Getting a life?

Boxing Day, for some at least, is traditionally a day either for going to football or walking off some of the excesses of the previous day. Well, Pompey were away and I am not one for those great excesses on Christmas Day, but I still felt a bit lethargic after more food, chocolates and biscuits than normal. The weather was pretty decent and I hadn’t had a walk of much distance for three weeks (if you count 13 miles a fortnight ago as ‘not much distance’).

Many ask me about my walking and it has become an obsession now, actually for some while now. It is hard for me to go too long without the boots coming out, but it does just take up a lot of time. Sometimes I muse that I could be doing other things, since 19.5 miles, as yesterday’s walk was, dominates the day. However, it is always nice to walk through Lee on Solent and that is becoming one of the default routes. But some who raise the subject of my walking are saying that I should “get a life”.

I imagine that anyone who walks, runs or cycles long distances hears that from friends. It is difficult to explain why we do it, since it doesn’t always make us feel great at the time, but you do feel a sense of achievement and it provides a boost to mental well-being. I have got into countless chats on this and some people just don’t get it. They often mention drinking, partying and “having fun” as alternatives. I have no real problem with that, and each to his or her own, but this is what works for me, in fact I hate to think what state I would be in if I hadn’t taken up walking. It isn’t my only source of enjoyment and life needs to be mixed up a bit. But the time it takes to walk that sort of distance, though sufficient to clear my head, does provide a barrier to those other sources at times.

Only a few days left until 2017 and I fully expect to see the usual hordes of runners and walkers out in the New Year, gradually dwindling in number to the normal volume by about the end of January. It is not an easy time to start the sort of regime of outdoor exercise and I wonder if such resolutions are more successful in countries commencing years in warmer seasons. That said, February to May is some of the best walking weather in Britain and nearly always when I am at my fittest.

I rarely make New Year resolutions. I know I won’t keep them, whatever they are. It’s not that there is nothing that I shouldn’t ever change but I would like to be less pedantic. I have read that sentence back again and again and I still can’t work out whether I have that right. Ok, another walk later in the week or at the weekend; legs are a bit stiff this morning so best not to push it, and it looks like a few days of colder weather coming…….


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