Walk this way.

Dear friends,

Source: Going Places 2 on Etsy

So I probably haven’t mentioned that I haven’t been running.

It’s true-confession time here folks: I haven’t gone for a run since the week of this post (wherein I embarked on a cleanse).

I can’t say exactly why I’ve puttered to a stop. I could blame it on the hills, but then I’ve already done that. What I want to say is that I lost motivation, but that’s kind of a cop-out. I mean, who really ever has motivation to do the hard things in life? I never do. But many times, I find the discipline. Or I find the incentive. And one or the other keeps me going.

But in the case of my running, I just flat out fell off the wagon. Kaput. And whatever mental trick (or discipline) had kept me going for two years — well, it ran plumb out, as we Okies like to say.

I’ve been beating myself up for it for awhile. But I bet you know as well as I do that’s a total waste of time. Self-flagellation usually doesn’t motivate us and hardly ever gets us back on track.

So you know what I have been doing instead?

Walking. Briskly. For 30 a minutes a day around my neighborhood.

Instead of feeling bad about the thing I’m not doing, I’m trying to feel good about the thing I am doing. It’s not the same level of exercise I had been used to, but it’s a far sight better than the month I spent on the sofa doing nothing but wallowing in my laziness.

I’m going to take it as a sign I’m learning moderation. I’ve already told you it’s feast or famine around my house. I’m either running 20-30 miles a week, or I’m spending every spare moment on the sofa.

Walking — for me, it’s a real step forward. It’s a sign I don’t have to conquer the world, and I don’t have to give into every sedentary inclination that tempts me.

All I really have to do is overcome the little voice in my head that tells me life is all or nothing.

With gratitude {for lesson #1 this week on moderation, with news about others yet to come},

Joan, who felt a little antsy when a jogger passed her by last evening but let the negative feeling flutter away with the breeze and counted it as “personal growth”



  1. Juanita Clark says:

    Your knees will love it that you are only asking them to walk. It may come from you listening to your body that is whispering to you…..slow down Joan…..smell the roses….

  2. Personally I’ve never managed a running regime though I briefly considered hiring trained bears to chase me, figuring that would provide the motivation I’d been missing. I can’t quite recall how that plan fell apart, it really seemed so promising at the time….

    Walking however, has become something I now NEED to do. A day with any kind of a walk in it, however short or meander-y, is always better than a day without one. (I’ll second Juanita about that knees thing!)

  3. Maridel says:

    Ah, it does my under-achiever heart good to read this post : )

  4. I used to walk an hour a day, and then one day it was raining, and then it got really cold, and then there was ice. And that was two years ago now. I miss it, but don’t quite know how to get the ball rolling again. And I do mean ball, because that is about what my body has morphed into…. : )
    Read an article about exercise. Those who walk live longer than those who run. Moderate exercisers end up being healthier in terms of longevity. Wish I could remember where I read it?

  5. Juanita and M’del — thanks for letting me off the hook. (Rather, encouraging me.) I have trouble dialing things back, clearly.

    Deb — as always, you make me lol. This might be your best comment of ALL time.

    Dana — Google “The Weight of the Nation.” It’s an HBO series I watched Sunday night. I knew a lot the information in the documentary, but it really does a good job of consolidating the latest fitness and health information in a compelling way. One of the most compelling things I heard: you only have to lose 7% of your body weight (even really obese individuals) and exercise 150 minutes a week to enjoy tremendous health benefits. Even diabetic patients turned their conditions around with modest weight loss and exercise.

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