(Taken from the Maine Warmers September 2013 e-Newsletter)
Whenever I drive over the Androscoggin River in Lisbon Falls, Maine, I cross an old rusted, green, metal bridge that makes me feel uncomfortable and gives me a slight adrenalin rush. It takes about 30 seconds to travel across the bumpy, broken surface, and while I want to slow down so I can look upstream and see the spectacular view of the water tumbling over huge boulders, my foot instinctively presses down harder on the gas pedal. At the end of the bridge is a dark, rock cliff that rises straight up about 60 feet, and the road takes a hard left turn.
Our lives are filled with change. Like bridges, rough surfaces, and sometimes looming walls, they involve risk and may cause us to take a different direction. The personal transitions in our lives are sometimes as simple as changing the color of our hair or can be life-altering, like having a child go off to college. Others are collective, affecting us all, like passing from one season to the next, or they can be dramatic, like the changes brought about by world conflicts.
Going from the expectations of the past to the realities of the future isn’t always a smooth ride, and I find that walking helps me cope. Choosing healthy ways to deal with the change can be daunting. Sometimes the comfort of a cup of tea and a brownie is more appealing than physical exercise.
Walking is supposed to be one of the simplest and healthiest activities and can help improve ones’s mood, according to this article from the Mayo Clinic. The article lists weight management, bone strengthening, better coordination, and balance as value-added benefits from regular walking. It also has tips on technique and routine.
Walking helps me burn some calories from that brownie and makes me feel more comfortable. But no matter how healthy walking is, I will never walk over the Androscoggin River on that green bridge!