works out.
What about you, folks? What’s your sure-fire way to clear your mind? Do you get to do it as much as you’d like?