1. Because I can.
That sounds really trite doesn’t it, but, if you can walk, you should; for exercise, for health, for peace of mind and for getting from one place to another. Being the step-father of a girl who has sight issues and went to a school with children with mobility issues, walking is a freedom not enjoyed by all. Watching a child walk down the assembly hall to receive a certificate is just as emotionally fulfilling as reading about someone walking to The South Pole.
2. Because I need to.
Being the owner of a fluctuating number of dogs – Sprout the Gardener’s dog is mine and at present we have Piper, 12 years old and ever so slightly dotty springer who came for a walk with us 18 months ago and hasn’t left and Rufus who kept escaping from his real home to the bins of a local Indian takeaway. That means three dogs in a small house, which means they need exercise. Rather typically, The Dancing Queen (wife) does the mundane, day to day walks for their exercise, but I very nobly step in at weekends and can be found blundering around our local woods. Piper will often go missing and can be found running around the base of a tree, trying to entice a squirrel down. Rufus will be amassing a stick collection and Sprout will be chasing each of the other 2 if they dare to cross his path.
3. Because I have to.
I’m a gardener, I haven’t always been a gardener, I used to work in finance and debt collection, walking up the stairs to my office every day wasn’t doing it for me, so I left and retrained. I can now be found pottering (a gentle kind of walk) around my various gardens, unless it’s raining when I’ll be trudging (a sad kind of walk I have adopted to try and elicit a cup of tea from my customers). But being outside is quite possibly the most rewarding aspect of my job.
4. Because I must.
Sometimes, life can look a little bit dark and I can become a bit insular. The best antidote to that, for me, is a walk with The Dancing Queen, it can be along the prom, it can be through the wood, it might be through the lanes of a town. But the act of walking, the air and the grounding that happens brings a sense of light back.
I haven’t mentioned specific places I walk, although I do have favourites, and I will share them in due course. I just wanted you to know why I walk first.