Get ready, get set, go!

Did you know? Did you know? Tomorrow is National Start! Walking Day!

I love walking. All you need is comfortable clothes and shoes, and you can do it almost anywhere. Treadmills, sidewalks, boardwalks, high school tracks, nature trails, hiking trails. You can up the ante by walking faster, adding hills, going barefoot on the sand. Walking is the most versatile and natural exercise around!

Saturday, we had a GREAT walk along the Seattle waterfront…

…then out on the old pier where they used to have a great summer concert festival (I saw Chris Isaak there three times)…

…through the Seattle Art Museum art park (that’s not a real tree), just a block from our old apartment…

…back through Belltown (our old neighborhood)…

….and my old community garden plot. It was the best plot in the whole garden!

How ironic that I did NOT want to go for a walk today. Seattle has had an unusually cold, grey and damp spring, and even though it’s April I feel like hibernating! If it weren’t for the fact that daffodils are blooming, trees are starting to leaf out, ducks are pairing up around the lake and birds are collecting stuff for their nests, you would never know it was spring. It feels like winter.

I was, of course, determined to go for a walk, and not just because it’s Day 2 of a pedometer-based workplace fitness challenge. I am a “regular exerciser” and that’s what we do. We exercise even when we don’t really feel like it. Trouble is, I usually do feel like it, and I wanted to feel like it today!

Fortunately, I had a laser-sharp instant of inspiration. About 45 minutes before I was supposed to lace up my sneakers, I fired up iTunes, opened the same playlist I listen to when walking, and clicked play. I thought, “Hey, if this music inspires me to walk faster, maybe it will inspire me to walk…period!”

Worked like a charm. Soon I was bouncing in my seat as I worked on an article about bursitis (so exciting…not). Then, as if on cue, the sky suddenly changed from dark, ominous clouds to…well, light clouds. (Yes, in Seattle that distinction is important. As is the difference between “showers” and “rain.”)

So I walked four miles, and I liked it. Even though it was cold and windy. I didn’t even care that I got rained on a little. (Or maybe I was showered on.)

So tomorrow, lace up those walkin’ shoes and go for a walk. One mile, two miles, four miles or more. Bring a spouse, partner, child, friend or coworker. Or fly solo. Doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you do it!