It’s a little while since I last posted – in fact not since mid-April. However, it’s not that I haven’t been walking, it’s just that I haven’t been blogging. I decided to take a break from social media and Facebook in particular as part of a brain detox, and included this blog since it takes a little bit of time after each walk. I restricted myself to a few minutes on Facebook every couple of days in case there was something important, and so I only put a small number of Likes and odd comments against others’ posts. Apologies if I missed your birthday or you thought I was ignoring you.
I also started to live a bit more healthily in other ways with not eating between meals. This has been just such a weakness of mine and though I generally have a decent amount of things that are good for me, they are supplemented by simply too many things that are not. To show the extent of this, in the last three weeks, my weight has shifted from 14 stone 3 pounds to 13 stone 8 pounds – a loss of 9 pounds. One or two people have noticed and commented.
In a period when there have been plenty of pressures from a number of directions, walking certainly has helped. Over that time, I have had walks of 16, 19, 15 and 15 miles and today, a really tough but stonking 27 miles or thereabouts, the longest walk of my year to date. The route was from Sarisbury – Stubbington – Rowner – Elson – Fareham – Wickham – Shedfield – Botley – Hedge End – Bursledon – Sarisbury. I suffered a bit from neck and shoulder ache from about 10 miles onwards, perhaps suggesting that I was fairly tense. Indeed, I don’t think I ever really relaxed today but I’m really pleased to get that distance. A bit of blister damage to a couple of toes but nothing much more than that. Sarisbury Hill is not easy at the best of times but when you’ve already walked a long way, it can be tough. I am normally humming a Peter Gabriel song to myself while ascending said hill. If you don’t know to which one I’m referring, google “Peter Gabriel songs” and I’m sure you can work it out for yourself.
Today aside, I have been able to become calm during walking and the release of endorphins (or ‘M Dolphins’ as I sometimes call them) does help with stress and all that. No doubt there are some who have opening this link thinking it was about Miami Dolphins or American Football. I am sorry to disappoint you and, though I can happily watch the Super Bowl or American Football highlights show on BBC, I know very little about who plays for whom, though I do remember number 13 Dan Marino quite a few years ago! I see M Dolphins as the aquatic version of M People, so I occasionally have one of their best tunas as head music. Unfortunately none of their songs appear suitable for dolphin puns, not even the flip sides.
Obviously for that distance today, it was an early start for me. Even starting a walk at 9am feels just too early, but when one has taken a day’s leave to go walking, it has to be a decent distance to make it worthwhile. Sometimes I do think I am mad to spend that amount of time but it does help, it really does, and I get more than a certain satisfaction that I can still manage it. I imagine that if I reach 100 years of age, I’ll still be up and down the roads with the zimmer frame, blogging whatever distance that is possible. A while to go before then, though.