Some old dead wise guy once said, “No man can step into the same river twice because it is not the same river and he is not the same man.”
Even so, you can only walk around the high school track or around your block so many times before the boredom sets in and makes you want to quit your walking program.
If you ever get to thinking that the path that you follow on your everyday perambulations has grown stale, it hasn’t! Here are some hints for freshening it up!
- Try it in the day and at night. You’ll notice different plants and animals and you’ll notice nuances of the trail you never saw before!
- Take a walk in the pouring rain! Rain will make you notice trees and hills and slopes to a greater degree.
- If you usually walk the same route every time, try it in the opposite direction, or at least every few minutes, stop and look back the way you came. Everything along your path has a side you’ve never seen!
- Walk it every day for a week, looking for a different animal or tree each day. You might count the number of squirrels or sycamore trees that you see during your walk. Funny thing about this game – when you are specifically looking for any one thing you notice lots of other things too because you are actively observing. You could even take a walk counting the number of blue trucks that you see during your walk!
- Don’t consider it stale until you walk it during all four seasons – Summer, Winter, Spring, and Fall!
- If you’re looking for a physical challenge, try skipping (yes, like children used to do) or jogging or walking heel-to-toe as if on a balance beam instead of just walking.
- Walk a route that is uber-familiar to you but bring along a child or a new walking partner. They are sure to show you something that you haven’t seen before!
A while back I read a lovely bucolic book by famous naturalist and newspaperman, Hal Borland, titled Homeland; A report from the country. In Homeland, Borland describes the changes in the flora and fauna, the weather and the land of his small farm right outside his door as the seasons pass during one year. It is an enchanting book because of the huge amount of detailed observation he gets out of his little parcel as the seasons change.
It takes a mind trained to observe to do what Borland has done in his Homeland book – and these games and tricks can help you activate your observation powers and freshen up a stale walking route.