I forget how much fresh air and exercise are good for me.
See, I had an idea of what I was going to do with today’s post, which was to discuss the responses I got to Wednesday’s post, wherein I asked for ideas for “a better plan.”
And then this morning, I woke up early to go walk with a friend – about five miles around Lake Murray (usually six, but the end of the trail was closed) – and by the time I got home and sat down to write, I realized I really didn’t feel like examining the source of my unhappiness, or the suggested ways to fix it, because at this moment, I am not feeling unhappy. So why force myself to go there?
As we walked, my friend and I talked about work, life, relationships. She told me she’d gone paint-balling last night with some friends, and how much she’d enjoyed the adrenaline rush, and how she had looked for her recent ex in every guy she was shooting.
“I used to go kickboxing,” I told her. “And you’re just punching the air, so I’d picture my ex from college standing in front of me. Or my ex-mother-in-law’s face, because she was a bitch.”
My friend laughed.
How could I have forgotten how great this feels? Sure, I’m dealing with a miscarriage instead of a breakup, so there’s no one to be angry at, and therefore no one to punch. But even today’s simple walk left me feeling fulfilled, happy; it’s that bizarre mix of lazy and energized that comes with physical activity.
I think, inherently, I know this. Doug and I go for walks all the time; up in Seattle, we would go for a three-mile-round-trip walk to our favorite roadside coffee stand at least once a week. But usually we go kind of spur-of-the-moment, and then as soon as we get back, we have to think about getting ready to go do something else: go to work, run errands, whatever. Today’s walk was planned; I woke up probably three hours before I would have otherwise, and when I got home, I had nothing on the to-do list for – hey, about three hours. So I’ve gotten to sit and relax and enjoy.
And when I gave myself the opportunity to become consumed once again by the areas in which my life is lacking, and how I might best fill those voids… Well, it seems almost sacrilegious to interrupt my enjoyment of my life, just to remind myself that I don’t always enjoy my life. I can come back later and talk about what I’m going to do next to help myself heal. For now, I’m just going to bask in the healing.
In the spirit of the season, I think I will try to mention something I am grateful for, every day between now and Thanksgiving. Something concrete, something that I have now. I started doing this unconsciously the other day, when I wrote about how lucky I am to have my relationship with Doug.
So today, rather than continuing to wax philosophical on the emotional benefits of physical exercise, I’m going to keep this simple: I am grateful for my legs. Thanks, legs, for being able to walk, so that I can have all this other cool stuff that comes from walking.
Also, thanks, legs, for looking good in a skirt.