Friday, January 2, 2015

Greeting The New Year

Taughannock Falls, Trumansburg, NY -winter 2015, Fuji X100s

New Year's resolutions are made with the best intentions, but for most of us, seldom result in the changes we expect. Instead of resolving to change some part of my life that I feel is in need of fixing, I endeavor to focus on the parts that are working and that I want to see grow.

Perhaps that is bad for the home gym equipment industry who is convinced that we all need a treadmill, and elliptical trainer as well as a six hundred dollar juicer. Since none of those things have the appeal for me that a walk in the icy outdoors does, those sales pitches are lost on me.

Bad consumer, bad!

We tried the home elliptical trainer... it ended up gathering dust and acting as a coat rack. I bet there are millions of them doing exactly that. But we were promised that it would make us stick to our resolutions for the New Year. Hmmm.

It is hard to get outside to walk every day when the weather is cold. And snowy. Or icy. But the reward is many-fold. It isn't just about the physical fitness for me... there is the whole aspect of how walking outside relaxes my brain. It helps me find different ways to think about issues that are troubling me. Once those ideas have been wrangled and worries have been assuaged, then the creative ideas start to take off. It takes time. Sometimes it takes a lot of time. Trying to do it at the gym or on the home gym equipment, I could never "find" the time for that to happen. It was always a question of too many distractions.

Walking isn't something I think of as taxing. Granted, it is harder now than it was six years ago, before the whole surgical debacle. When I see someone in the grocery store using a motorized wheelchair I have to swallow hard. That was what the surgeons in the hospital said I would be using if I was lucky. Gives my daily walks a different look when viewed through that perspective.

I used to walk down our rural road with my headphones blaring. Then one of our neighbors was killed on her morning jog. I used to know all the people that live on our road, but in the past two years we have seen more than half of them move out, with renters taking their place. Not nearly as many people are out walking their dogs anymore. What does that say? Where has everyone gone?

I am not sure.

So where does this lead me today? I guess the dialogue I am having with myself is understanding why I walk. Realizing that there is so much that I get from the process, I am surprised at how hard it is to "make time" for it. After rereading photographer, David Hobby's post about how he walks 10 miles a day as a way of becoming a better photographer, I realized that there is something substantial there. The kernel of truth lies in the aspect of making time for a meditative process... one that can help relax, rejuvenate, and rekindle sleeping/exhausted parts of the brain. Why wouldn't I be able to make time for that? I guess that is something to think about while out on today's walk.


  1. I walk to "sync" myself. Those who walk know exactly what I mean. Those who don't will never understand.

  2. I am right there with you, I run for pretty much all the same reasons, although a lot more difficult to carry a camera with me :)