Just Follow Your Feet

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I run….so I can slow down.

I keep going…so I can stop.

Alright, alright…technically I don’t actually run. I walk fast. Kinda. It started out on the treadmill…my thinking spot. I don’t think my mind works normal. Wait. That came out wrong. My mind works different from other people’s’ minds. Normal people’s’ minds. I cannot shut it off. Ever. Its kinda like back in the day when people had radios that used a knob rather than a button to tune it. Remember turning it really fast and picking up every station the red line passed and it kinda sounded like an alien talking? Or like a run on sentence that just goes on and on and on and that’s the closest I can come to describe what goes on up there in my brain that has no mute button.** When I get moving on the treadmill it actually helps me focus on my thoughts and run the other stuff off.

**Total run on sentence.

I have trouble slowing down. If I take time to…what do they call it? Ahhhh, what’s the word I’m searching for? Hmmm…it’s right on the tip of my tongue but I just can’t think of it…dang it I hate it when this happens. Alright, let’s go back to what I was saying and maybe it will come to me…..I have trouble slowing down. If I take time to RELAX {that’s it!} I feel like a lazy bum. People say to me all of the time…Take it easy. Relax. Take a break. Don’t over do it. Let go. And my favorite…just chill. {blah, blah, blah.}  I like to be productive. All the time. I don’t do slow. Hey, wouldn’t it be fantastic if they actually did make a chill-pill? It would be like the opposite of caffeine. Slow down your thinking, help you relax your mind, give you happy calming thoughts….waaaait a sec, this sounds like something that’s already out there….and illegal. Damn it.

Go. Go. Go. Do. Do. Do.  I like lists. Mainly because I can see how productive I have been or have to be. It’s very satisfying to check something off even if it’s as simple as;THINGS TO DO #1. Get up. I actually know someone who has done this just so they can check something off immediately. I like her. Sometimes, I even add things to my lists after I have done it. Am I the only one guilty of this? One time my dad asked me “J-How do you keep it all straight? You’ve got a million things going on around you, you’re talking so fast even I cannot keep up!  How do you focus so you can get things done??” {I am a self-described ping-pong ball.} I looked him dead in the eye and said, “LISTS.”  Then he smiled and slowly pulled one out of his shirt pocket.  Aaaaah HAAAA! He’s one too! {And by that I mean a fast talkin, busy, ADD + OCD suffering, spastic, over energized, wonderful, person. {I threw in wonderful just because.} In all seriousness, lists have been my savior. And by savior I mean they kept me somewhat focused enough that no one had to tie me up so I’d stop running in circles.

Speaking of running…This last January I discovered the power of sweat {and also..mp3 players}. Yea, I really hate exercise. Its boring, sometimes painful, and boring. Did I mention boring? I’ve tried palates, hula-hoops, and jumping jacks..they just didn’t do it for me. You think I’m kidding about the hula-hoop? I’m not. Plus, everywhere you go someone is telling us we need to exercise if we want to extend our health and wellness. Don’t you tell me what to do! Goo—sh—H! But something came over me…I decided I needed to harness some of this…hmmm…speed. Or at least direct it somewhere. And along came my treadmill. I do realize that to run it doesn’t require a piece of exercise equipment. I could go to the park and find a patch of grass to frolic in, or to the track at the nearby high school, or to the freeway. But there’s just one problem with all of these places. They are outside. I’m not really a fan of outside. It’s either too hot or too cold. Plus I hate having my hair blown in my face by that dumb wind. So anyways, my point is; the treadmill is inside.

I loved it. My treadmill. The place where I could take the thoughts in my head and run them out my feet. Many of my blog ideas began there.  Many times I told the kids I couldn’t help them with their difficult math homework {that I was actually not even capable of doing} because I “was on the treadmill”.  Many times I nearly skinned up my face when I’d get distracted and trip then stumble to catch my balance finally noticing one of the kids watching me. Laughing.  It was great. I’d turn on one of those snazzy music machines {totally sounded like an old man right there} and away I’d go.

Away I’d go and end up nowhere. Hmmmmmmm….

Then one day, the princess decided she wanted to step outside of the castle and discover the magical place that all of the others were speaking of…..the outdoors.  Alright, stop picturing me as the princess. So one day, I took a walk…I mean run…outside. Hey there sunshine and flowers and butterflies and birds!  I have lived most of my 29 years in this town and just discovered that there is actually a river over yonder. Just look at all the people and cars and houses….now I understand why dogs get so excited when they see their leash and their owners says, “You wanna go??”. On the treadmill I had a little thing-y that told me how far I had gone, how many calories I had burned, how long I have been torturing myself, and even my heart rate. But that’s not how it works out there. I just go. I wander. I took advice from one of my all-time favorite movies, A Knight’s Tale, “You just follow your feet”. I pass by big houses and have come to realize that that is insanity. Who the heck needs that much space for stuff? The same thought goes through my mind when I pass the mini storage place.  I say hello to fellow runners as they pass me {Everyone out there always passes me. I guess it’s probably because I’m really walking, not running.}. There is this other regular walker that wears gigantic headphones and waves to me from across the street nearly every time I head out.  I discovered a secret path that goes behind those huge homes and overlooks that river I was talking about. Below the water is sprinkled with ducks and cranes. Across, on a clear day, the mountains can be seen. Above, hawks soar low enough I can see their claws. Up the hill that the path follows, in one of the back yards, there is a standard poodle that stares at me. I stare back using the dirtiest look I have. Freaky dog.  I walk past restaurants and shops.  Sometimes feel like a character on  Sesame Street. {I’m so downloading that song on my MP3 player!}

I love it.

I’ve discovered something else. On the treadmill I didn’t get anywhere. Outside? Well, I run….so I can slow down. I keep going…so I can stop. And the best part? Now that I have traded in that dust collecting piece of exercise equipment for the great outdoors…

I CAN actually stop and smell the roses.

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