Against the wind

Self reflection and self improvement naturally follow after becoming sober. The thing I need to realise is to stop trying to do it all at once. To stop trying so hard. The process is a lifetime commitment. The mission does not finish on Tuesday next week. There is no endgame. It is not a race for perfection. It is not a race at all. If I try running for the rest of my life I will end up with stitch in my side and collapsed in a heap unable to breathe. I need to walk. I need to rest. I need to reflect. And then repeat in no particular order. It won’t be a straight path so there is no point in rushing ahead quickly. It might be the wrong path. If I were to compare anyone else with me it would only be with my former self and my current self and wonder about my future self. No one else needs to enter into the sphere and that is why it’s called self improvement.

I set myself a task for this month of June: To walk every day. I wasn’t very specific with the terms. I didn’t say how far I needed to walk. I didn’t say that it had to be outside but I implied that. The walk was to be outside, to get myself into fresh air and have a moment in nature. Again the nature part was implied. If I were to write the task now it would read as follows: To walk my Buddy every day outside to a park or a Pokestop. Who is Buddy and what is a Pokestop? Well my motivation to walk is the app PokemonGo and become Level 40. To do that I need to collect Pokemon, battle and evolve Pokemon. The entire game is designed around encouraging introverts to get outside and walk. It’s working. I don’t think the designer had fifty year olds in mind when he made the game. It was for youngsters. I’m still young at heart.

I missed a day walking because I was exhausted. The last day of May I walked a ridiculously long way and completely knackered myself. I didn’t give myself a rest. My body decided for me. I felt guilty for taking a day off after only a few days into the challenge. I felt like I had let myself down. For most of the day I kept wondering if I could go and do it and then deciding no. I wasted a lot of mind time on a decision that I didn’t take lightly. I gave myself a hard time because I had given myself a task and I had already broken my streak so soon. I was disappointed in myself.

Disappointment came because I was striving for the wrong thing. Disappointment came because I focused on the perfection of the perfectly crossed off days in a row. What I should have been focused on was the simple act of getting outside and walking. I missed a day. So what. Big deal. It happens. Get back out there and do it the next day. Keep trying. I am learning not to beat myself up with a gap in my habit tracker. It happened. I keep going.

My method up till now in life has been full speed ahead, a snail’s pace or stop. I haven’t managed to figure out that continuous regular pace or effort. Consistency. That’s the word I’m looking for, yes, consistency. To achieve this I must face boredom.

Before long with my walking challenge the walking route that I have chosen will become easy and I will become restless to change it up. If I continue with the route that becomes too easy I will become bored with it and that might cause me to stop walking completely. In order for the walking challenge to work I need to keep changing the route or location to relieve my boredom. For now I happy to continue the same route because i am getting my body used to this new shock of a routine, movement out in the fresh air. It is still a novelty for me. The boredom of the route hasn’t set in yet but I am almost there. After a few more days and I know I need to change it up. I know myself.

I used to make every excuse under the sun not to exercise. It’s too windy. It’s too cold. It’s too hot. It’s too early. I can’t be bothered. I had associated the wind with excuses so much that I began to dislike the wind. Today I can say that I enjoy the wind on my face. I am embracing the wind. The wind doesn’t hold any excuse now for me not to go outside. I put on a hat, cover my ears and close the door behind me. I have a new relationship with the wind, a good one.

Back to boredom. Not every day that I walk will be wonderful. Some days I imagine it will be very ordinary, boring most likely. The role of the walk is as regular exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The long game is my good health. The walk is one part of it. I will find some parts of walking boring. I know I will. I need to be ready for that. I need to make walking more desirable or the reward more desirable. I don’t have all the answers yet but I am working on that. Exploring new places will make walking more desirable. What do I do when the weather turns nasty? What makes for a good reward when the end of June rolls around? No idea yet. I will ponder this on my next walk.

Sober as a double knotted shoelace.


24 thoughts on “Against the wind

  1. As you know, I love walking.
    I like walking in parks I love, during different seasons, and noticing the changes.

    I also love walking in city and country.
    Finally, our brains need novelty, so I also love finding new placed to walk.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. We sound a lot alike. You read how my 30 day 5 actions went…South! And yes that guilty guilt is a little fucker🤪. I also started off sprinting after getting sober, trying to make better everything I fricked up. Sorry..bit of a potty mouth, but that just means I’m connecting with you😀. I’m also realizing to slow down, find my balance, and “sail” a bit. Some days there will be plenty of wind, other days not so much. Just waking up knowing I’m out of the fog is wonderful. Keep it at your pace, LT❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • We do. I saw your 30 day and the five actions.
      I saw how mine would have gone…south too.
      That just means we still believe in hope.
      I enjoy swearing but I like to maintain a film of respectability to cloak myself as an adult here. I never grew up. I do heavily censor myself here!
      You should see my habit trackers for the earlier months. The first weeks are great, and then it peters out to nothing.
      That’s why I like Mondays. 🙂
      I am not walking today. I don’t feel guilty. I couldn’t sleep till 5am. Damn sleep. Still in bed and it’s after two. I don’t care. (Maybe a little about still being in bed but about the walk nada.)
      Time to get up and make a cup of tea.
      Put your feet up today, Dwight, you’ve earned it. 🙂


  3. Omg you are so right about the complete waste of time and energy trying to battle with yourself all day to just bloody go and do it! The excuses and the guilt, it’s exhausting. It sounds like guy have a great approach to this now though. Happy walking. 😄💕❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I find the hardest part is getting out the door. Once you are out you are a whole new person and once you are back you feel so amazing you wonder how you could have ever not wished to go outside. Trick for me is rememebering this the next time! I think a congrats is in order for you already setting a goal and kicking it! Well done!!! That is harder than we think sometimes xxx

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you. Yes,the hardest part is getting out of bed for me.
      I found that getting my clothes sorted for the next day and ready for the walk it was easier to get dressed.
      And trying to remember to do this each day. Last night I didn’t get round to it. I’m working on it. 😊


  5. Wonderful post! It’s amazing how many of my sober friends write as if it came out of my head. Learning to be gentle with myself is something I’m still learning. I am getting better at it lately…. as well in so many other ways as well. It’s nice to be able to see the improvements because so often I don’t see anything but all my crap! We’re at the same place with going out to exercise- it’s hysterical when you think of it. We are excuse making machines. Wind annoys the pants off me, too, but I’m working that ol’ discipline muscle and I feel stronger in every way for it. Keep up the good work, sister!💜

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. I found wearing a brightly coloured woolly hat that covers my ears helps a lot!😁 We’re in winter here so as long as I dress the part it seems to work. The bright colour seems to amuse me so I go with it.

      I used to be ridiculously active before. I would do multiple sports. I ran, skipped everywhere I could barely contain my movements I had so much energy. I want to get back a small piece of that.

      Good to know that we’re all working on similar paths. Let’s keep lifting each other up😊


    • Consistency requires the same behaviour repeatedly carried out. We know what it is yet it’s so elusive. Human nature gets in the way.
      Good luck and let us know how it goes.


  6. Until the plague stopped play several friends would walk several miles – a planned and circular route – around parts of Northumberland. The one I call Captain Raymond carried the map, had the compass skills, the detailed landscape knowledge. Captain Raymond had tramped these circles for decades. On occasion I would be struck by an overwhelming sense of déja vu. It took some walks, some weeks, but eventually I realised that we sometimes took the same walk, but anti-clockwise, widdershins. What I thought was familiar had a newness. Captain Raymond said on several occasions (of these walks) that even the same route would always offer up something new – even if it were just a different season, a different weather, a different smell…

    This struck me as very wise.
    Stay Free xo

    Liked by 3 people

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