The Power Of Walking

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So what to do now that Beginners is finished and having decided that I am not really quite ready to graduate to Gentle Joggers ? The answer for me is Power Walking! Oh my stars and whiskers! My first walk with the delightful Joan was awesome! Make no mistake this is no soft option and naturally, as per usual, I was at the back of the pack! Joan looked after me like a gem and the girls in the group were, as ever, supportive, friendly and welcoming. It was cold, wet and windy and I LOVED it!!

Interestingly I ached more all over the next day than I ever did from jogging. I think this is going to be an excellent way of improving my fitness level!

I enjoyed the route so much that I decided to retrace our footsteps on a solo session a couple of days later….this time without the rain and the wind as companions!

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I didn’t maintain the same pace because I was so distracted by the scenery around me. I think that walking may well be my jam as opposed to running as there was no anxiety only deep, pure enjoyment of my surroundings.

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I could feel depression and bleakness withering away like the old leaves upon the ground and a feeling of gratitude twinkled through my veins.

Unfortunately my phone failed to capture the beauty of the carpet of wood anemones which is a shame as they were really quite special.

The path wound through the woods and then came out to a small country lane, so I strode onward and upwards towards the Kissing Gate into the Park.

Once through the Kissing Gate I was back into woodland again and the sound of the silence was quite amazing, there was a mystic quality to the air and all I could hear was my own breath as even the birds were quiet here. I could feel peace spreading down through me, centering me, grounding me here in this moment, my tense shoulders dropped from up around my ears to exactly my favourite place for shoulders to be! Deep breath in, feel the diaphragm lift and embrace the sensation of relaxation as the breath flows from the body. My senses become heightened and my awareness blossoms as I walk mindfully and appreciate the detail nature provides.

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The sun was breaking through gently, the trees sheltering me from the somewhat chilly wind: it was idyllic.

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As I was coming to the edge of the woods I came across this group of young deer- they didn’t seem to mind me interrupting their afternoon, and were only mildly curious as I walked passed. The golf course opened out before me as I came to the edge of the trees and the sun was chasing the clouds away.wp-image-1398665927jpg.jpg

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Indeed by the time I was on the homeward stretch the temperature was delightful as the wind dropped and blue skies encouraged me forwards.

For The Love of Cross Country By Stephanie D., Rutherford, NJ

Jog up to the cone
Take a step to the line
You’re not doing this alone
Shut up and don’t whine

Sprint down the hill
Stay with the pack
Oh how the sand is a thrill
THIS IS DEFINITELY NOT TRACK

Up the hill you must fight
Move your arms pick up your feet
You must use all your might
It’s Tenafly you must beat

Stay strong on the grass
Past the park to the street
Here they come move your ass
Let’s go! This is your meet

Run around the lake
C’mon you’re in first
1000 meters to take
I know, your dying of thirst

It’s a push to the end
A sprint to the line
Just around the last bend
Congratulations, you did just fine

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A Little Local Wander

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Friday was a somewhat chilly day with low grey skies attempting to dissuade me from trotting forth from my cosy sitting room! However, as Sam so rightly points out there are few days when it is impossible to go out and particularly as I missed our weekly Beginner Joggers session on Wednesday I was determined to wrap up and get out there!  I decided to stay local as a change to the Park and I am so glad I did!

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I chose to explore a path that I have driven passed many, many times since moving here and at the back of the new houses behind Tesco I followed the river path and found this! I knew the River Darenth ran along here through Riverhead, but hadn’t realised the extent of the body of water there

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Even under the lowering skies it is stunning! I spotted a heron as well as plenty of ducks and moor hens

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The river is beautiful and peaceful despite the close vicinity of the huge supermarket, the new houses and the main road.

I walked and jogged as far as I could along the river side: the signs saying PRIVATE discouraged further exploration… So I retraced my steps back to the main road.

I headed through Dunton Green, over towards the path through woodland that leads towards the Wild Life Reserve.  I found a piece of  sheltered, flat ground and decided to do my dynamic stretches

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I have grown in confidence over the weeks so that, despite still struggling a little with working through the stretches whilst out and about, I able to complete these important movements. I still do my cooldown stretches at home ^^

The river reappeared, meandering through the woodlands so I was able to capture a few photos along the way. I saw another heron, but again it was too far away for my phone to be able focus and capture the moment.