Before I start I must welcome all my new readers!! Thank you for coming along this journey with me! I hope you enjoy this new post about my rainy walk on city streets.
The night of Halloween proved to be all kinds of wonderful for my 3 hour walk in the neighborhood. I had decided that since the Kilimanjaro trek includes at least 3 days of 6 hour walking plus what has been described as an arduous climb to the summit I needed to ramp up on my long distance walking. I thought I’d start slow, see how my endurance keeps up with a 3 hour walk and increase from there. I had already tackled the mat in the morning so needless to say my legs were not looking forward to more ‘exercise’.
When I stepped out I was greeted by a gray sky but quite lovely temperatures and felt an immediate uplift in my spirit; the journey did not feel so daunting after all. I decided to walk in another direction than my usual path along the lake as I needed to make up distance and it would have gotten too dark down by the lake. In the end this turned out to be more of a city walk than anything. It was pretty uneventful as far as the walk goes..not much to report except for the rain that came down in all it’s glory about halfway through the 3 hour mark. Thankfully because the temperature was mild the rain actually enhanced my walk and brought back wonderful nostalgic feelings from my childhood.
I used to play a lot in the rain in Dominica growing up, it was always the best feeling to have the rain pouring down and enjoy the downpour while splashing around with friends. In the same way this fall storm proved perfect, just enough vigor to soak my jacket but not enough to soak the remaining 3 layers underneath. It wasn’t torrential so it was not difficult to keep walking at a good pace and best of all the rain was not cold. Except for the occasional cars splashing me as they raced by it proved to be the perfect temperature/ weather and night for my first long walk. I love when I am gifted with surprises in the terrain; as I mentioned this was pretty much a city walk, some along suburban small streets but for the most part I ended up on major roadways (YaY for Toronto, a city with sidewalks!). Even with the fact that these were city streets I was happy to discover many an incline or a subtle hill that added small challenges to my adventure and made my heart beat a little faster and my feet to pump a little harder.
Consequently I learned a lot about my own endurance on that walk. I figured out that the way to potentially survive the hike up kilimanjaro is to put my head down and keep putting one foot in front of the other. An obvious observation I know, but with the context of Kilimanjaro things that were obvious before now take on greater meaning. For example In the moments that my knees and that space where my legs meet my hips were burning so badly especially on those little inclines ,I learned that slowing down, not stopping, proved the best elixir to the pain and more importantly I observed that eventually the pain/ discomfort did pass.
I learned that I truly love being outdoors exercising and moving, I don’t do well in gyms but I will walk every day because it feels amazing to breathe fresh clean air especially during and after a downpour. I learned that I am pretty ok with walking long distances, my legs felt good for the most part but there were definite moments where I could feel the energy lagging, or the feet became like dead weights to lift, (it didn’t help that I forgot to take water). In those moments mental strength kicked in and I would repeat the Kilimanjaro climbing chant ‘Polay Polay’ which is Swahili for “Slowly Slowly” and is used to remind climbers to pace the climb and take it slowly. Another Kili-ism that I read in a post from a climber is what a guide apparently said to her when she mentioned she was tired- ‘Tired is Not an Illness so we’re not turning around‘. I found this one to be particularly motivating and coupled with some positive self-talk really worked! There were many zenned out moments where I was completely unaware of what was around me and kept having to remind myself to be vigilant of side streets and street lights where cars would come rushing by.
For me walking is fantastic for clearing the mind; unconsciously the mind quietens and empties out, almost like a meditation where you can feel the mind space become like a sieve where thoughts simply flow through and out.
Towards the end of what by this time had to be about 3 hours of walking non-stop I actually felt energized. My feet were itching for something more and so I decided to add a short power jog. I am not yet a great jogger but I was really surprised that I wanted to actually run after walking for that long. I got home, sat down and while my body was tired, I felt truly lifted. I was not as exhausted as I thought I would have been, the body knew it had done a lot of something but it was not overly dramatic about it. My mind on the other hand was like OMG I am sooo TIRED! LOLOL….
Are you a walker? What are some of the benefits received and observations you make on your walks? Do share in the comments below, I am always thrilled to hear from you.
P.S. You may have noticed if you’ve browsed around the blog that I am offering My Skills up in order to raise the funds to secure my climb! So if you have your own mountains of work on a project that you could use an extra hand with don’t hesitate to reach out to me! I am happy to be of service!!!
Click the Use My Skills Image below. Check out my skills. See if you could use some of them then send me a note!
I am yours always A Traveling Black Chick!
- How a week of misery can be entirely worth it: Kilimanjaro pt.2 (thethirdplanetfromthesun.wordpress.com)
- The Roof of Africa (Photos!): The Kilimanjaro Trek (tocapetownordeath.wordpress.com)
- Kili Training learning goals (jayleecas.wordpress.com)
- Starting at the Top: Mount Kilimanjaro (thethirdplanetfromthesun.wordpress.com)
- We Climbed Mount Kilimanjaro! (tocapetownordeath.wordpress.com)