We walked a lot while on vacation. Most days five miles, sometimes as much as eight. Now that we’re back home I feel I should try to keep the momentum going. Plus I get a kick out of my Fitbit numbers when they’re good.
So this morning I decided to go to my favorite park and take a walk. I figured I’d do two or three miles out and then walk that same distance back to the car. The whole way around the lake used to be eight miles, back in the days when I trained for marathons out there.
Eight miles is a lot, and I wasn’t expecting to do that much, but in the back of my mind I kind of wanted to walk all the way around the lake. I wanted to see what had changed, what was the same. I wanted to reminisce about those days, so many years ago, when I used to do my weekly long run circling the lake in all kinds of weather.
So I figured I’d walk a couple miles and see how I felt. And after two miles I felt fine, so I figured I’d walk another mile and then decide. I knew that I should probably turn around after three. If I was smart anyway.
Logically I should stop at six because my back would start aching somewhere between miles five and six. It always does. So a sensible person would turn around at the three mile mark. Still. I really wanted to walk the whole way around the lake.
It was a beautiful sunny day, 74 degrees. The maple trees were relinquishing summer, way too soon in my mind, becoming turn-coats in bright reds and oranges. The locust and choke cherry trees were beginning to yellow too, but the oaks were standing firm in their belief that there is more summer to enjoy, their strong arms still clothed in shades of deep green.
Virginia creeper had long since turned bright red, climbing up the trunks of trees and running along the ground. The white pines were sporting yellow needles against the bright blue sky.
Everywhere there were memories. Here’s the spot where I once sat down on a hillside next to the path and took my shoes off with more than a mile left to run. And here’s where a friend tripped over something and landed in a snowbank.
Here’s that hill that always made me stop running and walk up to the crest, and the spot where I slipped on black ice during one winter long run and fell, resulting in me limping four miles back to the car in a blizzard.
There’s the boat rental place that will soon close for the season and where I keep meaning to rent a kayak and explore the lake, and there’s the peninsula where Katie and I had a picnic a couple days after my retirement two summers ago.
Over there’s the place my dad stopped to watch the carp in the pond when we were exploring the nature trails, I think of him every time I pass this way, and here’s the spot where I came across a whole passel of artists one winter, out painting the landscape on a frigid morning.
So many memories triggered by this park that I love. When I got to mile three I pondered what to do. Should I turn around? Or continue on to mile four when, by default, I’d have to walk all eight miles around the lake.
I bet you know what happened.
And I’m glad I did…so many memories, so many pretty things. White puffy clouds, a blue sailboat. Purple asters.
Along the way I thought about Robin’s annual walk in October. She calls it Walktober and people from all over take a walk (this year anytime from October 1 to October 18.) then describe it in a blog post, linking it to Robin’s blog. Walktober makes you pay attention to the details of your walk, the better to describe it to everyone else. And it’s fun to read about everyone’s walk; each is so different but so beautiful.
You should think about participating this year. When Robin posts about it at the beginning of October I’ll remind you. Meanwhile…think about where you’d like to take a walk. We’d sure like to go along with you.
And you know what? I forgot to put the Fitbit in my pocket! So those eight plus miles didn’t count. Sigh.