When there was nothing else, there was walking

I’ve always been more of a banana bread guy, but remember when making sourdough bread was a thing?

And toilet paper!?!? People were literally obsessed with finding toilet paper. It actually felt like a triumph to score some.

Yes … you know … has lasted long enough for trends to pass, but let’s not forget there was also a time when — unless you were an essential worker, which meant you had to put yourself at risk to serve the rest of us — pretty much the only thing you could do outside your house was go for a walk.

Once. Per day.

The world was very small then, and not in a song-you-hear-everywhere-at-Disney sort of way, but an uncertain, scary way … although I am known in my family for howling in fright when I rode Space Mountain as a youngster.

We couldn’t sit down in restaurants. Our gym was closed. Travel plans got put on hold, if they didn’t go kaput. Movies, shows, concerts, sports … all gone.

When Suzi and I actually did leave the house, there were few cars, few people, little sound … and seemingly little life.

“One thing was clear: the walks were some sort of therapy. They seemed to loosen my thoughts, bestowing the type of clarity I usually found on long drives or airplane flights and inspiring ideas that I jotted down trailside in my phone.“

Walking Is Making a Major Comeback,’ Gloria Liu, Outside

We’ve always walked, usually in nice weather on days we didn’t go to the gym, or sometimes in lieu of the gym. Not only is it good exercise, it’s great to get out into the fresh hair.

But quarantine fell in mid-March, also known in New England as “more than a month from the end of winter, no matter what the calendar says.”

However a strange thing happened this winter — we didn’t really have one. The mild winter weather and lack of snow meant we could walk almost every day, and we did.

They made for excellent therapy, if only to remind us there was a world outside our house.

Footbridge at nature preserve

As things start to reopen in Massachusetts — I even got a haircut — the world is getting bigger, and more people are out, getting as much “normal” as they can.

But it’s still pretty small — no trip to New York City, no ballgame, no June vacation. To this point, I haven’t been more than 25 miles from my house, and that was to buy new sneakers, so it wasn’t exactly a pleasure trip.

We haven’t gone to Connecticut for Suzi to see a play with her mother while her father and I hit the golf course. We did my birthday with my parents over a video link on Facebook instead of them coming from New York.

I’m not whining … it’s what we’ve had to do to stay safe, but I’m only human, so some days are tougher than others.

We still have our walks, though. We’ve added routes, and created Walking Trail Wednesday to explore different trails in the area.

We’ve dealt with the heat with “flat walks,” where we drive to a local parking spot and start the walk from there so we don’t have to walk up two hills at the end, and we’re thinking about doing them early in the morning or later in the evening instead of closer to midday.

Most of our walks are two miles that take about 40 minutes, although we have one three-mile loop which takes roughly an hour.

And they’re still excellent therapy.










9 thoughts on “When there was nothing else, there was walking

  1. Boomer EcoCrusader

    As a Canadian, I can relate to mid-March being “more than a month from the end of winter, no matter what the calendar says”. I scoff every year that Groundhog Day should be March 2, and even then an early spring would mean 6 more weeks of winter.


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