I have never liked walking. I have had many an argument over the years with my wife because I couldn’t find a parking space right next to the restaurant or shop that we were going to . . . I mean, what’s the point of driving if you then have to walk a couple of hundred yards!!
I always knew that walking was healthy, an okay way to maintain fitness, but I had the belief that proper fitness was getting to the gym and really pushing myself on the cardiovascular machines.
That soon changed when I started to attend the presentations of Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon. I learnt that walking offers a lot of what I really need. I understand and agree that we need a certain level of fitness and that I don’t need to go to the gym and push myself because my job as a bus driver doesn’t require me to be super fit. I now can feel that my body doesn’t need to be trained hard and that gentle exercise is what is needed.
I know this because I have done the intensive training for many years – whether it was during my time in the Army or when I was doing Martial Arts, or just pushing myself hard at the gym on the bikes or the rowing machine. I remember there were times when I pushed myself to the point of wanting to vomit. I may have been fitter in my ‘pushing’ days but I know I am more aware of my body with this gentler way of exercising. If, for any reason, my sole intent is to train hard, I am not going to listen to my body when it is telling me it has had enough, and then unsurprisingly, I end up with a ‘sudden’ injury.
So I started to walk on a regular basis and because I had a different mindset, I started to enjoy walking.
Within a couple of weeks I noticed my fitness was increasing, my thoughts were a lot clearer and I really enjoyed just being with me. When I went walking with my wife we had the chance to talk about what was going on for us and we were able to clear many issues.
I was walking regularly but it wasn’t consistent and in time the walks got less and less until it became only very occasionally, and then stopped.
About 6 months later my wife and I had what I like to describe as an indulgent food day. We ate quite late and ate excess sugar, which is unusual for us. We found it impossible to get to sleep as we were both feeling nauseous and bloated, so we decided to go for a walk. We walked and walked and walked. Over two and a half hours later we got home and went to bed.
From then on we started to walk consistently every day, which we did for about six months but again, things started to get in the way which made making excuses a lot easier, so little by little the consistency dropped off.
A few months later I read a blog about walking (thanks Josh Campbell) and was inspired to start again. My wife had recently started to walk again so that inspired me even more and for over a year now I have walked consistently every day. Again, within a couple of weeks I started to feel fitter, my head was clearer, my body started to feel lighter and there was the added bonus of my waistline shrinking.
Twice previously I have made a decision to walk every day and twice previously I have stopped – so what makes this time any different?
The answer to that is simply … Commitment.
With this commitment I have found that:
• Walking has helped me to move through my issues by talking; to my wife if I am walking with her, or simply talking to myself
• It has made it easier to manage the shift work I do
• I have a much deeper quality of sleep
• Instead of judging everything, I have a more balanced view
• I have a greater understanding of my choices and why I have made them.
In everything we do in life we have a choice. Walking was an area in my life that had the willingness but no commitment. I am committed in most areas of my life so I chose to bring that same level of commitment to walking. I decided that this time I would choose to stay committed and when the excuses came knocking I would remember that this is not just about maintaining my walking routine, but it is also about how I used to be. In the past, whenever things started to get in the way it was very easy to make excuses and give up – a pattern I had for most of my life.
Maintaining the walking now is easy …
• I don’t do it because I should
• I don’t do it to get fit
• I don’t do it for anyone else.
I do it for me and it brings me joy.
What I have also noticed is, that simple choice to be committed to walking has had an effect on all the other areas of my life that I wasn’t totally committed to, like paying more attention to what, when and how much to eat, by expressing more in how I feel and not holding back and overall just having a more positive view of life and a commitment to live life in full.
Commitment is not about perfection. Even if it’s only 15 minutes a day I know my intention is there and I am benefitting from it.
Only time will tell if I maintain this consistency but this level of commitment feels very strong for me now and because twice now, I have felt the difference in me when I started to walk again and really enjoyed it, I now have a reference point that I can feel in my body that will help me stay on track.
By Tim Bowyer, Bus Driver, London