The One Thing I Do Everyday, Without Fail

One thing about being a freelancer: it’s up to you how much of the outside world you see on a daily basis. For a homebody and introvert like myself, this is great — and I feel so lucky to have scored the set up that I have.

Even so, winter can be rough, especially since I’m more of hot-chocolate-inside than a skiing-outside kind of girl. Once the colder months set in, it’s entirely possible to go days…DAYS, without getting out of my pjs.

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BUT! I have a dog. Not only do I have a dog, but I have a lightning-speed-made-of-muscle-dog, where the only thing that tires her out are active outdoor adventures. So, everyday, I take a walk. I have no choice. Even when it’s frigid or raining, Juniper has to pee.

Of course, it’s widespread knowledge that walking is insanely good for you, so this is no revelation. But what I noticed recently is how beneficial it can be in the dead of winter, when the last place you want to be is outside. And most importantly, I simply don’t have the option of not doing it. It’s like a tiny lesson in how to suck it up — and it’s interesting that being forced to go outside despite my winter-waries has actually made winter more bearable. I’ve grown to love it, the way the cold snaps you awake, the snow crunches under your feet, the trees are beautiful and stark against a pale sky.

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(It doesn’t hurt that Cape Cod is gorgeous even on blustery winter days.)

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I like this idea of different kinds of walking, too, described by Rebecca Solnit in her book “Wanderlust: A History of Walking.” An excerpt…

Most of the time walking is merely practical, the unconsidered locomotive means between two sites. To make walking into an investigation, a ritual, a meditation, is a special subset of walking, physiologically like and philosophically unlike the way the mail carrier brings the mail and the office worker reaches the train. Which is to say that the subject of walking is, in some sense, about how we invest universal acts with particular meanings. Like eating or breathing, it can be invested with wildly different cultural meanings, from the erotic to the spiritual, from the revolutionary to the artistic. Here this history begins to become part of the history of the imagination and the culture, of what kind of pleasure, freedom, and meaning are pursued at different times by different kinds of walks and walkers.

When I walk Juniper, I have the goal and purpose of letting her use the bathroom and stretch her legs, but the point isn’t to get from point A to point B. I have no where to be — it’s just to walk. It’s become a part of my daily routine, and I see now how beneficial it is to just wander. I really treasure it.

Oh, and then this feels well earned:

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Photos by Ashley Corbin-Teich.

4 thoughts on “The One Thing I Do Everyday, Without Fail

  1. I totally agree with this! I never realized how beautiful Woods Hole is in the winter until I got Mola (my pup). I love that having her made me go outside every day all year round. Also, I learned the walking outside in the winter is bearable as long as you have a good long down coat!

  2. I SO feel you on the walking — setting your own schedule is such a wonderful thing, but it does require exactly that…you need to set it, not just let your days roll lazily away. I always start the day with exercise outside, and it makes a hot shower and sitting down to writing with coffee such a pleasure, instead of a chore!

  3. Salut, Joy! Ça fait un petit moment. Someone once said, “Walk your dog twice a day. Even if you do not have a dog.” Great advice that I take very seriously…and with glee! In addition, a VERY old German physician attributed his sparkling attitude and zip to this: “I have the two best doctors in the world. My right leg and my left leg.” Profite de tes belles promenades!

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