I was very excited to find an old prize-from-a-cereal-box pedometer recently with which to track my steps; I’d heard that adults should make it to at least 10,000 per day and was eager to see how close I’d get. It was disappointing (although not completely surprising) to discover that I don’t reach anywhere near 10,000 steps – even on my more active days, and even with a super-sensitive pedometer (I can win 30 steps just with the jiggling it takes to attach it to my waistband), I fall short. So I’ve started going for walks to bump up the numbers.
Spring is the perfect time for walking. Everything about being outside feels right; there’s none of the “WHY AM I DOING THIS?!” that comes with walking in cold weather. The sun is luxurious-warm rather than sweaty-hot, and nature’s trying out the new season’s fashion on branches that have stood naked for months. I, on the other hand, have forgotten what I’m allowed to wear in public after covering all for so long; should shoulders be seen? Shins? I feel exposed leaving the house with forearms bare and winter-white but I’m determined to make the most of the sun’s kisses on my skin, knowing that too soon I’ll be rugging up while the trees strip down all over again.
I nod in agreement to talks by Tim Keller and sing out loud to Seeker Lover Keeper. I frighten gangs of galahs who run rather than fly away from me. (They always look so put out, as if the disruption is my fault for walking at that time and in that place rather than theirs for meeting in the middle of the footpath.) I write songs about the joy that accompanies poking my arms out like wings and letting the breeze blow on my armpits. And I compose springtime poems, like this one:
Spring has sprung
AND I FOR ONE AM FLIPPING EXCITED ABOUT IT.