My friend over at HuntGatherSquatCarry posted a great reminder recently about getting outside and doing stuff at this time of year. I love a winter walk, it’s one of my favourite things to do. And yet I had declined to leave the house at all this weekend in favour of vegetating on the sofa in a pre-menstrual stupor. I woke up this morning feeling really rather bleugh. So, with this being my last free day before Christmas, I gave myself a stern talking to, which is why I unexpectedly found myself walking up to the woods with some great podcasts downloaded and, remembered only just in time, a front door key.
A spontaneous walk can teach you so many things.
1. Remember your waterproofs. Or don’t.
Remember the saying, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes”? Well it’s 10 degrees C (50 degrees F) today and rain was correctly forecast. I left the house in a vest (tank) top, leggings and a thin hoodie. Half an hour into my walk, as heavy drizzle set in, I decided I was an idiot. An hour in I realised I was actually perfectly comfortable, I hadn’t done my hair or make up yet anyway; and had all the more reason to enjoy a hot shower when I got home.
2. Leave the headphones at home.
I nearly missed squirrels scampering along these branches, a wide range of birds foraging, singing and socialising; and that wonderful contradictory feel of both stillness and business you get in a wood. Luckily I realised this in time and, once unplugged, made a point of regularly stopping and appreciating what each sense was telling me in a way that I didn’t have time to do when I was training a couple of months ago.
3. Minimalist shoes rock.
Yes, If I’d thought about it beforehand, wellies would have been fat more suitable. But they would not have helped me climb on logs, jump over brambles, use my core to balance while I negotiated boggy sections of path or run through an exposed section of track in the pouring rain.
4. Nature wees are fun.
So I forgot to go to the loo before I left home. Remember how, as a kid you could and would wee anywhere? We, well, us women anyway, forget this. Why? It’s a kinda fun thing to do! And it’s a great squatting exercise, so bonus points!
5. You don’t need to stick to the beaten track.
I’m a girl who likes rules. I only cross roads when the green man says to, and I worry about which side of the pavement (sidewalk) to walk when someone is coming the opposite way (I figure the person walking in the same direction as the traffic should be furthest away from the road unless it means an elderly person, child or buggy is going to end up next to the traffic – is that just me?) so, as you might imagine I naturally stay on the path at all times. Except that today I deliberately snuck off sometimes (such a badass, whatever next?!) and, believe it or not, behind these trees was a wardrobe full of fur coats! *
6. Look up once in a while.
6. One of the best things about adventures is coming home again.
I got wet, muddy, scratched and cold. I was reminded that I need to get back to training because, rather than it being a hardship, it makes me feel happy and alive. And during the last, rather boring, bit of walk (I live maybe half a km on the other side of those trees, but along a road and past some architecturally bland houses) I was able to look forward to that shower I mentioned earlier, some homemade, organic broth and a cuddle with a purring cat. Thank goodness I remembered my key!
*its possible that this only existed in my imagination. But it didn’t make me any less excited!