So by now you're probably aware that I consider yoga to be a sort of magic (it's a good job really, eh?!). But because yoga is my everyday, lately I've needed something else in my movement catalogue to keep me sane. And I've finally found it. It's easy. It's unassuming. It's as simple as stepping out your front door with a good pair of boots.
Yes, walking, hiking, tramping - whatever you wanna call it - really isn't as sexy as Crossfit or running ultra marathons. I don't need to sport an I-ran-a-10k tshirt (I'm very proud of you mum!). I don't need to get blisters on my hands, or force hours of cardio from unwilling legs. It's as simple as just putting one foot infront of the other.
I've been lucky enough to grow up with a dad who can't keep still. He's moved house on average twice a year, much to the chagrin of my poor step-mum. But really he's a walker. He's written over twenty books on the topic - mostly around pubs, yay! - and thrown me on my back when I was young enough to acceptably vomit down his neck (sorry dad). He's walked the Pennine Way, the Yorkshire three peaks, and a whole heap of other longer, more beautiful, and more boot-knackering hikes across the UK over the past fifty years.
And so, about a month and a half ago, I decided to stop wishing I loved throwing weights around, or running, or anything that makes it look like proper exercise (eye-roll) and just go outside. I've always got a couple of pairs of decent boots around ready for weekend adventures, so I decided to make it a daily one instead. I started pretty slow, but I've built it up to an average of about five miles a day. And here's what I've got from it:
No, not the fancy app that forces you to make even meditation a fucking social event (yes, I'm sure you love it and I'm an idiot...). I get more creative, more mindful, and more grounded from an hour in the woods than anything else outside of my yoga practice. Regardless of whether I walk ten miles or two; whether I push hard or go super slow, I always feel less stressed, less wound up, and way *WAY* better than before I laced up my boots.
I mentioned this above, but it warrants it's own point. As a business owner and someone who really doesn't know what she's doing, being creative around business problems or opportunities is a mega bonus. Even this blog post was basically written in the woods.
I look better
Yes, how boring, because really who cares (and I'm trying to learn not to so much). But I actually think I'm losing a bit of the winter stress weight. I'm feeling fitter when I teach classes. My legs feel stronger, and my knees are playing up less. I've also got a bit of a spring glow. Yes. Even redheads can get a glow y'know.
My risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke have been reduced. Winning.
My dad's constant trail haunts have kept him fighting fit into his seventies, and I'm super proud to follow in his footsteps (literally!). If anyone fancies joining me - you playing out dad?! - let me know! Company always makes a walk a bit brighter.
See you on a trail sometime soon! Happy Friday, lovely people.