Time for walking.

All of the fitness plans and all of the people that create those programs don’t work for me. Spending days and days in a gym, trying to become some kind of amalgam of the ideal man, are worthless to me.

When I was young, I would be out on my bicycle, whenever I could. I rode hundreds of miles, backwards and forwards between friends houses, the shops, school, anywhere my fleshy little pistons would take me. I loved my bikes.

Walking came to me much, much later. Apart from the daily walk to and from school with my grandmother, and the big school with friends, I would cycle, take a bus, train or a taxi. I rarely walked if I didn’t need to.

Then, in my early twenties, I didn’t have a bike or a car or even much money to be able to use public transport. Instead, I relied on lifts from friends, or I walked. The thing is, back then, I never thought of walking as a chore. The more I did it, the more I realised that I enjoyed it. I had it all worked out. If I needed to be somewhere, I would work out how far away it was and have a pretty good idea about how long it was going to take me to get there. If the weather was shit, it didn’t matter. By this time, I had good walking boots, a big coat and an umbrella. It was unconventional amongst my peers. If anything, they went out of their way to avoid having to walk, anywhere.

Eventually, I discovered that walking in the forests and mountains only made the experience better. I loved it. Later still I found that I could run. Following a period of being unwell, when I was living in Brighton, walking, and then running became a way for me to heal. I would run several miles every day, get back to my bedsit and lose myself with a book in a hot bath for an hour. I did that for months.

Then I got better, got a job and the walking gradually dwindled. I still made time to get away to the mountains when I could, often car camping, just to be able to afford to go. But as time went on, life changes meant that I walked less and less. Life got in the way.

After I got married, I picked up running for fitness again. I would run for 45 minutes most days and then add in a long run on a Sunday morning. The longest of those was 11 miles. That remains the furthest that I have ever run. But, injury put pay to my running. And so, that too went by the wayside. I didn’t have a bike, and my calf muscles were damaged from running, and so I started to put on a lot of weight.

There was an improvement once I started walking Karta to and from school. Four miles of walking, five days per week. When I was still working at the cinema, I would either walk or cycle to and from work, even when finishing at three in the morning.

Now Karta is at a secondary school in Ramsgate, 3.5 miles from our home in Kingsgate. Rhona drops Karta at school on her way to work each morning, meaning I collect him in the afternoon. At the moment, I drive across and pick him up. That means I’m not getting the regular, daily exercise that I used to enjoy. So, I’ve made up my mind to start walking over to the school to collect Karta. I’ll start out with doing that a couple of times per week, building it up to a full week. I reckon that it should only take Karta and I an hour to walk home from the school. Good exercise for the both of us.

Time to dust of my hiking boots and start walking, after all, taking the foot truck is cheaper than all of the other options.

Until next time, adieu.