Both my wife and I recently invested in some Fitbits as a way to be more aware of our health goals. We chose the Fitbit Blaze, primarily for it’s ability to monitor heart rate as well as use GPS data from a connected phone to record exercise.
Fitbit encourages you to walk 10,000 steps per day. I don’t see this as my sole form of exercise, but I do consider it a good baseline level of activity to strive for. In addition, I find my daily walks (with our two Whippets) to be a vital part of my mental and emotional health, giving me time to pause, think and be more mindful.
As a way of encouraging my mindfulness as well as switching off from thinking about work, I’ve decided to use these walks as opportunities to photograph what’s around me, discover new things, people and/or places and maybe expand on those thoughts that pop up in the brain when I’m engaged in physical activities – those Eureka moments. And I’m going to document the good ones here.
So to kick off with this first walk, which was around my local patch I decided to just take in what was around me.
It was a lovely afternoon and the dogs were getting restless. So we set off up by the local brook. The path takes us through several small woods, owned by the fabulous Woodland Trust. Looking up, the beech and oak canopy was that early June perfect green mosaic.
Benson crashed through the woodland floor in pursuit of squirrels.
Before diving over the edge of the riverbank to grab a quick drink. We then came to a group of oak trees covered in moss. They looked older than their years, as if they should be growing in a prehistoric forest. I wondered what events they’d seen.
In contrast to the quiet stillness of the moss covered oaks and the gentle flow of the water,
This came flying around the corner. It’s hard not to feel full of life when watching a two year old Whippet in full flight.
To add to the sounds, sights and smells, I felt the ground beneath my feet. I’d chosen to wear my old set of Vivobarefoot’s of the walk. Being barefoot shoes with only the thinnest membrane underneath, I could feel the temperature of the mud, sticks and twigs on the woodland floor and the feel of vegetation as I stepped over it.
I discovered the first Foxgloves of the season in a small glade.
And a small patch of grass and clover, carpeted with daisies and other tiny flowers. Then, as I watched the dogs sniff and trot into the distance.
My phone battery died. So I continued the walk in total isolation from technology.