The Art of Mindfulness: Walking 101

In case you haven’t heard, I have a running injury.

During a recent session with my massage therapist, he told me I should walk more mindfully. And that was if I even had to be on my feet at all. (Things were bad). If I’m completely honest, my first thought in response to this was hippy bullshit. I know I’m trying to be more zen in my life, but walking mindfully was just a bit too Dalai Llama for me. Does he not know I have places to be?!
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But then as I limped home, I realized that he was right. Of course he was right. He was just articulating in different terms what I’d been taught throughout my dance career, and had since forgotten. You can’t just stomp around all day and expect your body, more specifically your feet and legs, to put up with that. This is a thousand times more true when you’re a runner. Just think of the mileage you put your poor feet through every month!
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So I took his advice. I went back to basics: Walking 101. Wherever possible I walked ‘properly’, that’s to say, landing gently (ish) on the heel, allowing the foot to roll onto the fleshy outer part, and then through to the ball. It considerably helped both my foot pain, and the creeping shin splints I’d got (somewhat annoyingly) since I stopped running earlier this month. I’m told this is deferred pain from tight calves and feet, and, you know, everything’s connected etc. etc.
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Oddly, walking more mindfully has allowed me to take things a little more gently in my whole life, not just on my feet. I’m more conscious of rushing around from place to place, eating on the go and fielding emails on the train. I’m taking just a little bit more time to go at my own pace. To slow down.
Maybe this injury happened for a reason…
I’m just kidding. This injury is a little bitch and needs to get its shit together pronto.
How do you manage to slow down in life? And do you ever thank your feet for what they do for you every day?! (You should). 
Lots of love
Pippa
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4 thoughts on “The Art of Mindfulness: Walking 101

  1. Honor thy paws! It’s my first rule of business!! And while I thoroughly enjoy the concept of “slowing down” and taking it all in, mindfulness, awareness, etc., etc….This shit needs to heal. Like STAT. I’m with ya, Pippa. 🙂 Heal swiftly!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is an interesting post yo me, coming from the perspective of someone in his 40s who decided to ditch shoes as much as possible and start running again. Running barefoot. Now what I’ve experienced may not apply to everyone and may not be appropriate to everyone, but I think maybe I’ve discovered a deeper mindfulness to running and walking because of being barefoot. Maybe that shouldn’t be surprising — the soles of the feet have as many nerve endings like other sensitive body parts like the eyes, the tongue, the fingertips, etc. But a lot of that is lost when we stick the feet inside the safe confines of shoes and socks. Shoes and socks are, in my opinion, like blindfolds for the eyes.

    Whatever you choose to do, do it with happiness and health.

    Like

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