For the past few weeks I have been walking about two miles a day. My schedule is such that I don’t have a regular time – sometimes it is early in the morning but today I just got back in from an evening walk. I am not an expert by any means but I am told that a good walk includes three parts: Five minutes of slow walking followed by fifteen minutes of face paced walking before ending your walk with five minutes of slower walking. I good walk is suppose increase your heart rate gradually, beat at fast rate for a certain period of time and before gradually returning to normal. While I attempt to do this I am finding that it is difficult to do in a small town
For example, I left the house this evening and began my normal route toward the cemetery where I usually walk. Before getting there I met a lady who has been visiting our church for several weeks – we stopped and chatted about how things were going and about how she enjoys the church. Finally making it to the cemetery I was immediately greeted by a couple of neighborhood teens also out for a walk. We shared pleasantries before going our separate ways. I turned the corner and went down the hill only to be met by some neighbors who were also out for an evening stroll. We both tried to keep up our pace as we laughed and talked about climbing the big hill in the back of the cemetery. After taking my laps I began back up the road to the house only to be greeted by a friend who was out working in his yard we talked a minute about family and friends. I took a few more steps before one of the kids on my basketball team came out of the house with his girlfriend. Again I found myself in conversation, this time about the end of school and summer plans. Two doors down another neighbor was rocking on the front porch. We exchanged congratulations as both our children graduated form school the night before and talked about God’s plans for our children. Finally I got up some speed and started up the hill to my house. Halfway up I saw a couple from church coming down the hill on their evening walk. I shouted don’t stop me or I want make it up the hill – they laughed and we exchanged high fives as we passed and I finally made it home.
I thanked God for my town as I went in the house for a cool drink of water. I may not have done it the way the experts say it should be done but it did my heart good – in ways you would never expect. You get a lot more benefits than physical ones when you take a walk in a small town.