I love to walk. When I lived in San Francisco I didn't own a car and rarely took the bus. Instead, I walked several miles a day, loving the feel of the pavement under my feet and the flow of the city all around me. Today, I go out walking in the mornings as soon as I drop Queen Teen at school. I plug in my IPod and leave the sad dog at home (I take her later, but she can't keep up with me when I power walk), letting my arms swing as my body gets into the zone. The stress dissolves from my shoulders and my heart rate keeps time. I love it!
Yesterday while walking, I passed two women my own age who were walking together and chatting. I nodded, zipping past as the music of Pearl Jam pushed me faster. A block later, I passed another small group of women, also my own age, and then in the next block four more women. Around the corner I had to slow down for a group of women who looked like they were on a break from work because they wore dresses with tennie's while they strolled. When I finally passed them up I looked around and realized the neighborhood was FULL of walking women, mostly my age and mostly in shorts or lose pants and t-shirts.
I suspected they were all like me, moms who'd just dropped their kids at school and were now pacing the neighborhood. It was 8:30 am. The first bell of every school had rung and every child in town was in class. We moms were free!
Then I realized that not only was I walking with every mom in town, I was COMPETING with them. I couldn't just comfortably walk; for some bizarre reason I had to out pace every group of women I came to.
I laughed at myself, cranked up the tunes, and tried to relax again. Come on, Terena, this isn't a race. Just listen to the music and get your flow back.
If you go out walking at 8:30 am, look for the moms. We'll all be out there in our baggy t-shirts and tennies, walking before the day gets away from us.