Friday, January 17, 2014

In Defense of Foggy Walks

   For a day or two I welcome winter days that drop a thick cushion of fog between me and the rest of the world. The silent buffer wraps around me like a downy comforter, triggering an impulse to curl up in a soft chair and read. It awakens childhood memories of pumpkin fields and country roads draped in a gauze of autumn haze. 

   But when the fog endures for days on end, the comfort that accompanies its arrival gives way to claustrophobia. I begin to feel imprisoned inside a should of gray. This winter, our area has been blanketed in more than the usual number of foggy days and my patience grown thin--wispy as the trails of mist that drift past the windows of my study.

   The only cure I know for this condition is a trek to higher ground. When the clouds hang low and heavy in the valley, there's a chance that a climb of 35-40 minutes can get me to the summit of Mt Pisgah and above the murkiness below. The  trail lies just seven miles from my home in a county park. It's a trek that raises both heart rate and spirits for me. Physically, of course, I know that movement and oxygen are just the prescription for a sluggish, fogged-in brain. But it's the analogy that restores me time and time again.

   Perhaps because I have a tendency to over think life,  to stew and let choices billow into confusion, I have developed a special fondness for these foggy hikes that lead me through a metaphor.  As I climb the slope, from the fog to open vistas, I am reminded that all it takes is a goal and the gumption to get up and start moving. No need to fret about options here. No need to deliberate every possible problem while spinning in a mental fog. Just take a step. Make a move. And rejoice when skies clear at the summit.

When winter weather puts a damper on motivation to exercise, get a boost from suggested walk guidelines in the Take a Walk section of this website. Sign up above to get new posts sent to your email inbox. If you signed up in the past but did not receive new posts, try again and return a confirmation email you will receive. 

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