Today I went for a walk. That was my workout. My friend Chelsea years ago, taught me about the pleasure of walking. We were both living in Miami, mid-20s, living the dream. My then 20-something year old self was very dogmatic about “the gym.” Anything less than a gym work-out wasn’t a work out. Gotta do cardio, gotta hit the weights! We were surrounded everywhere by toned and tanned bodies so we too maintained a toned and tan body by regularly going to the gym and absorbing all the UV rays South Florida had to offer. Whether I realized it or not, I was trying to keep up with everyone else, even if it wasn't always good for me.
Here we are circa 2010. I want to scream at those girls now, "Reapply your sunscreen!"
I remember very vividly going on a walk with her along Fort Lauderdale beach one morning before the heat became too intense to do anything but be indoors or next to water, cocktail in hand. She wasn’t feeling super well but wanted to get outside. We probably walked 3 miles and had a great conversation. It was such a great way to spend time with a friend: being active without killing ourselves. Honestly, my legs, not use to walking such distances were really tired and quite sore the next day. My leg muscles were accustomed to running. This walking business was new to me.
Anyway, 5+ years later, now living in DC, I still walk and I do it without judgement. I usually think of her on my walks and smile. I’m sure the faces walking by me are thinking, “why is this girl smiling?!” If they only knew Chelsea and all her crazy stories, they’ be smiling too.
5 years later, I'm still walking. Here I am with my best friend. We were both sore from our lunges the day before so I wanted to walk, she wanted coffee- so we compromised.
Where in the world did I get this “workout” mindset? My social circle? Media? I have no clue. Now, being much older and wiser (in my 30s! lol) I realize the value of just MOVING. That’s all it takes. Working out doesn’t have to be work and honestly, going to the gym, many days IS work. I am not bad mouthing gyms I totally support working out. However, if “working out” immediately brings a dreaded attitude- then you’ve got the wrong mindset and definitely the wrong workout routine. Stop working out and start being active. Do some pushups in your living room, do some squats while you’re waiting for your food in the microwave to heat. Take a dance class. Invite your best friend to go for a walk -sans phones. All these little things add up. We don’t live in a society that fosters active bodies. We have to make it a lifestyle to move every chance we get.
I can’t thank Chelsea enough for teaching me the value of a walk. The time spent with the sun on my face, clearing my head and just enjoying the outdoors is so good for my soul. This balanced approach to “working out” has led to so many other “just be active” decisions I have made. This is something I have come to know about living a healthy and balanced lifestyle- just be active and stop being a judgey-pants. Toss aside the "shoulds" about how you move and just MOVE.