Every Friday I pick my son up from school. I usually try to get there early to allow myself 20 minutes or so just to read. I enjoy my Friday afternoon book escape.
Today the weather was absolutely beautiful. About 80 degrees with a wonderful breeze and big white puffy clouds that occasionally covered the sun to keep it from feeling too warm.
I didn't want to read. I wanted to walk. But I was too embarrassed to step out of my car and walk in front of all of the other people waiting (more arriving every minute) who would just be sitting there staring at me.
All the negative crap started playing in my head, "I'm sure I look a hot mess after cleaning all day. I can walk the trail when I get home. I've got my brightly colored tennis shoes on and they look ridiculous with this outfit. What if it embarrasses my son? I'm such a sight, someone will probably video my fat ass and post it on Youtube. What if I have to pee all of a sudden and have to do my "potty walk" so I don't piss my pants? (Yes, really)". All kinds of stupid crap floating thru my head was keeping me in the car. But I really wanted to walk!
So I started focusing on the good stuff, " Yay, I've got my tennis shoes on today! It's a perfect day to walk, and here is a nice flat paved surface. Be brave. My hips are tight today and sitting here isn't helping. I need to move. I want to move. I may inspire someone else to walk too. How silly that at my age, I would worry about what strangers think of me walking. Be brave. I need to start doing the things that matter to me and this is one of those things. BE BRAVE!"
I would put my hand on the door, then hesitate. I literally struggled with this for several minutes. Then I looked at the others waiting and realized every single one of us could use the exercise. I was wasting time with this stupid inner struggle that really didn't matter at all. I'm a woman of a certain age, and by gosh if I want to walk, I'm going to walk!
I stepped out of my car and started forward. Of course everyone was looking to see what I was doing. They even looked up from their books and newspapers. I had three cars in front of me and asked two if they would like to join me. (The third was on the phone) Both of my invitations were declined, but I just smiled and kept on going.
There's a circle drive of sorts, so I just walked in circles for.....well I'm not sure because I wasted so much time deliberating, but it was at least 15 minutes. A little under 2000 steps. I absolutely enjoyed my time! And you know what? After the initial interest subsided, most went back to their reading. There were a couple that stared. I bet they wish they would have joined me.
We've got one life. Do what brings you joy. Be brave.
Oh! And no need for the "potty walk".