Friday, October 31, 2014

Get up, go out, and move in a new direction!

Sometimes a choice can change the course of a lifetime.
And can happen that the heart says one thing and the logic a different one.
I listened to my heart.
- Fivos Valachis

Today, shortly after getting up, I decided to go out and to begin practicing a regular walking meditation.  Out of the blue, I chose to move in the opposite direction of my usual path. The one that my sister-in-law would take to jog whenever she visited us from San Antonio, Texas.

In her estimate, the path that she selected was far safer than the more heavily trafficked roadway that I typically jogged along. Mostly out of an appreciation for her concern and thoughtfulness, than clear common sense, I willingly went with her recommendation. Thus, I have remained on that same course for more than ten years. That is until today.

Instead of being hard-headed and returning to the original route that I'd taken, I have set out in a new direction. It is not one completely without physical risk. I do have to crossover the same busy street that I used to run along. However, over these last few years I have definitely learned to develop greater patience. After all, I have everything to lose and absolutely nothing to gain from being both a reckless and restless person.

This first walking meditation has already revealed a great number of things to me about my current state of general health and well-being. For instance, I am significantly right leg dominated. Having experienced a nearly complete right achilles tendon rupture some years back, my right hip, leg, calf and foot tires out more quickly than the left. Consequently, I am in need of improving my muscle balance, strength and tone on the right side. 

With arthritis in both knees and spinal stenosis in my lower back, I do have plenty of work cut out for myself. It just so happens that I experienced pain in my right thigh area and lower back during the second half of today's walk. However, I imagine that it may have been a lot worse were I not already working toward strengthening my core muscles and shedding unwanted pounds.

And so it seems, a new path can also lead to new challenges. 
We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey. - Kenji Miyazawa