Walking meditation

Santa Fe Trail Santa Fe Tail in Colorado Springs. Cell phone photo.

I finally got out for a long training walk yesterday. 12 (or so) miles on the Santa Fe Trail, which runs in a ribbon between the railroad tracks and a fast-running creek. Ravens and blue jays were having skirmishes over best nesting locations. The sun was bright, but it was windy, as spring often is around here. I took off my jacket, put it back on, took it off….for several hours.

I worked in the morning, finally breaking through to something real and honest and true in the misbehaving MIP (that would definitely be MESS until yesterday).  The weather is threatening to turn again today, so I desperately wanted to get out and do the next jump in my training walks, try out some different shoes (I don’t love the new Reeboks for long distance–they get too hot and clunky, though they’re fine for neighborhood jaunts), get my feet used to walking hours and hours.   All that.

What I most wanted was to be outside in the sunlight, walking.  Just walking.  Not doing anything, not thinking, just moving my feet over a path.  I didn’t want words, and only listened to music–mostly Patty Griffin, with her poetry and blues and folksy ways–but I sometimes listened to birds and wind and train whistles, too.

After a couple of hours, I stopped to peel the orange I brought with me, and realized that I hadn’t had a single real thought in six or seven miles.  It is, for me, a very powerful mediation technique.   I find sitting meditation to be fairly challenging, both the discomfort and annoyance of sitting still and the distraction of that four year old girl in my head, chattering and chattering.  I find myself following one thread, and another and another until it is 10 minutes later and I haven’t been still for one second.  But walking…meditation just happens there for me.  A thought might flit in, then out again, but none of them stick around to bother me.  The book slides by, riding the current of the river, but then the river itself captures me, real and deep and fast. I might think about the bills I need to pay or the garden or my children, but mostly….not.   It is the most singularly relaxing thing to do.

I suppose that means that walking isn’t really mediation, since it doesn’t require any effort or discipline to quiet my thoughts that way, but at least I get the exercise benefits.  Stong heart, strong thighs, and after almost four hours of walking, I definitely earned a treat, and very much enjoyed some beer last night!

Training log notes

Miles this week: 21

On the Ipod: Patty Griffin.  I now have all of her music on the Ipod, which is more of a treat than I can tell you.

Snacks:  1 Gu, an orange, a couple of string cheese, a bunch of water.  Might need to add some Gatorade at the end.

The pitch: I have committed to raising $2500 by June.  It isn’t a sponsorship, but direct donations to each walker’s tally.  The money goes to helping provide screening and care for women who are under- or uninsured, a cause about which I am passionate.   If you feel moved to donate, you can do so, here.

The disclaimer:  We all have things we care about and no one can give to everything, in time or money.

xoxo,

Barbara

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Training log, week three

m training for the Avon Walk for breast cancer.   I’ll be posting weekly updates on my progress. Pl_and_newsantafetrailhead

Last week, total miles: 22

Miles this weekend:  9.5 yesterday, at the Santa Fe Trail. Perfect day for walking.  Blue sky, slight breeze, temps in the fifties. (Cyclists by the zillions, racing through the mud.  I realize I have a slight hostility about bikes on the trails and I really don’t mind polite ones who ring the bell or say, "on your left!" or say anything at all, really. Only the Tour de France wanna be bad boys in their spandex, zooming by without any warning and scaring me half to death (I do, for the record, only put an earbud in one ear).  It makes me happy to see the little spray of mud on their butts.)    I listened to my favorite favorites on the Shuffle.  Sometimes, I sing, but first I look around to be sure no one is there.

Today: On the schedule for today was to start doing the second long walk, so despite a brisk and bitter wind, I bundled up and headed out.  4.5 miles.  It would have not bee that much fun except….

On the Ipod:  Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett.  Why oh why has it taken me so long to get to this book?  It’s music.  It’s love. It’s a marvel of precise, exquisite execution.  I’m in pain, having to leave it for the next walk, but it’s eleven hours of tape, so that will see me through a lot of walking. Must….be….disciplined…..

Snacks: Just a Gu yesterday, at the halfway point.  Nothing required today.

The pitch: I have committed to raising $2500 by June.  It
isn’t a sponsorship, but direct donations to each walker’s tally.  The
money goes to helping provide screening and care for women who are
under- or uninsured, a cause about which I am passionate.   If you feel moved to donate, you can do so, here.

The disclaimer:  We all have things we care about and no one can give to everything, in time or money.  xoxo,
Barbara

I actually wrote this yesterday, Tuesday, but somehow put it in my drafts folder instead
This is me, starting out this morning in Dillon, Colorado on the second leg of
I am offering three manuscript critiques in order to raise money for the Avon walk.  
The Avon walk is in two weeks, and I would love to raise just a
25 days until the Rocky Mountain Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.   Two things make this

Long walk day #2

I am training for the Avon Walk for breast cancer.   I’ll be posting weekly updates on my progress. Pl_and_newsantafetrailhead

Last week, total miles: 21

Today’s walk:

Miles:  10 and a bit, at the Santa Fe Trail, which is a very long trail that runs from Wyoming to New Mexico. Very pretty. 

On the Ipod:  Exercise mix #1, which consists of some Laura Love and Mellencamp and other things for the first half.  Then switched to Letting God of God, by Julia Sweeney, which is so funny I was praying that none of the runners on the trail thought I was off my meds or something.

Snacks: Peanut butter, apple, Luna bar.

No real aches and pains, though my neck is a little stiff from carrying the heavier pack.  (It’s challenging to get the clothing correct for a long walk on a February afternoon in Colorado.)

The pitch: I have committed to raising $2500 by June.  It isn’t a sponsorship, but direct donations to each walker’s tally.  The money goes to helping provide screening and care for women who are under- or uninsured, a cause about which I am passionate.   If you feel moved to donate, you can do so, here.

I actually wrote this yesterday, Tuesday, but somehow put it in my drafts folder instead
This is me, starting out this morning in Dillon, Colorado on the second leg of
I am offering three manuscript critiques in order to raise money for the Avon walk.  
The Avon walk is in two weeks, and I would love to raise just a
25 days until the Rocky Mountain Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.   Two things make this

A Writer Afoot….for the cure

I’ve been trying to figure out all week how to set up a little icon for this, but programing is not my strong point, so let me just make my announcement:

I’m walking in the Avon Breast Cancer Walk this year.  It is 39 miles–26 on Saturday, and 13 on Sunday.  I wouldn’t be nervous about the first half, since I’ve walked that far in the past, but the second day is a teeny bit daunting. 

Still.  Walking is what I can do, and I’ve wanted to participate for several years.   This year, I made the leap and sent in my registration.   Every walker must make a commitment to raise a substantial sum, and that’s why I’m announcing it here.  I hope some of you will be game to donate, and maybe together we can raise a really juicy sum, in the name of our friends and siblings and relatives, and most especially, our daughters, granddaughters and all the others in the future who WON’T get this disease if we can figure out a way to get rid of it forever.

Once a week or so, I’ll post a note about my progress and the sum we’ve raised together.   I will be offering some prizes (yet to be decided).  Perhaps you work in an office or have a book group and can take up a one-time collection and I can send a set of autographed books to you to distribute.

I also know that it isn’t always possible to donate anything, so cheerleading will be much appreciated, too.

There are walks in many cities around the country.   For more information, go to Avon Walk.

To make a donation to my walk click here

Questions?

PS  If anyone can help me figure out how to make an icon with a link to the donation site, I would be very grateful. 

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