Walking. I am encouraging myself to walk for at least 30 minutes a day, hopefully to gain more energy and to lose some of the pounds that have accumulated in me since the holidays. My scales when I weigh myself mornings seem to groan and complain whenever they see me coming!

I walk early mornings with Jun, my husband. I do stairs instead of take the elevator. At my office, I try to remember to get out of my comfortable desk chair at least once per hour and walk around for 5 to 10 minutes.

While walking around in a nearby bookstore I picked up a book entitled “Sole to Soul” by Rolando V. dela Rosa, O.P. He has some very good thoughts on walking that I would like to share with you.

He begins by remembering that the way Aristotle taught philosophy to his disciples was by walking in the Lyceum of ancient Athens. While his disciples’s soles trod on the ground, Aristotle touched their souls by teaching WHY DO YOU WALK? them how to think, understand, and be happy.

And I thought of philosopher and author Henry David Thoreau (…memories of my American Lit class in College…) who spent his happy and healthy life by walking in the forest and woodlands at least four to five hours every day. He believed that legs were made to walk not to remain unused when sitting down. He regarded walking as an opportunity to think, reflect, examine the past, and envision happy possibilities. As a result his writings, both essays and poetry, reflect his deep ruminations and dreams for the betterment of mankind.

Jesus was a walker. Everywhere He went He walked, even on water. His invitation to us was to walk with Him, to follow in His footsteps, to imitate the pattern of His life. When I visited Jerusalem many years ago, my desire was to walk where Jesus had walked so that I could in some simple way experience His walking in and around Jerusalem.

As I walked in the old city, I began to notice the little things happening along the way…the children’s happy laughter as they threw small pebbles like marbles … a vendor of prayer rugs reverently unfolding her rugs for display … the way the shadows from the tall ancient buildings shaded the pathway … These wonderful little samples of life would not have been visible or noticed if I had been in our tour van driving to and from the tourist sites.

Fr. Dela Rosa believes “our allergy to walking has made our bodies obese and our minds obtuse. Computers have become our surrogate mind. Our fingers now do the walking. Thinking is now fashionably replaced by an ape-like operation called ‘surfing the web’. We would rather tinker (with our fingers) rather than think. No wonder, so many people today are unhappy.”

Walking is not just a way of traveling from place to place. Walking is a time to stretch our legs, yes, but most of all, to allow time to stretch our minds, to think, to ponder, to dream, to imagine. And, of course, to exercise our body at the same time as our mind.

Walking is Healthy Living In Action!