Friday, November 18, 2011

Walking*: A Way to Exercise My Brain?

This is NOT what I mean when I say exercise your brain.

*Thirty Day Challenge-be able to walk two miles a day or more four to five days a week by the end of the month.

I'm not one of those walkers who puts on the mp3 player and listens to music or an audiobook while I'm out. Nope.  They're nice to have, but I actually prefer to hear the sounds around me.  I'm less likely to get run over by that car if I can hear it coming.  But other than listening to what's around me, I veg out when I'm walking.  My mind wanders all over the place.  Naturally.  I'm out in the elements, immersed in my surroundings and I've got nothing better to do than let my brain take a vacation.

Those mini brain vacations loosen up my mind and free my spirit.  I'm in a better mood when I walk (even in the rain) and so problems don't seem so insurmountable.  That's a good thing and probably one of the reasons why my walks are so productive.  The weird thing is that it's not like I'm actively thinking about problems, either.  I think problems I have simmer on the back burner of my subconscious while I'm walking.  And as a result.... answers pop into my head.  I can't tell you how I come to my conclusions.  They just are there.   I'll be walking and suddenly the solution to something that's been bothering me will just zing into my consciousness.  "See!  Here's the answer you've been looking for!" 

Walking is good for my creative juices, too.  Poems will come to me when I walk.  Story ideas.  Plot.  Scenes.  Recipes.  All kinds of yummy stuff.

Walking does that for me. Sometimes sleeping, too.  You know the old saying, "Sleep on it."  Yeah.  Walking is like that.  I walk on it.  Do you know how awesome that can be?  

My fat fluffy furball, Dante.
Speaking of exercise, I've been taking my dog with me when I walk. I hate doing it, because every time a dog rushes at a fence and yaps at him, he's got to bark back.  He gets all excited and he's monstrously heavy.  Dante weighs a good 110-120 pounds, so he's hard to handle when he gets like that.  But, he's a big dog and he needs his exercise.  And so do I.  So I take him anyway.

Yesterday there must have been some construction going on near Nadaka Park, where we were walking, because he was freaking out and pulling my arm off trying to get away from the noise.  The loud whacking/banging noise of the construction sounded like gunshots.  Dante is very scared of gunshot and firework noises.  Over and over and over and over every few seconds with regularity the noise just kept banging the entire time we were walking.  I finally gave up trying to wrangle my scaredy cat dog, took him back to "safety" and resumed my walk without him.  My back, shoulders and arms are still sore from trying to deal with him.  At least he didn't try to climb me like a scared toddler does with his mommy.  He's done that before.  Having a dog that's taller than you when he's on his hind legs trying to climb onto your shoulders because he's scared is not a fun prospect.

Conclusion:  I think my sweet fuzzbucket needs more obedience training.  He knows basic commands, but they tend to go in one ear and out the other when he is either excited or scared.

The exercise is doing me some good, but my dog looks the same.  I wonder how long it will be before he turns into the lean poop machine he was when we first got him. Now he's fat from not getting enough exercise.  It's pretty sad when we get home from our walk and flops on the floor in exhaustion and I feel pretty good still.  So...I aim to fix that!

So far, since the beginning of October I've lost 19 pounds.  That means I've lost almost 26 pounds off my heaviest point a few months ago.  Yes!

I've walked five times this week.  Three of those walks were over two miles, so at this rate, I should be surpassing my goal for the TDC by the end of the month.  Another resounding yes!

So far, so good...