As you may know, if you frequent this page, I am a walker. I walk daily, and a day without a long, brisk walk is a day that is plain wrong. Tonight, as I was taking a walk, I realized that my walks have phases, and they are the same phases each and every time.
The Beginning: When I set out, I am normally optimistic about the coming walk – thinking to myself how good it is to be out, breathing the fresh, hopefully cool, air. This feeling fades though, rather quickly, and this phase doesn’t normally last more than three to four minutes.
The Misery: This is the phase that comes over me as the muscles in my legs begin to ache, as I begin getting warm and uncomfortable, as I begin to think longingly of getting home already. My music begins to annoy me, I feel everyone is staring at me, my muscles burn and my hands freeze or seize up. I begin a fierce, silent battle in my mind – a small part of me trying to convince the rest of me to cut the walk short, to take a shortcut, to give up, that it’s not a big deal. I hope never to succumb to this feeling. Shortly after the halfway point of my walk though, this phase blissfully fades away.
The Glass Half Full: About three minutes after my halfway point, I begin feeling optimistic once more. I think to myself – I’ve finished half already! Even though the weariness in my muscles is still prevailing over my physical well being, my mood begins to lighten and I feel the very beginnings of what will come in the next phase…
The Reason I Walk Every Day: This is my favorite part. On a good day, it lasts almost half my walk. This is the part where my energy and stamina suddenly rise, adrenaline pumping through me, my muscles miraculously become free of pain or discomfort, only full now of the urge to move on and on and on. I feel like I could walk forever, and keep enjoying it. I suddenly feel like bouncing, running, jumping. Every breath of wind feels like a blessing, as if it knows I need the cool air on my face. I feel elated, so proud that I didn’t cave into my discomfort, so in control of my body and energy.
The Ending: This phase is a more tired state of the previous one. It happens only as I walk into the driveway of my building, shaking a little still with the force of the energy flowing through me, out of me. I feel exhausted, but pleased, satisfied, proud and content all at once.