Allow me to share with you a little something I did yesterday. It was perhaps not the wisest decision and definitely not well thought out, but it was quite an accomplishment by the time I finished. According to my Fitbit, I walked 37,848 steps. No, that’s not a type-o. FitBit calculates I walked 16.63 miles and 84 floors yesterday. Pretty impressive for just a regular Joe and extra impressive for me since a year ago I had just got my cast off and was still crutching around. You may wonder why I decided to walk almost 17 miles. I didn’t. I had no idea I would complete this feat when I got up yesterday morning.
I got up and biked over to my friend’s house and proceeded to do our usual 2.5-3 mile walk. I biked back home, did some work and got ready for an appointment that was about 8 miles away. I decided I would walk to the MARTA station and take the bus there. I didn’t want to ride my bike and be all sweaty when I got there. The walk to the MARTA station is about 2 miles. I took the Beltline, a green-space walking/riding path that has interesting works of art on it. It was on the way and it made the walk more remarkable than just the regular city streets.
It is a little bit rocky at the start so I had to navigate the rocks carefully. I should mention I was wearing my usual shoes, my Mary Jane Keen’s. They are very comfortable, like walking barefoot, so this made going over the rocks a little more difficult than if I was wearing a highly padded shoe. My surgeon told me that walking barefoot was the best thing I could do for my foot so I’ve been compliant with that by wearing minimalist shoes. I wore these when in Spain and walked several miles a day in them comfortably. I believe wearing a minimalist shoe has helped strengthen both feet.
I’m currently without a car so it’s been interesting figuring out the MARTA transit system. I suppose I have fairly high standards for public transportation coming from Boston. It’s incredibly easy to get around on the T and it’s very efficient. Atlanta’s public transit system doesn’t run very frequently. The buses are scheduled about 45 minutes apart, which I think is too long. (No, I still have not truly learned patience.) Fortunately, I had good timing and only had to wait about 10 minutes before the bus arrived. I will say, the new buses are quite nice and fancy.
I had mapped out my route on Google to know what street to exit. I knew that I would have to walk a little over a mile to get to my destination. I wasn’t sure of the actual bus stop but used my phone and Google maps to navigate when I was getting near the street. I managed to disembark at the right stop and started a hilly walk to my destination. It was very pretty walk, hot, with a nice breeze and some shade. I crossed over a bridge, looked down and saw a lovely trail next to the stream. I really wanted to go down and explore but I had just enough time to get to my appointment.
On the way back, I wanted to check out the route that Google gave me if I rode my bike. It went through some green space and I thought it would be pretty. After a little bit of a false start, I found the trail. I was surprised to be surrounded by forest in the middle of Atlanta. It was a little bit rocky at the beginning but my feet were feeling strong. A short way into the walk and I came to a suspension bridge. I realized I had been here before. I had taken my two nieces and a friend of theirs here on an urban hike a few years ago. I was in Lullwater Park, which is a great place to explore, walk, run or just relax and take in nature. It has both paved and unpaved trails, a lake with a small waterfall and is a lovely gem of Atlanta. One of the things I like most here is the green spaces and opportunities to take urban hikes. I few weeks ago I went on a hike at the unique Doll’s Head Trail with a couple of friends. It was my first in-the-woods-hiking experience since my accident and I absolutely loved it. It reminded me of how healing nature is and how perfect I can feel when I’m in it.
I walked through the park and back into the city. At this point my feet were a little tired. The strange thing is, my left foot, the ‘good’ one, felt more tired than my right. I decided to keep walking anyway. That is pretty much what I did the entire way home. I knew I was tired and it was still a long way home but I kept walking anyway. I enjoyed the outdoors. I enjoyed the meditative quality of walking. I enjoyed the sun on my face and the wind blowing through my hair. I enjoyed the fact that my foot and body are well enough at this point to carry me though the world unfettered.
When I got home I was pretty tuckered out and cleaned myself up and then looked at what the FitBit had recorded. I knew I had gone a long way but was quite surprised at the results. I was rather proud of myself. I didn’t have any pain in my right foot other than it being sore from walking so much—and no more sore than my left foot. I did ice it and stretched a bit. I was a little concerned that I had over done it but I felt fine and figured I may be sore today. I’m not.
I didn’t set out to walk almost 17 miles yesterday. Even when I was walking, I didn’t think I would walk the entire way home. I didn’t really think that I could do it. But I did. This reminds me that I am capable of great things. I must not limit myself with my thinking. I just have to keep moving forward and I will arrive at whatever destination I desire.