Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Walking again



To walk is part of the miracle
of being human
in a planet where gravity
is one of the big three
along with sunlight, and air.

This is who we are,
long tall creatures,
ready to fall forward,
again, and again,
and if we stick one foot after another
out to catch us,
it's called walking.

Walking is fun,
and it's good for us.
Personally, I'm not that fond of walking on concrete
and asphalt,
my feet are softies
or spoiled by years working in a garden I created,
where I made the paths as moisture retaining
and weed supressing areas by
using cardboard covered with woodchips.

I like to walk on grass and sand
and dirt
and even gravel.

And that's my preference.

Be that as it may,
some people say that walking is the best exercise,
and I might agree.

It's certainly the best for remembering this:
we live in gravity, air and light.
Feet pushing off against the earth,
skeleton holding us up in gravity,
air coming into our lungs,
eyes up top,
scanning the world,
hopefully bringing in some beautiful impressions.

This is walking.

Walking is also great for a spinal
Walk a bit and pay attention:
the top half (or so) of your spine rotates one way
and the lower half the other way.
Shoulders one way,
pelvis the other.
This is good,
this gives us power,
this gives us grace.

This also stabilizes us,
because when we bring one foot forward,
the weight of that leg going forward needs to be
balanced by something going back,
which would be our hip,
and that would make walking awkward,
to say the least.
So the shoulder goes back on the side
the leg goes forward, and that keeps the hip stable.

So when you see people naturally swinging their
arms with great flair
as they walk,
they are doing what we are designed to do.

Then again,
some really flail at the air thing
and turn walking into a huff and puff kind
of thing.
Well, that's their kick,
and it's probably good for the old cardio

Though, when people talk cardio,
I can't help but think of the New Yorker cartoon,
where one hamster, spinning wheel in the background,
is explaining to another hamster:
"For my workout, I like to do two hours of cardio,
and then four hours of cardio,
and then another two of cardio."

La, la..

So, what are contenders with walking for

Well, swimming and

Notice both these are in the fish world,
the horizontal world.

The earlier world in our evolution.

Sex is kind of like the dolphin
swimming, lots of nice undulations in the spine.

Swimming can be the dolphin, again the undulations,
but more tiring that sex with les the perks,
or it can be frog fun
with the breast stroke,
or some nice lenghtening and stretching and
strengthening all of us at once in
the Australian crawl or the backstroke.

Problems with swimming and me:
again, I want salt water
or a clear lake of river.
This chorine swimming,
or swimming laps,
ah, here come the hamsters in my mind.

Oh, well.

Anyway: you might have another favorite exercise.

can also be a fine meditation.
Which foot is touching the ground,
and where is our breath:
coming in or out.
What are we taking in with our
eyes as we notice which foot and
which way the air.

That's a lot.

Life often
gets richer
and richer
when we can do a lot
with our attention,
lighting up our awareness,

of NOW.

as I wrote in the last walking essay:
you are a miracle, and walking is a miracle, and learning and awareness can make both miracles even better.

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