From September 2015

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#everydaywalk100

100 days ago I made a decision to walk every day – for 100 days.

I did it for many reasons – but mostly to get “back in my body”.

Ya see, when I discovered art making 6 years ago, that’s ALL I wanted to do!  Once I began painting, I kept my ritual of writing morning pages with my coffee, but out went the exercise that typically followed.

Until then I’d been a fairly devoted exerciser – running marathons, hitting the weights and enjoying yoga.  Now there was no time for exercise – I had to hit the studio!  I was having so much fun swirling paint on canvas and lounging with my sketchbook, I had become downright sedentary.  Bleh!

Now, I was feeling tight and constricted in my body – and oh yeah – chubby and weak and lethargic!  So in a fateful moment 100 days ago (while actually walking) I decided to change my ways.

I wanted challenging, yet I needed doable!  I needed to feel successful.  Believing walking to be the most “portable”/least-excuse-probable exercise, I committed.  I’d walk for 100 days straight – for a minimum of 30 minutes.  No other rules.  Period.  Just get off my butt!  So I came home from that walk, photo copied a monthly calendar and numbered off 100 days.  I had begun.

I decided to Instagram my daily walk, but within a few short days I had bored myself silly.  That tedium threatened to make me quit walking – so I quit Instagramming and kept the walking instead.  K.I.S.S.  Keep it simple stupid.  Right?  Right.

On the days I saw something exceptionally beautiful, on landmark days or on the days I just felt like it, I posted a blurb and a pic on Instagram.  Otherwise, I kept the time just for me.  It was good.

I worried about lots of things at first.  Things like:

  • I’ll never make it through 100 days without getting sick or injured – surely something will stop me.  It didn’t.
  • I’ll get bored as hell and just stop.  I’m a “scanner”.  I need diversity and a change of scenery at the very least.  So I linked my love of new experiences and discovery and adventure to the goal . . . I sought out new places to walk, changed up routes in my normal haunts and varied my length of walk time.  Mostly I walked alone, but sometimes I went with my hubby or a friend or drug my lazy ass dog along.
  • I’ll “fudge” my time and not always do my minimum of 30 minutes.  I’ll cheat.  Wrong.  I’ve averaged 49 minutes over my 100 days!  It became a kind of game!
  • I worried there would be days I just wouldn’t find the time.  Yeah – that didn’t happen either.  Blew that theory.  Huh.
  • I worried that my plantar fasciitis would get worse with all that dang walking.  Didn’t!  Seems that time spent on my custom orthotics daily has helped me immensely – it’s nearly gone!

Of course, the experts tout the many benefits of consistent exercise.  Sure, I know that to be true logically.  But until you do something every single day, you can’t really  k n o w   –                          u n t i l   y o u   d o ! 

SOME benefits of daily walking I now KNOW:

  • it makes you a happier human!
  • it gives you way more energy than it takes
  • it gives structure to your day – seemingly increasing the time one has (to paint)!  It’s magic.
  • you can lose a bit of weight easily – without making any other changes
  • but it will make you want to make other changes too
  • it’s pretty freakin’ easy – it’s pretty freakin’ fun
  • you’ll reconnect with neighbors and friends
  • you won’t forfeit time with your spouse – you’ll just drag him along with you
  • you’ll solve problems more easily and have lots more brilliant creative ideas while walking!  Take a notebook.  Really.  Do.
  • you’ll discover places you never knew existed!
  • your confidence will soar – cause you are keeping promises to yourself and creating a sense of completion and accomplishment

In my 100 days, I’ve walked at dawn and at dusk.  

I’ve walked on days where my to-do list was longer than my arm and on tired days I wanted to hide under the covers.  

I’ve walked in four states!  

I’ve walked with dogs, old friends and a woman I’d only just met.  

I’ve walked in the rain and in temperatures over 100.  

I’ve rescued a dog from traffic and stumbled onto a homeless encampment I never knew existed.  

On my walks, I’ve laughed till I’ve nearly cried and actually have cried having witnessed the aftermath of domestic violence.  

AND I’ve seen such beauty – dolphins – white pelicans!  

I’ve gathered enough inspiration for a 1000 paintings!

So what now?  True to my scanner personality AND my new found love of self-imposed-challenges, I’m onto a new 100 day program.  I’ll move in some way – any way that feels good – every day for the next 100.  I’ll keep the majority of it (4 days minimum) a cardio based movement – walking, biking, hiking, spin class, whatever.  But now I’m free to do many other things I love – yoga, weights, dance!  I’ll also up my minimum to 35 minutes – just because I can!

I’ve marked off the next 100 days on my calendar!

Let #everydaymove100 begin!

Anyone care to join me?  

You can do this – I KNOW you can.  

(Why do I have a feeling this will become a 365 day thang?)

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Scenes From The Road

Over the past week,

we’ve roamed the Southwest US . . .

from Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico

to Monument Valley, Utah

through Flagstaff, Arizona and the deserts of California.

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I’ve spent a few days circling with friends, old and new,

rediscovering my sense of “play”.

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I’ve over-indulged my photographic

obsession with doorways and windows.

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And seen more stars in the night sky

than I EVER knew existed!

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Even piles of rubble are made beautiful

in the hands of local southwestern artists.

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My “well of inspiration” is running over . . . 

I may burst!

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I’ve seen such diverse beauty.

Sacred and profound and quiet and simple.

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I’ve hardly had time to “process” or capture my thoughts,

but I may not stop painting or writing for months

– okay, maybe NEVER!

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The “big sky” country is incredibly gorgeous.

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The hues – so deep and rich.

The architecture and decor – so magical.

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Even the food is color-full and spicy-delish!

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Icons are everywhere – appearing in art and on buildings.

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Around every bend, more beauty, more embellishment.

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Overhead – underfoot.

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Textures, both velvety and rough.

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A single art journal spread

is all that I’ve worked on during my trip,

as I focused on gathering inspiration and beauty.

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Here’s the same page AFTER 20 fellow retreat 

goers added their mark to the page!

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I’m aching to get back in the studio!

So that’s happening NOW!