I live in the most beautiful part of the world. Between the weather, wildlife, and scenery, my corner of the world is breathtaking.
Lately I have rediscovered the park I live by. Living so close to a park was a dream when my kids were little. My appreciation for parks came when we lived in corporate housing in San Francisco. With no backyard I had to walk my small boys to the closest park. We did that twice a day. Oh how I missed having a backyard!
It was nice to move into a house with a yard again. But the park nearby was even better. We definitely took advantage of playing at all the playgrounds around town. One thing I have noticed recently is that my kids are starting to outgrow the playgrounds. They still think it’s fun but it seems like the toddler and preschool crowd have dibs on the playgrounds around here. With school age kids, I don’t feel like we belong at the park anymore.
Until last week.
I walked around the park. The morning was lovely. The sunshine was calling me outside. So I went on a walk. It was a very fulfilling experience. I have done this several times now.
The first time I went entire flocks of birds spontaneously lifted up into the sky. It almost sounded like frantic chirps and tweets as they swirled around the treetops. Several bushes lined the fences where I was walking. I remembered a part from Skellig where they talked about the fledglings that lived in the bushes. Curious, I carefully watched the ground under the bushes as I walked past. Sure enough I saw a couple tiny birds waddling quickly from one bush to another.
How incredible is that? I saw firsthand something I had read about in a book! The birds must be able to fly now because that first day was the only time I have seen evidence of baby birds seeking protection under the bushes in the park. It’s still amazing to me to realize I am walking around bird nests. Luckily none of the adult birds have dive bombed my head. Some birds are mean and will do that! I think the birds in the park are used to people being so close to their nests but never disturbing them. I wasn’t looking to harm anything. I think they recognized that.
Today I enjoyed listening to the bird calls. Different types of birds live all over the park. It sounded like I was walking through Tracy Aviary in Salt Lake City. But these were completely wild birds who naturally live in the trees right by my house.
When I come around the final corner on the far end of the park, I’m pretty tired. I start to wonder why I didn’t just ride my bike. It would be faster to get home. The beginning of the last half of the park seems long and tedious. But then the sidewalk turns away from the street and back into the park.
The sun sprinkles down through the treetops. Picnic tables sit in a large patch of dirt. On the ground are seeds and old pine tree needles. It smells like the fresh air of the mountains I used to camp in as a kid. For a minute I forget I’m so close to home. I get my second wind and the rest of the walk is easy.
So far there haven’t been a lot of people. I must time my walks to avoid the hardcore exercise enthusiasts. Occasionally I will see a jogger. Usually there are dog walkers but more often than not it’s people like me. People in regular street clothes out enjoying the day.
That’s my favorite part of this activity. I’m exercising without having to shower when I’m finished. I love doing my Wii workouts in my bedroom. The problem is I don’t have time. Three kids on three different start schedules at two different schools makes a full on workout difficult. Yesterday I didn’t fit in a shower until after I got Gwen off to school. After getting myself ready for the day there wasn’t much time left before lunch and heading off to my tutoring session.
Time has been my biggest issue with workouts all along. It’s tough to find the time to do what I need to for my family and fit in a workout and shower. Not to mention the blood sugar game. Is my blood sugar going to crash in the middle of my workout? This is why I can’t stick with a workout routine.
I loved going on bike rides every day after lunch last year with Gwen. She’s in school all day now. I could ride my bike alone but it’s kind of like eating alone. Very lonely. I like walking. No dress code, no follow up shower. All I need is to find 45 minutes to walk a little more than 2.25 miles.
So far I have gone when my blood sugar was a little high. The timing seemed perfect. Take a couple units of insulin to get back in range or walk a couple miles enjoying the world around me. I prefer walking.
When I do my Wii workouts in my bedroom, I expect to lose weight. I expect to vacuum up burned calories and evaporated fat. I expect my muscles to be tone and my clothes to fit better. I expect noticeable results.
I did not expect much with walking. I expect the extra movement to help unlock the insulin to be used more effectively in my body. That’s it. That’s all I expect. Only my abs are sore. Who knew? And I have this new appreciation for the wonderful world just outside my door I have forgotten about.
Walking is supposed to be one of those gateway exercises. If you are a couch potato with the numbers worn off your remote and you can’t pull yourself out of the dent in your couch without the help of another person, or a crane, then you should start walking. It’s easy. Anyone can do it. You start out slow and small until one day you are training for a marathon.
That’s not necessarily my plan. I don’t walk for my health. I enjoy the friendly people in the park. The sunshine and warm breeze fill my soul. The wildlife make me feel like I am somewhere exotic. When I’m done I feel like I did something good for myself. I don’t do this for my health. But I sure love the results!