I went for a walk today. A cold, wet, slushy walk. It had snowed the past couple of days, with a little accumulation. Now that the temperature has risen the rains have come and the snow has turned to slush. There are slippery parts and watery parts and clear parts of the sidewalks and grass. I tried to stick to the clear parts as much as I could but took to the snowy grass when needed. My hands were cold, my feet got soaked, and my coat got drenched. They are all warming up now inside.
Why did I go for a walk when the conditions were slushy and cold outside? For one thing, I wanted to get coffee – and not the plain black stuff. I take mine as mud, plenty of cream and sugar. I could have gotten it downstairs at our temporary hotel room (the heat was out at home so this is our refuge for a couple of days). I could have walked around the corner to Starbucks. But I was in the mood for our neighborhood coffee place- called Grounds- since I also wanted a hot breakfast, consisting of a chorizo burrito. And I like the selections of flavored coffee there – my favorite is Irish Cream.
But it goes beyond that. I am a walker. Most days I walk at least 2 miles, plus longer walks on the weekends, down some local trails. I love seeing the wildlife, birds and other animals, in the neighborhood and elsewhere. I love seeing how the trees and grass and flowers bloom and grow. I love seeing my fellow walkers, bikers, runners, and dog walkers with whom I share the trails.
And it is a habit that I have developed over my lifetime. I have always been an explorer, no matter where I travel or live. I love to hike and find out what discoveries I can make by traveling off the beaten path – as Robert Frost would say “the road less traveled” or even bunny trails. I walk because I want to, not just for exercise – which is one side benefit. I don’t let anything keep me from walking – the proverbial “rain, snow nor dark of night ” (though I do take a flashlight for those early morning jaunts). And yes I do have enough sense to come in out of the pouring rain or storms.
In other words, it’s not something I have to think about or debate. I just do. One foot forward is all it takes to start a walk. And I realize that with other things I often debate or think about or overthink. I don’t have an automatic start mechanism. I am trying to think how I can translate that automatic response into other things, other endeavors. In other words, I am trying to figure out that first step.
Writing is one of those things. I have been blogging off and on for the past few years. Consistency at times and sketchy at others. I did do my first post on Medium, but that was a few weeks ago. I have also considered podcasting. and even scripted out my initial episode and sketched out a few other ones. But starting is harder.
Part of the roadblock is over-preparing or overthinking. Part is not wanting to start and then stop – running out of ideas. I did do an 80-day video challenge this year and only missed a couple of days. That was a definite accomplishment. And one of my fellow toastmaster members suggested the idea of a 365-day challenge for PR for the club – posting on Facebook.
With my walks, I only have to decide which trail to tackle – or even just which way to start in the neighborhood. Perhaps determining to get back on the horse and blog every day will be a start – even on days when I don’t have a picture to accompany the post or something spectacular to post.
I guess my takeaway for today is to think about what you do without thinking or planning and try to apply that to something else that you would like to do but feel a roadblock. Like Nike – Just Do It. And take the first step.