Walking with Purpose

In Inspiration and Motivation, Pursuit of Happiness on February 2, 2010 at 9:44 am

Frigid temperatures have blanketed much of the country this winter.  Even parts of the country that are usually fairly mild have watched the thermometer dip below freezing.  As a New Yorker living in Texas, the cold just feels like home, and has not bothered me at all.  Truth be told – I like it!

The temptation for many when it is cold outside is to stay inside as much as possible.  In the places where the wind chill makes it painful to be outside, this makes perfect sense.  However, in Texas, the coldest days are in the 20’s and 30’s (for the most part), so there is no reason not to get outside and walk.

A few nights ago, we had a bad rain storm, so I was forced to do my walking inside on a treadmill.  My in-laws were here, so my wife and I actually went to the gym together for the first time since moving to Texas.  We both love to watch TV, and the gym has a big screen right in front of the treadmills.  The gym in our complex is usually fairly empty (so my wife tells me), and we were the only ones there, so we were able to watch whatever we wanted on TV.  Sounds good, right?  Wrong!

Despite the fact that I was getting to spend alone time with my wife while watching TV, I couldn’t wait to get back home.  I know that many people swear by treadmills, but I find them tedious.  Seconds feel like minutes, and minutes feel like hours to me.  I couldn’t help but sing “Unchained Melody” to myself as I stared at the obnoxious red clock…“and time goes by so slowly.” I already knew this, but it was reinforced that the treadmill is not for me!

The next day, the rain stopped, but the weather was freezing.  It didn’t matter.  I couldn’t wait to get out the door and walk outside.  For some reason, my feet were hurting that day.  I pushed as hard as I could, but was forced to cut my walk a little short.  However, before returning home, I stopped at the supermarket to pick up some things for my wife.  With two heavy bags of groceries, pain in my feet and music pumping through my headphones, I made my way back home.  And I found it more enjoyable than walking on the treadmill.

During that painful walk, I learned a few things about myself.  First of all, music inspires me to walk – watching TV doesn’t.  This feeling is summed up best by the lyrics to “Hold On” by Triumph…“music holds the secret, to know it can make you whole…it’s not just a game of notes, it’s the sound inside your soul…the magic of the melody, runs through you like a stream…the notes that play flow through your head like a dream…”

More importantly, I learned that I need to “walk with purpose.” Sometimes I have a destination in mind when I set out on my walk, and sometimes I explore different paths just to see where they lead.  The thing about walking on a treadmill is that it doesn’t help you get to a destination, and there is only one path that you can choose – walking in place.

The repetitiveness of the treadmill may be what I find to be so tedious.  Or perhaps, I look at my walks as a metaphor for my life.  Walking on a treadmill limits where you can go.  At best, you are left standing exactly where you started.  In a worst-case-scenario, you fall off and end up going backwards.  “Walking with purpose,” however, takes me places and affords me the opportunity to explore paths that I didn’t even know existed!

  1. Adam,
    I couldn’t agree with you more. I have always preferred to walk outdoors, it is so freeing. And this past week even while it was sleeting I was out walking my dog, I felt like the Postman, because if I can’t walk outside. I just want walk at all. I don’t listen to music, (though maybe I should) I just enjoy the sound of cars speeding by and just being alone for a little while. My poor dog had ice on his back, but he loved the walk I used umbrella, just so you don’t think I was crazy.
    I am like you I have to walk with a purpose.
    Still enjoying your blogs. Hope all is well

  2. I think I need a refresher course on spelling and grammar. Please overlook my errors.

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