Why a journal here? Why a journal for walking?
Now this might not be what you are used to in this A-Z, this is a little different, but for me the findings, the insight and the reflection I get from walking is one of the major benefits of this simple activity.
Does that mean you all have to journal? No, not at all. This post though, might just give you food for thought. My ask is that you are open about it.
When walking I guess there are two types of journals.
The first is to do with numbers and tracking and very much about your walking goals and achievements.
You might want to track your steps; your miles or kilometres, your speed or pace and capturing these numbers will help you see progress. You may want to note how many walks; the kind of weather you have walked in; where you have walked; the calories you are burning; who you walked with. So many things that you can measure that can all be of help to you on your walking journey. When I am leading groups on walks, steps and miles are talked about especially at lunch time and at the end. Though it has to be remembered that the steps on your Fitbit, or the equivalent, are there to guide you and are not the same necessarily as everyone else because we all have different strides.
Some are all numbers and can be tied to getting faster, walking further and are useful to know if you are training for a walk or if you are trying to lose weight through walking or to get fitter.
Other aspects are letting you track where in the country you have walked and maybe a way of ticking off highest walks or the Munros in Scotland for example. There are specifically designed journals that will have places for you to record much of this information. You can find them on Amazon if this is something that would help you.
For me, I use a journal when walking to record my experiences, my thoughts, ideas and reflections. For me walking is a very creative process and I have written the outline for blog posts and for programmes and products when walking. I often use the dictaphone setting on my phone to capture those on shorter walks.
On longer walks I will take time when I stop to write in my journal or I will do it at the end of the day and I will build time for journalling and to reflect as I write. It’s something that I suggest and encourage my clients to do on our half or full ‘Walk it Through, Talk it Through Days’ and also the women who come on the Walk Experiences and Retreats with me.
Journalling helps keep me grounded and in touch with me and helps me strive to be the best version of me.
Keeping a journal, and you choose how to do this, is a great way of working through thoughts and insights that come up on the path and, once captured, to reflect on these and to journal further on certain aspects. It helps us to maximise on the benefits of these experiences.
When walking, and I do encourage at least half an hour of alone walking every day, things do come up that in our everyday lives we would just bat down. Then we would fill our head with other things such as many tasks or even noise of music or chat. In this half an hour, and many do it for longer, you have to walk with what’s coming up and these thoughts have a way of making themselves felt. They also are coming up for a reason, they need to be heard. Later in the day, one to one discussions with me or others give the chance to expand on these, to explore. At the end of the day, as we celebrate and review our day, we do tend to have some very interesting shared discussions as a result. This exploration can be built upon day on day and after the event is over too, should the person choose that.
On our Retreats and Experiences, we use Plant Ally and Tree Wisdom cards too to inspire thoughts and I also will give journal prompts too on occasions. All helps the flow of thought.
Journalling is not a walking necessity but I lay down the challenge to try it at some point and see just what happens.