Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Art of Walking

Since Christmas I have been plagued by an injury to my left foot. Of course you never just hurt your foot, eventually your whole body suffers slightly from the inability to walk normally and without pain. What started with my big toe joint feeling broken has ended in a slight ache in my lower back and a major pinched nerve somewhere in my neck that is weakening my right leg. I did not consult a doctor beyond my own father, I find as I get older I feel slightly uncomfortable asking him to check my person out. So I elevated it, stayed off it a bit, took Ibuprofin, iced it. I have been limping around since the week before New Years and while I have tried to move around a bit it's been tough and I know I must walk in order to live.

I've been taking a shorter walk than I normally take. I am walking less on the pavement and more on trails, through the woods. I don't try and walk everyday right now, last week I was able to ride my bike which was a nice alternative although I feel guilty leaving the dog at home, she loves to run alongside me when I ride. In general I am in less pain so I am going with that.

In the meantime my dad gave me a book called "The Art of Walking" which I have been slowly reading. My dad is a daily walker and has been his whole life. We have often spoken about the role walking plays in our overall health and well-being, keeping depression at arms length. The book opens with the author falling while on his walk and breaking his arm. If I had not been reading this book about walking while I too was unable to walk I might be in much worse shape than I am today. The author notes this, that walking has kept many a person on the straight and narrow not to mention how much literature, art and music have been inspired by daily walks.

I enjoy feeling virtuous rather than tense and walking ensures a little daily dose of that good stuff.

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