Let me start by saying that I am an avid walker and I love walking, because when I’m out walking my state of mind becomes such that I am at peace with myself. You could say in a state of trance like meditation. When I first start walking my mind replays all the days issues and problems as well as all the things I have on my mind. However within a few hours this has melted away to nothingness and I reach a state of relaxation that I don’t get anywhere else. I’ll just say, I’m not a religious man and my feeling when I walk is a far more spiritual state than a religious experience.
“I don’t know if I’m the only one that experiences this and that’s why I’m writing my thoughts down to see if there are other people out there who experience the same things when they walk or if they love walking as much as I.”
Although I may not be a true spiritual man I do believe in a higher state of consciousness and no matter how much I meditate or medicate I don’t get this feeling of euphoria that I get when I walk. I get this feeling whether I walk by myself or if I walk with somebody else. It has been commented to me in the past that after a few hours of walking I stop talking and I become become very relaxed.
Ever since a very early age I have loved to walk and from my early teens it wasn’t unusual for me to go walking on my own or walk ahead of the entire family on our regular Sunday walks out.
Now as an adult I sometimes walk over 100 miles in a week and it’s not uncommon for me to walk upwards of 10 miles a day with my dog. On weekends this can be double this distance. Hell, on some days I have even been known to walk over 30 miles in a day. With events of this year, 2017, I have walked a lot this year and as of October I have already done close to 1750 miles this year and worn out 2 pairs of walking shoes.
“I really do love walking.”
Some of my walking accomplishments in life include:
- The South West coastal path which took me 7 weeks to complete (its 630 miles)
- Hadrian’s Wall (84 miles) which took me a week to complete
- Ayrshire coastal path which took me 8 days to complete (part of this has to be one of the worst coastal walks I’ve done)
- The Pennine Way as a whole and many sections, many times
- The Gritstone trail again as a whole and in sections.
I’ve also walked many of the canals in the north of the UK:
- Full length of the Rochdale canal
- Entire Macclesfield Canal
- Large sections of the Trent and Mersey canal
- Large section of the Leeds Liverpool canal.
Walking by water is something I like to do as I love walking close to the canal, lakes or the sea as well as being in the open countryside. Again this stirs my mind and brings me peace.
There was a time when I walked to get away from my humdrum life but since the demise of my marriage I now walk for my own pleasure. Or for the tranquillity of the journey and the peacefulness of just walking and not thinking about anything. A kind of vertical meditation with a different view with every step forward. Never looking backwards only looking forwards, my walking journeys are a kind of metaphor for life.
“Walking is a kind of metaphor for life.”
One of the other reasons I walk is to get away from my day job which some days is all-encompassing and sitting behind a desk/computer monitor for 14 hours a day is just not healthy. So, going for a walk is sometimes the only exercise that I will get that day. A walk can help clear my mind which in turn benefits my work. It can also be helpful in my mental health as most of the time I struggle to switch my brain off from dealing with clients and staff. Going for a walk works, as sometimes I constantly think about work, trivial things or things in the past that once out for a walk are forgotten.
I also walk because I enjoy it.
Immensely. I don’t care what the weather is like, be it rain or shine. When I’m out walking, I’m outside in the great outdoors and this makes my heart sing. I firmly believe humans shouldn’t be locked in buildings all day long and maybe a long time ago I chose the wrong career which keeps me inside all day, not outdoors. Or maybe its my inner primitive traveller which is still strong within me.
If you’re reading this and thinking why walk? You have a car.
You really are missing the point. Walking isn’t about going somewhere its the experience of walking to a destination and what you see, hear and smell along the way. Besides who wants to sit inside a car in some god forsaken queue on a motorway somewhere? I do this enough for work and believe me when I say walking is sometimes quicker than travelling the M6 around here.
I know some people don’t walk anywhere because they get out of breath as they’re unfit and they might get hot and sweaty, but again this is the experience of walking and given time and more practice this will go away and you begin to enjoy the walking more, sweat less and be out of breath less.
So who’s with me? Who wants to go for a walk?
Coming soon will be my guide to a few easy walks around certain places in the UK for all ages and abilities to try.
So, go out for a walk, take your family, walk along the seafront – walk up the hill – walk along the canal – or just walk around your local park. Go have a walk get some fresh air in your lungs, get a little bit fitter, clear your mind and make your life a little bit better.
Me, I love walking and I’ll be out walking the highways and the byway’s with a clear mind and a clear direction of where I’m going.
I’m putting together a map of all the places I’ve walked in my life and the parts of the UK Coastal path I’ve walked.