Go to contents

A Walk

Posted November. 17, 2006 06:55,   


When your head feels fit to burst, you should get on your feet. Strolling around is the best cure for a throbbing migraine. Walk your dog and enjoy the winter fields. Visit crooked field trails that are as peaceful as an old friend. The stripped plains are vast, and the rice straws relieved of their grains are resting on the ground, birds pecking in between. At sundown, grab your child’s hand and stroll around the neighborhood alleys. A sense of immense tranquility will wash over you when the tantalizing smells of bean-paste soup and spicy stews reach your nose. The sound of dogs barking, doors creaking open and shutting - this is what life is about. Suddenly I was remorseful with thoughts of “Who am I?” and “Why am I the way I am?”

A human being was made to walk the soft and rugged terrain of the earth. Flat, hard surfaces like asphalt incur shocks on the body. Grass and dirt roads are best. As you walk them, your imagination takes off and ideas come easily. When indoors and debating, logic comes first. This is why the quiet green forest trails are good for you. When office workers get stuck with the heap of papers they’re working on, a short walk is effective. Usually, a 20-minute walk is right for every 2 hours. This is better than drinking coffee or other beverages while chatting during breaks. Writers facing writer’s block should take pen and paper and head outside. If you get your legs going, your brain will follow. The energy going to your brain will become vigorous, the brain hormones brimming with vitality. This goes for stress as well. A long walk with fast strides and your troubles will disappear. When you are scolding a subordinate, walking together will reduce much of the anger. This is why you compliment indoors and rebuke outdoors.

Walking takes only one foot on the ground, but running takes both off the ground. Walking forces 1.2 to 1.5 times your weight on your body, but running gives 3 to 5 times more shock, pushing down on your knees and back. Walking does not require any special time off, just running up and down the stairs of your apartment or office building will do. On the bus or subway, get off one or two stops before your regular stop and walk. When you’re walking, a pedometer, heart rate measurer, and a bottle of water are musts. These days, there are even pedometers that measure the speed, time, distance, and calorie consumption. After a walk, you should elevate your legs to reverse circulation. To relieve tension, rub your feet and press down with your thumb while pulling on each digit lightly. A foot soak that switches between cold and hot water 5 to 6 times is also effective.

Plowing through the icy winds in the winter galvanizes your brain. It’s like a cold shower. The Namsan trail in Seoul, the path from Gyeonghee Palace to Deoksu Palace, the Ilsan lake trail, the Namhansanseong road, the President’s road, the road from Jeongseon to Yeongwol, the dirt path from Woljeongsa to Sangwonsa, the road between Gurye and Hadong along with Seomjin River. On a snowy day, stand on these roads and on the horizon you will feel a certain shiver that will change your life.

Walking brings you back into your body momentarily. Moving your muscles against the “waves of the world” makes you feel alive. There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who walk, and the kind that will walk “over their dead bodies.” You can die on your back, or live on your feet.