"Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it." – Soren Kierkegaard
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I frankly do not know who Soren Kierkegaard is, but I agree with him.
Walking is probably the cheapest and yet an extremely efficient way to exercise.The colony where I stay – Jalvayu Vihar has a fair share of walkers. Some prefer the early morning and others the evening. It does not matter so much, which part of the day you choose, but, walk one must. Just get out of the house and start walking.
I have a few tips. A well fitting pair of shoes is a must, a cap to protect your nut will help, music is optional and at all cost avoid carrying hand bags. I prefer to walk alone. Walking is very therapeutic. It helps to calm your mind, allows you to think and reflect. At the end of the walk you feel relaxed and come out feeling happy.
If one has to walk in company, I strongly recommend you to limit to only one – preferably your dog. If you are not blessed with a dog, then choose someone with whom you can talk freely and without any reservation. Somebody with whom your chemistry matches. At all cost avoid arguments and heavy topics which instantly raises your BP, heart beat, breathing cycle and decibel level.
At all cost, one should avoid the bore. They normally wait behind bushes or in blind corners and are ready to pounce on any unsuspecting walker. If one is able to spot the predator in advance quickly do an about turn, increase pace and disappear. Should you get caught, extrication is not simple. He will narrate boring incidents from his life with utmost sincerity. He will tell you how the Jackson pump failed to give the right pressure during the jackstay and all hell broke loose and he had to tell the engine room to tighten the L joint and quickly release the crank shaft. Try showing no interest and he will change the subject to – "when I was in the dockyard" – Ghatkopar Gokhale the supervisor in the steam shop once came late and I had to tell him, friend its you and me and nobody backed me at that time, believe me I was alone in all this – you try to make some noise and he will swiftly retort – you should hear the incident I had with welder Vasu.
There is no end to these stories, which have absolutely no connection with you whatsoever. The best way to get rid of him is to introduce him to the next unsuspecting walker who comes along and do a hasty retreat. Knowing all the threats that you may encounter on the way, choose a pace and distance which suits you. One of my well wisher thinks I waddle. So be it. It does not matter at all, keep your head high and waddle along and you will certainly reap the benefits of walking.
Take your time and appreciate the nature as you walk along, smile at acquaintances, do not hesitate to stop and share short pleasantries with friends and generally proceed without any care in the world.
Whenever I visit my daughter in Pali Hill, I look forward to my evening walk in Mumbai like a child would a visit to the zoo. I do a 4 km walk either at the Joggers Park or on the Carter road promenade. Both are full of people from every walk of life and description.The rich, poor, fit, fat, old, young, every body is there with a single purpose of walking or playing. I must give full marks to Mumbaikars for creating these parks, promenades and breathing spaces and maintaining them in an excellent state. There are at least a dozen in Bandra alone. They are all clean and tidy in spite of thousands who walk and play. You pay Rs. 2 and get inside to seek endless pleasure in walking and breathing fresh sea breeze. Children have a ball, playing with others of the same age group. The old form their own groups and sit and talk endlessly while staring at the expanse of the Indian Ocean. In the end you are rewarded with the brilliant sight of the sun setting on the Western sea board. What a majestic view, putting you into a trance only to be woken up by a gust of cold sea breeze. All this for Rs. 2. This gives one a feeling of contentment and you leave the place feeling ‘All is well with the world’. It is really a heaven on earth.