I’ve started taking walks in the mornings, right after I wake up. Initially I wanted to go to the gym most days a week, but as soon as this quarter got going, I knew there’d be no way that would happen. And since my running accident earlier this year, I haven’t been the biggest fan of the sport. So… walking!
And I do it first thing in the morning because if I don’t, I keep telling myself I will, and then nighttime rolls around and, well, there goes the day without the walk. If I get up and just go right away, it’s over with – no pondering or pushing myself required.
I still have to force myself a little to get out of bed extra early, but once I’m out the door, I very much enjoy that half-hour to myself. What’s really cool about it is how I get to watch my town wake up. Our city’s relatively small compared to others I’ve lived in – the population’s around 45,000 – so most stores downtown don’t open until ten or so. But on my walks (around 7:30 in the morning) I get to see shopkeepers getting ready for the day, drink delivery trucks restocking restaurants, people walking to work with coffee and briefcase in hand. The city is quiet, peaceful, waking up.
Over time I’ve seen window displays change. I’ve noticed stores I’ve never paid attention to before and find some I want to visit (this cookie-ice-cream-sandwich shop just opened up – I really want to try it!). I feel very much comfortably alone but somehow entirely connected to everything too, and it’s really nice. I smell bacon cooking as I pass some of the houses, hear alarm clocks go off, see people leave for class. I watch the sun rise over my city and feel part of something bigger than just myself.