Mornings after the kids got on the bus used to be my exercise time. Now, with no one leaving and everyone talking to (at?) me, I’ve had to get a bit more creative. It works out well that we live a 10 minute walk from a beautiful, well-trailed river, so we’ve taken up early morning river walks.
What I have learned is that:
a) Walking at the river is definitely more fun than doing exercise videos at home.
b) Walking at the river is significantly less effective for weight and muscle maintenance than doing videos at home.
In my mind I was sneaking out quietly several mornings a week for a brisk walk and some contemplative, meditative time in nature with the kids none the wiser…you can feel free to laugh at my naivete :)
But, it’s turned into a great opportunity to get in some time with just one or two kids at a time, at a stage in life when somehow they’re all still eager to hang out with me. Having them along also increases my already-high delight levels when I see a bunny, a heron, or a raccoon, since it’s always more fun to exclaim with someone else. They also notice every snail, worm and slug, and Theo in particular likes to save snails that have wandered too far from cover, and definitely saved this worm from an untimely end when we found it under vicious attack by a beetle.
In case the river itself isn’t enough of a draw, some people have created a sweet little “Fairy Road” town down a side path in the forest, a perfect end to a brisk walk or bike ride for little legs.
Other sections get dry and sandy when the weather’s right, perfect for an afternoon at the beach with cold refreshing water shallow enough that I can manage to enjoy it and not think only about potential drownings.
Although this guy certainly does his best to give me heart palpitations.
I’m so thankful to live in such a beautiful place, and want to make sure we never take it for granted or stop noticing the beauty all around us. Spending time breathing it all in seems like a good place to start.