You’ve heard before how much I enjoy walking.  Last year, I logged at least 400 miles, right here in my neighborhood. I know this because of a cute little app on my phone. (I believe I have also mentioned that I am something of a dork, with mild OCD.) I say “at least” 400 miles because some of my walks did not conform to my standards for logging them (again with the OCD dorkitude) and sometimes I forgot to set the app.

This same app forces me to acknowledge that until today,  my last walk was on New Year’s Eve day, 2012.

I had not taken one walk this entire year.

A minor medical procedure on January 2nd left me with several stitches on my foot. I was instructed to stay off the foot as much as possible for three weeks. A dutiful patient, I complied.

The weather in January and February was largely awful: rainy and bitterly cold, and the sun set so early. My work schedule was unpredictable. My next door walking buddy continued to be unavailable. Other domestic issues arose, and that walk I was always going to take “tomorrow” failed to materialize. I can easily list the reasons I did not walk on any given day, but the big question remains:

Why is it so hard to do something that is free, simple, and enjoyable? I know that I feel better on every level when I make time for a walk, and yet somehow I  managed not to take one for months. Bad habits are hard to break, and good habits, once broken, seem hard to resume.

I suspect walking falls into the same category as some of my other, frequently neglected, favorite pastimes: reading, writing, drawing and sewing. They serve no one but me, and generate no income. I feel selfish when I indulge in them, and have an uneasy sense that I should be doing something more worthwhile.

Which is ridiculous, because I don’t necessarily do anything else.  I just deny myself the enjoyment of those activities, ending up flabby, sluggish and out of sorts. And Waldo suffers.

It’s also ridiculous because what I feel is antithetical to what I know;  I feel that I am being selfish and non-productive, but I know that exercise is critical to physical and mental health.

This morning, before anything else could interfere, I dressed for a walk, except for my shoes. There was no way I’d get a cup of coffee (or two) in before heading out if Waldo saw my sneakers.  Fortified by caffeine, I hooked up the dog and off we went.

Barely across the street, at Waldo’s first pit stop, I felt the comfort of a familiar routine. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been off it so long, and hard to understand why.

We got a little over 2 miles in today (thank you, app!) and I am shooting for 3 tomorrow.