Since January, I’ve been trying to go for a 30 minute walk every day. Somedays it doesn’t happen, much to my dog’s dismay, but most days it does. I started walking in the darkness of the northwest’s winter, which meant I gloved up, put on a hat, and zipped up my raincoat over several layers. (The dog looked similarly attired.) I’d set a timer on my phone and we’d head out, dreaming of days of more heat and sun and fewer layers.
I set the timer as a way of making sure I was walking for at least 30 minutes and to challenge myself to walk a bit farther each day, a bit faster.
In the days between early January and now I’ve learned just how fast we can walk and just how far we can get. We always get farther on the weekends when traffic and stop lights aren’t as much of an impediment. But we have more people watching available to un during the week. It seems like a good balance.
Today, as we left the house, I didn’t set my alarm.
As soon as my healing ankle allowed, I started walking in January. Since then, aside from a few days where it was too icy or my schedule was just too hectic, my dog and I have logged at least 30 minutes of walking every day. Why 30 minutes? Well, back in December, right about the time I was sitting on a couch with my ankle wrapped and elevated, Michael Moore wrote on his Facebook page about the changes and reasons behind his 42 week of taking a 30 minute walk every day. (Read it here, but come back please.) As someone who needed to rehab a sprained ankle, as well as someone who knows the connection between depression and lack of exercise, I decided a 30 minute walk was just the ticket.
After all, there was no way at that time either the dog or I could *gasp* jog around the block. So for almost a month I’ve been taking Charlie out in the rain, fog, 20 degree temperatures, and rare sunshine for a walk.
If you are a middle aged person such as myself, then this post’s title may have caused you to think of Robert Fulghum’s “All I Really Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarten.” And if it did because you have a battered copy of the book or have favorite stories from that text or because every time you read the poem that brought about the book’s title you nod your head, well then, we are peas in a pod. In 1989 I purchased that book of essays as fast as I could whip out my wallet. Why? Because it spoke to me. It made sense. It made me think of all the teachable moments of my life and then ponder just what I learned from them. In a word, I love Robert Fulghum.
I found myself thinking about the poem (you can read it here and I hope you will) last night as Mister Soandso, Biggest, and I discussed the Democratic National Convention. I fell asleep thinking about how much better the world would be if, as Fulghum proposes, everyone including all nations remembers those simple life lessons taught in kindergarten. I think most folks, regardless of national identity or political persuasion were taught these tenets of basic human decency, and yet it seems like times can keep those same folks from remembering what they learned. Continue reading