On walking, and being
“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.” Friedrich Nietzsche
I am reading a book at the moment called ‘The meditation of walking’.
It’s a hard book to get into and an even harder one to go back to because the pace of the book is slow, ambling, self-absorbed and concentrated on one thing, walking – and walking done by people like Paul Theroux and Friedrich Nietzsche.
It’s a meditation in itself reading it … and can, if you let it, take you away from the confines of the tram or wherever you are, into the curiously mesmerising world of the author.
I guess I find it hard to go back to because I don’t meditate all that often. It feels like, by concentrating on the moment, on the breath, on my body, I am somehow letting everything that I really should be worrying about, slip into chaos.
And yes, I know this is a false and irrational belief that my mind likes to play on me, but it is so utterly compelling.
This is all very strange because I’ve just been advised by a very capable remedial masseur to stop walking, at least for the time being, and just simply listen to my body when it comes to exercise. It’s a foreign thought for me – if it hurts – I probably shouldn’t be doing it.
Even stranger still that the remedial massage I had (thanks Danny) hurt like hell and didn’t get any easier with reassurance from the very smiley, affable torturer (Danny) that it is was OK. If it was just tight muscles, then why did it feel like he was driving a knife deep into my thigh?
So now we have a weekly thing – me and the inflictor of pain. And I’ve got to admit, after my first session I actually felt better afterwards. My movements were freer, easier, less staccato, more flowing.
I actually felt more like me and not some terribly-grumpy person who yells at her children and gets angry at the dog for you know, just hanging around making me feel guilty for not taking her for a walk.
So perhaps this is the way forward for me – office worker, computer user, desk-sitter me.
Me who feels more comfortable typing than taking up a pen and writing.
Me who drove to the petrol station last night with my son to get milk even though it is literally 500 metres away.
Me who runs away from the football when my son kicks it to me because it hurts my fingers catching it.
Having just turned 50, perhaps a good use of the mid-life crisis blues I am experiencing is to get that supple, toned and fabulous body I’ve always dreamed of.
Because, you know, at five-foot-nothing and a tendency to put on weight around my waist, I’m not one of those people who can be a little bit overweight and still fit. Ohhhh yeah … sounds like a plan.
Until next time.