If you are a control freak I have some great tips how to feed your freak using daily walks. This morning my “freak” came out as you can see in my nutty picture. I usually try hard not to be controlling but this time I think it can be beneficial. Realizing that I was manipulating my environment and choices this morning, I thought about how many ways we can control our daily walks.
Control freaks beware, this might be fuel for the fire.
- You have the control to walk or not to walk.
- You have the control of the speed of your walking.
- You have control of what time of day to walk.
- You have control of what weather conditions you walk in.
- You have control of how you walk; swing arms high, a swagger, etc.
- You have the control of who you walk with, or don’t walk with.
- You have the control over who you wave at or speak to.
- You have control over where you walk.
- You have control of what pictures you take along the way.
- You have control over how much or how little sunshine you get by how much you cover or don’t cover your body to get maximum sun exposure (Vitamin D).
- You have control over your breathing, hopefully breathing through your nose.
- You have control over how long you walk.
- You have control over what you look at on your walk.
- You have control over what you listen to; nature or earphones.
- You have control over your thoughts as you walk, this is my favorite.
This might be the only time that being a control freak is highly recommended. Go wild and explore the possibilities.
Through 5 years of the worse Lyme health crash I have had in my lifetime, I used daily walks to boost everything imaginable about me. Besides the obvious health benefits, I used it as something I had some control over. There was not much during those 5 years that I had any control over so this was a needed treat. Many mornings the control narrowed down to a choice of getting out of bed and enduring the pain in walking to the sofa or stay in bed. Even on those mornings, I had a choice and I used my control freak to MY benefit by forcing my poor body to take that walk to the sofa. Even if that was all I could claim I accomplished for the day, I could say I accomplished it and I had that amount of control. Success!!
There were days and weeks that the travel distance was only from the bed to the sofa and back to bed. Then there were days and weeks that I could make it outside, to the garden, around the house and even around the block. Having the control to choose to do the best I could every day raised my spirits.
There were times through that 5 years that I had the ability to walk up to a mile at a time. Those days would come and go and I would take full advantage of them. Knowing it made no sense to anyone else how one day I could walk a mile and the next day had trouble getting out of bed, I tuned it out and did what I could each day. Control Freak Party Time – I had a party for myself anytime I felt like it, simply because I knew I was climbing mountains by moving my two feet and contributing towards my overall health and well-being. Having motivation is worthy of a party any time I felt like it.
Think about what this kind of control can do for your self-esteem. You know when you have climbed a mountain by walking around one city block. This is big stuff. Tune out the naysayers and have those success parties for yourself. Put the sun on your back and see how tall you really stand, you will be shocked at yourself and your abilities.
Walking, no matter how slow, how far, where or when has adventure in it. Every walk presents you with something unexpected to liven up your day. The city I live in has an unusual amount of stray animals. I have been bitten by two dogs and attacked by a third with its snarling teeth literally at my throat. I have also had friendlies keep me company and follow me home. I have ducked from skunks. I have had nice people stop and say encouraging words and I have had the grumps that I have smiled at and moved on. I have been sprinkled on and I have had a few Texan torrential downpours before I could get home. I have gotten chiggers on my ankles and I have picked wildflowers to bring home. If it were not for my walks I could not have seen the short-lived Texas bluebonnets when they bloom during those 5 years. I have met out-of-town tourists wanting directions and a friendly chat. My all time biggest adventure was one of our police officers chasing a bull right at me in the middle of town and having to run for safety. I see the oddest things on my walks and I hear the sweet sounds of nature and children playing. All of the adventures brought color to my dim existence during that time.
Waking up to the sunrise and getting outside for a short walk is actually fun. Hint – you can always take a nap later in the day when you get tired from the early rise. I have found the path leading away from my house that takes me straight into the sunrise. This rural road is temporarily covered in gold when I catch it early enough. Knowing that the sunrise experience helps to set my circadian rhythm (which helps me sleep better at night-time) is just icing on the cake.
What are you doing to motivate you to walk or move? I would love new ideas.
Maribeth Baxter, MBEC
Donations accepted to serve others on their chronic illness journey. Maribeth Baxter, MBEC provides voluntary certified health coaching services to the financially limited during their time of crisis.