Why I Walked 1 Million Steps In 31 Days
It is hard to escape negativity, since it might be lurking in places where you never expect it (like sugar, surprise!). It could be tucked away in your social media feeds, your conversations and even through people you may think are your friends.
Mine was deep set, engrained within my mind for many years, having been passed down from those close to me. In the normal cycle we experience of sleeping and waking I stepped upon a change, one that I was not expecting.
Peeking from under the covers that particular morning at the end of April, I spotted a familiar sight. The wavy blinds, stubby chest of drawers, grand mirror and tall wardrobe were all still there, witnessing my undoing that I choose to unleash upon myself on a daily basis.
Closing my eyes again was also a familiar sight, shutting out all of the positive light, but then letting in those negative thoughts and things that would glue me to the bed every morning. I spent over 6 months in such a state of mind.
I knew in hindsight, that I had chosen to give up on myself. Pure and simple, I had let go to my own detriment. In those 6 months I had:
- Started a new job, leaving those I grew to know over more than 2 years
- Went through a bereavement, unable to swallow and digest the pain from it
- Quit my new job, as I did not feel my inner voice was being heard
- Struggled to find another job, putting on weight and dragging my mood right down
- Eventually landed in a job, that ejected me after a month
Life and the bumpy road I had tumbled down chose to keep me in a state of numbness. I was unable to deal with my perceptions of others, and their expectations of me. And I just waited. Waiting, for that feeling to pass, strangely that feeling was always shrouded in hidden hope.
In the end, I had to be the change I was looking for. Today, I have a job, but trying to break the circle of negatively as each new day bought, morphing back straight back into night was tough. But, I got up one morning, consciously chose to pull my sneakers back on, that were gathering dust since the last time I had seen the insides of a gym months ago.
It was about 7am, the time that I would usually allocate to shaking myself awake, before hunching over breakfast and choosing to get on with ‘work’ that would never give me any fulfilment at all. Swapping that for a walk, was something quite radical for me at the time. It was choosing a new routine, to replace one thing with another — so that I would gain from the outcome in a positive, understandable way.
Over the month of May, I chose to push myself with this new way of thinking and doing. It became exciting to get up early, and go against the grain of everyone in their zombie state off to the bus stops, metro and rail stations. My free time being safe in bed (I get up at 6 every day, weekends included) with my sore mind moved instead to exploring parks, cyclists, people walking their dogs. My 1 hour walks became 2 hours, even three. Mentally I became much more awake, and my body started to follow in sync with it.
It transformed how I then reached into my mind for thoughts that would never could manifest themselves in the grey, four walls of my bedroom that had become a temple for tragic thinking.
Learning to actively protect and preserve my quality of mind, and detoxify myself from the negativity I was experiencing were the things that helped me taken step after step, each morning when my mind was still fresh as the clear, uninterrupted air.
Whether it was in rain or shine, the clearest and best thoughts about my life and what I wanted it to be, came out of those million steps. What did it teach me?
I learnt to:
- Get up early and engage, and choosing early starts as a way to help you experience better ways to develop a clearer mind and thought process
- Listen to nature, feel the leaves and trees and look into distances. I learnt to love what was always around me
- Do something with positive thoughts, do not choose to generate and quash them. Talk to someone about them, share them, write them down. Act on them. Just like I am doing now.
As for 1 million steps, it is just a measurement of how far I took my mind from negative thoughts. For every step, I generated something positive. And that is what I will continue to do. If you have a choice, make the right one.