“Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
What’s the longest you’ve ever walked in a single day? Throughout our lives, we are on a steady journey, taking a long walk to meet ourselves. We take one step after the other until we get there – the end of life; when all is revealed and all our questions are answered or perhaps we merge into the void. We also take walks for all sorts of reasons. Over a lifetime, I’ve taken many walks – symbolic and otherwise; I remember a walk with a friend across the Manhattan Bridge after a meal at Junior’s on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn (Flatbush Avenue to Amsterdam Avenue 12.02 miles); I remember walking home from a dizzying shopping spell after I bought my first punk rock clothes in London (Kings Rd to Golders Greens 12.97 miles); Several times a week, I take a 6.34 miles power walk on the Aqueduct. Each walk we take is an important record of our life’s journey.
“May you always walk in sunshine. May you never want for more. May Irish angels rest their wings right beside your door.” Irish Blessings
Of course, after I saw the movie The Way; a moving tale about one man’s pilgrimage to walk the famous 800km Camino de Santiago, known as The Way of Saint James, I imagined myself taking that walk which would be the walk of a life time… But I digress. My longest walk is actually a memory from adult life; it has stayed with me. More below. 😉
“If we all tried to make other people’s paths easy, our own feet would have a smooth even place to walk on.” Myrtle Reed
What prompted your walk? Several years ago, I was going through a tough transition and, feeling somewhat dis-empowered, I wanted to do something to shift my thinking and help me regain my spirit of adventure. I had heard of Tony Robbins Walk on Fire retreats but never felt ready to try it. But this time I was ready to try almost anything; as long as it was legal. I signed up, flew to Atlanta, and spent the next 5 days or so with other attendees, getting positively psyched up for the walk with chants, motivational talks, exercise movements, meditation and self hypnosis. By the night of the fire walk, I was so pumped up, I imagined myself pushing through a firewall. Before our actual walk, we gathered for a final You-can-do-it rally with advice given on how to move through it without getting burned. I was impressed that even though everyone was encouraged to go for it, it was also made clear that if one wasn’t ready, it was fine to step back. This was mind over matter work and we had to be mentally prepared; no one could do that final work for us.
There was so much excitement in the air as we gathered for our fire walk. When it was my turn, I turned within, focused on my goal, and with a steady mind repeating “I can do all things,” I stepped on those coals. I was in the “zone.” There was heat as I stepped out but then something amazing happened, I felt a shift in my mind as if I was above my body, watching myself, and witnessing my voyage across the hot coals. I marched forward like a warrior on that thousand mile path. Time stopped. Everything stood still. Even the din of the crowd cheering me and everyone else on faded away and there was profound silence. Silently, I trudged on, shedding a lifetime of muck. After what seemed like eternity, I took my last step across the fire path. I was done, and with nary a burn or bruise on my bare feet. Miraculous. I remember asking the security team if I could do it again.
“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking”. Friedrich Nietzsche
How did you feel afterwards? With each step I took on that fire walk, I felt a load lifting off my shoulders. The fire of the walking path was searing away the layers of a lifetime of accumulated debris; I felt both a sense of relief and exhilaration. I was jumping for joy and floated back to my hotel room to call a few friends and my family. I was stoked; the positive energy and vibes stayed with me. My outlook on life also shifted and whenever I felt my energies waning, I revisited those moments inside myself and watched myself soar. I still do. It was an amazing experience… What memories of the event come to mind? There’s more below… 😉
“Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.” Mary Anne Radmacher
What memories of the event come to mind? Recently, I was looking at some photos I took at the retreat, (we weren’t allowed to take fire walk pictures – pity really), and remembered the happiness and sense of anticipation in the room. There were people from around the world, and I made some new friends. Signing up for the fire walk was a great leap of faith on my part, but it was worth it. Before the retreat ended, we wrote letters to ourselves about our goals for the coming year. Because we were operating from a place of clarity and strength, I believe we wrote what we truly intended to accomplish. This was not a fickle attempt at a list of new year resolutions most of us know we won’t keep. Tony’s people collected them and mailed them back to us in a year. When I opened my letter a year later, I was impressed to see that I had honored what I committed to do. For me, this was the longest walk…
What about you? What are your thoughts? What’s the longest you’ve ever walked in a single day? What prompted your walk? How did you feel afterwards? What memories of the event come to mind? Do share! Thank you. 😉
This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: What’s the longest you’ve ever walked in a single day? Write about what happened, how far you walked, and whether it was by choice, or something happened that forced you to travel differently than you expected.
Positive Motivation Tip: Throughout our lives, we are on a steady journey, taking a long walk to meet ourselves. Be steady on the path and all will be revealed…
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