The second day there, I went back and hiked the same trail and while I walked my mind entered a stream of consciousness that led me to this. When I am outdoors, which I am at every chance that I can, I reach a zen-like exhilaration stage. I am intensely grateful for the opportunity to be free enough to spend most of my time outdoors. I am early retired and able to choose how I spend my days.
When I am moving outdoors, it adds just that much more to the experience. And then add in that I am in a visually stimulating environment like Myra Canyon and the feeling is quite over the top! Exercise is a pleasure now and not a task or an achievement. And I am fitter because of that.
It is my mode of getting physical for an hour each day but it is also a form of meditation. I find it difficult to sit and meditate but when I am outdoors and moving and stimulated by seeing great spaces, this is my mediation. And my grateful too. All wrapped up into one hours activity…or two.
Over the past twenty years or so, I have been consumed by running, biking and swimming and going faster and further and getting fitter. And at this time in my life, I am not totally willing to leave all that behind. But it looks different. And, true confessions, I am less fit in some ways. But I am okay with that because now, I want to be healthy and feel good and move easily throughout my day and be able to travel with ease. I want my heart and body to last a long time and take me where my adventurous soul would like to go.
So now I seek fitness experiences that feel good….no more punishment. Some may say that is a compromise, but I see it as my desired reality now and it gives me peace on so many levels. So now I walk for 4-5 miles but I enjoy it immensely. Sometimes I listen to books on tape and still I keep my heart rate in a healthy target zone. I do a fusion pilates yoga and it makes me happy. And I swim to work my upper body and all of this I love. So I keep doing it. It is no longer a task to do but a joyful series of moments in my days.
And I can do it while I travel. It feels like a kind way to work out. And it is another thing that gives quality to my day and no stress.
It simplifies my life too. I have no gym membership anymore but strangely, I am fitter for having done that. My exercise flows with other elements of my day and adds value to my day.