A Walk Around the Block

A Walk Around the Block

The question is: where do you start? The hills may be calling, but if you've never picked up the phone, or if you've been slowed or injured or otherwise just waylaid by life, those summits may as well be on Mars. So how do you get there?

I suggest you start with your doorstep. There, beside your doormat, you will place a pair of flip-flops. And then, once a day or more, for no particular reason, you will step outside your home, step into those flip-flops, and walk around the block.

Obviously you could keep running shoes outside your door instead, and hop into those shoes, and go running, but who wants to do that? When I think of running, my first thought is how am I going to get in shape to do that? And then I worry I'm going to hurt myself.

Flip-flops will not in the least tempt you into running.

They are also not the least bit judgmental. Flip-flops don't require socks either, which oddly enough can be the straw that breaks the camel's back when it comes to minor but annoying tasks which must be performed before you can leave the house.

Once outside, you may walk fast or you may walk slow. You can go north, south, east, or west. You can loop around once, or twice if the fancy strikes you. This is not exercise! This is motion, of the most elemental kind, the kind that awakens the oldest parts of our brains.

After walking around the block once a day for a week or so, you may find yourself inexplicably heading back outside again, for another walk. The light in the afternoon sky might strike you as somewhat fetching, and you may wish to head out for a closer look.

Perhaps you miss the feeling of the breeze in your hair, or the sounds of the out-of-doors rather than in. Whatever the reason, at some point you'll realize those far-off summits are no longer so distant. You'll sense a path to them, out there in your flip-flops, as sure as if it were drawn upon the ground.

You'll realize, then, you aren't just walking around the block—you're climbing mountains.

— July 3, 2015

Andy Lewicky is the author and creator of SierraDescents

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