Everyone's heard the Lao Tzu quote, right?
I, however, tend to journey without knowing how many miles I have to travel. Or even where I'm really going. I ramble. A lot. Sometimes in circles. Sometimes uphill... both ways... in the snow.... Always, as my blog title mentions, toward clarity (though I certainly do take the long way there).
But there have been a few times in my life when I've known exactly how many miles I've had to travel. Quite literally.
When I used to do the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Events, I knew I'd be walking 60 miles in 3 days. I knew how many miles I had to walk to train for those (sometimes more than 50 per week). A little over a year ago, I walked 150 miles in a month, to raise money for a friend's cancer research foundation.
I like to know how many miles I have to go. I like finite distances. Even if they are far.
But lately, I haven't been journeying much. Not literally, anyway. And it shows, as my horrifying little foray onto the scale the other day proved. So I decided that one of my goals for 2014 was to journey more. On my own two feet.
I thought about how to do it... I considered just making it a goal to walk every day. But I wanted something a little more specific. So I thought about calculating the number of miles to a place I want to go and then walking them.
But the 3,000 miles to London seemed excessive... and wet.
Also? I'd never get there. And that just seemed unfair.
So after much thought, I decided 1,000 miles sounded like a good, round number.
It sounds like a lot when you say it in one lump sum, doesn't it? One thousand miles.
But when you split it up over 365 days, it's quite do-able. I actually have to walk fewer than three miles per day.
It even sounds kind of easy. Maybe too easy, huh?
But see, I know myself.
I'm a bit of a slacker.
And I know there will be a bunch of evenings when I'm going to get home, put my jammies on, and plant myself in front of the TV, the computer, or a book.
And for every day I skip, that increases the mileage necessary over subsequent days.
Hell, if I'm not careful, I could wind up with 500 miles to do next December.
As I say, I know myself.
The good thing is, I have a beautiful dog who needs to be walked. Now, I do take him to the park every day but I don't actually do that much walking. I kind of mosey and he runs around me. In circles (we're a lot alike, that pooch and me). So we'll have to adjust our routine a bit. And I have the gym to get to... and the trainer to listen to...
So I should be able to keep up.
(Please note that should is the operative word in that sentence.)
Now, bear in mind, I'm not journeying to any tangible place in particular. Most of these miles will be logged around my neighborhood, the park, and on the treadmill. Getting to a physical location isn't the point.
This is about something else for me. It's about feeling better. I feel better when I move (you'd think I'd do it more, eh? Go figure). It's also about the solitude. When I was training for the 3-days, I logged hundreds of miles by myself and I loved it. It gave me time to think. I was unplugged, with only my own thoughts and the world at my eyeballs and under my feet to entertain me. It gave me time to work through things bothering me. It gave me some clarity.
So, as always, I'll be rambling. But as always, I'll be rambling with some purpose. I'll be rambling toward clarity.
And after 1,000 miles? There should be some damned clarity. Don't you think?
We shall see.
To keep me accountable, I've put a mileage tracker up on my blog (top right, under my profile)... I'll update it daily... or I won't... we shall see. Feel free to ask me about it if it's not changing terribly often...
I should also mention that I'm tying this goal to another one, which involves a long-term writing project. I'll share more about that at another time.
In any case, as we all know, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
And that step is followed by a freakin' shitload of other steps.
So I'm off to lace up my sneakers.
Wish me luck!