What It Means to "Walk the Walk" During the Holidays

Race walking. I had never heard of it before I turned on the Olympics last July, only to be stunned at the image of swinging hips and locked knees and competitors flying forward with only the smallest of steps. In the strictest sense, these athletes may be the epitome of “walking the walk” – and they win medals for doing so.

But, as holiday music starts playing in stores (or on your computer as you delve into Cyber Monday), my feet have been dancing to a new beat. In fact, as I spent my first Thanksgiving away from family and alone at my dorm, I’ve carved a different definition of walking the walk.

casey the college celiac, gratitude, holidays

It’s having contemplations nearly as deep as the rolling oceans you stroll past.

It's stopping to experiment with your phone timer to capture the glint of a sun setting through the trees.

It’s peeling yourself away from the computer, the holiday shopping list, and yes, sometimes even the people you love and walking alone on the paths that have been worn by thousands of feet before yours, owned by people with their own stresses, successes and walking routines.

It’s choosing to walk – and think – with only nature as your company again and again and again.

Like Henry David Thoreau once said:
"As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives."
This last weekend, I walked to escape the materialism that often hides between the days of turkey and shopping. I walked to hold onto the gratitude I felt Face-timing my family on Thanksgiving and to remember the views I will miss in four weeks when graduation comes my way. Every time I walk, I walk for joy, freedom, freshness, retreat, renewal, discovery, and love – for myself and my surroundings.

I want my thoughts to reflect the same – even as the busy days of the holidays approach – so I suppose I’ll keep on walking. Because maybe if I walk the walk, I can talk the talk…if only to myself.

*This is part of a new blog series I'm starting known as "Mindful Morsels," which will feature short posts with a focus on mindfulness and mental health. Most will have first appeared at Bayart.org, which I co-author*

*Also found at Inspiration Monday, What'd You Do This Weekend, Totally Terrific Tuesdays, Wine'd Down Wednesday and Turn it Up!*

Do you ever find yourself walking more as the holidays approach? Why do you walk? Tell me below!


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