The Great Outdoors…

Once upon a time I was a city girl. I loved to walk the streets of Manhattan on my way to and from work. I loved to window shop while breathing in the fresh city smells like cab exhaust, homeless person, food vendor carts, stale urine from the subways and good old summer time body odor….ahhh….how I miss the city!

I used to walk to the grocery store to do my shopping. Walk my laundry around the block to the laundromat. Heck, I would walk anywhere I could so I didn’t have to move my car and lose my perfect parking spot for alternate side of the street parking…..ever have to deal with that? So not fun! I don’t miss it at all!

Then, one day shortly after getting married we moved to suburbia where you can’t walk anywhere and I became lazy.

I shouldn’t say you can’t walk anywhere because the town I live in actually has sidewalks, a convenience store, pizza place, deli, bank, chinese restaurant and ice cream shop. I could walk to any of them however due to my new found laziness at that time I would drive around the corner to get milk. I would have pizza or chinese delivered and the perfect parking spot became the one closest to the store or mall so I didn’t have to walk far to the entrance. Absolutely pathetic!

Last summer when I started my fitness journey I discovered that our town recreation center had a fitness trail and I walked it a few times with my friend. I had fun doing it but was scared of getting poison ivy, hated the bugs and my allergies were just awful doing it. As a result I stuck to the dreadmill and bike at home where it was air conditioned and bug free.

Recently I started walking the trail again with my neighbor and I’ve found a love like for the outdoors. I have learned to take my Claritan, spray myself with bug spray to keep the little pests away and well…I’m still scared of poison ivy but I just try to stick to the center of the trail.

I also downloaded an app to my DROID called Runkeeper which uses the GPS on my phone to track my walk. It times my walks, keeps track of my distance, pace, incline and more. I LOVE it and since I am a competitive person, I now get to challenge myself each time I hit the trail to do better than my last attempt.

Today I even used it to help map out a new path and different ways I could go to increase my distance and give me new things to look at so I don’t get bored of the same routine.

Yesterday I wanted to walk and was unable to due to my work schedule and errands and I was mad!

I can honestly say that I look forward to putting on my sneakers on and heading over to the trail now. I love walking up the initial path to the forest. I love the sound of the dirt and rocks under my feet and I love when I come across bunnies and other forest creatures while I’m walking. It becomes my time to clear my head, let go of or hash out what has been bothering me and find peace within the madness of my thoughts.

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