Walking Gets Your Thoughts in Motion
‘IF YOU ARE in a bad mood, go for a walk. If you are still in a bad mood, go for another walk’.
I would like to lay claim to these words, but they’re older than me. They were spoken by Hippocrates (circa 400BC), the ‘father of medicine’ who ambled here and there and who proclaimed that ‘walking is man’s (sic) best medicine’. It seems nowadays, that everywhere you look there are stories about the benefits of walking. Last month I read a study that analysed health data for more than 30 million people which showed that an 11-minute, or longer daily walk, could lower the risk of premature death by 25%. And that it (walking) was the single greatest reliever of stress and anxiety. It’s worth a go, right?
Just recently, The New York Times added another contribution to the literary canon of walking-is-good-for-you. In a guest essay, Andrew McCarthy, the author of Walking with Sam: A Father, a Son and Five Hundred Miles Across Spain writes about the power of walking to help solve problems. He used many quotes:
“There’s something about walking that animates and activates my ideas.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau
“Thoughts come clearly whilst one walks.” Thomas Mann
“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” Friedrich Nietzsche
McCarthy says his own ruminations on walking could never approach those of Nietzsche’s, but he does write: “Has anyone ever emerged from ambling through nature for an hour and regretted their improved state of being?”
In my experience, the answer is a resounding ‘no’. Recently I commenced a personal challenge to walk 1200km in 12 months. Not by completing a single long walk or training for a particular adventure. No – just to amble Pelican Waters and its local environs. I discussed this challenge with one of my Physical Education classes and the consensus was (i) I was mad and (ii) it was impossible. But break down the word ‘impossible’ and you get ‘I’m possible’.
Anyone want to join the Challenge. Contact me and as a group, we can encourage each other and maybe meet every now and then to walk together. What have you to lose? Anxiety? The left-over of a bad day? A chance to chat to your mum, dad, son, daughter? A chance to be out-of-doors? Maybe this is also the opportunity to consider joining in the CCPS Family Adventure being held at Girraween and Bald Rock National Parks Monday September 18th – Thursday September 21st. Families can camp/caravan at our private property base camp or stay in motel accommodation in Stanthorpe which approximately 20 minutes away. For further information contact Peter McMahon firstname.lastname@example.org