Tonight as my friend Anne Sophie, who has been mentioned in honorable terms on this blog before, said to me: “Just remember that it is OK to go for a walk and not run sometimes too.” I told her that I think that is very hard to remember and that running is good for the health.
Anne Sophie had said this word of wisdom to me while scarping ice off the windshield of her car, almost falling on our icy driveway. Risking her life, in a way.
I walked inside after I was relatively sure Anne So was going to make it off our driveway without any broken bones. And then I reflected on what she had just said.
It’s OK to walk and not run. It’s OK to be slow and not fast. It’s OK to stop on the walk and enjoy the view in slow motion, not in fourth gear.
It’s true that walking seems a lot less efficient than running for me. And I realized that that is how I go through life many times too. I measure success by speed and efficiency.
A run burns more calories and probably makes my butt muscles tighter than if I just walked. My pulse is a lot higher after a run than after a walk, and that I increase my endurance and RPMs. So if those are the only measures of success, then, yes, running is better. But how about if success was measured by how many rocks I counted on the ground, how many colors the sun produced, how many leaves I saw under the tree trunks? How about if success was measured by how slow I was able to walk and how many deep breaths I took? How about if success was measured by how well I could smell nature’s scents? Or how about if success was measured by how many lines of poetry I came up with? Then walking may be better than running.
How about living life as a walk rather than a run? We may not be able to list as many accomplishments and our ego muscles may not be as tight. We may perhaps not be mentioned in circles where important people are mentioned. But then we need to ask ourselves: Who said that those results are any better than for example a peaceful heart, a content family, grateful friends and a dog that is happy you have the time to go for a walk ever so often?
I wonder who makes the rules. Who tells us stuff, and why do we always listen to them?