Why This Challenge?
I've decided to do a experiment. I'm doing a 30 day walk challenge.
I'll call it "Philosopher's Walk Challenge"
"I can only meditate when I am walking. When I stop, I cease to think; my mind only works with my legs."
- Jean-Jacque Rousseau
For the past years I've been obsessed with philosophy, particularly Stoicism. In my journey towards learning about all types of philosophers I've come across the fact that the best thinkers trusted in the power of walks to free their mind from stress and replace that stress for creativity.
I've never been an avid walker. This time I want to take walks where I detach from my phone, that means no music, no audio-books, no podcast, just thoughts.
No phone allowed
Company is permitted
During this walk I didn't try to purposefully think about any problem in particular. Naturally my urge to turn everything I do into some creative idea lead me down a strange path.
I wanted to do this 30 day walk challenge to build the habit of walking. I thought it would be cool to write a blogpost about my experience. This quickly got out of control into the following thoughts.
- I can track my daily thoughts
- I can measure data on things like time, distance
- I can go even further, tracking my mood per day
It quickly got out of hand into the full fledged blogpost that you are reading right now.
I had a bit of a stressful walk, it started alright and it was great to be out after a busy day. In the middle of the walk I remembered I need to sort out some freelance tax stuff urgently, so I was anxious to go back home quickly to sort it out.
Thankfully, since I was walking my dog Zizu with my girlfriend I had a nice talk with her and did my best to relax. Now that I am home I sorted out my taxes and feel better about it. I can't wait for tomorrow's walk though.
Walk in nature with girlfriend, mom and my dog Zizu, amazing experience much needed.
We went to a beautiful river which is 30 minutes drive away, that's the best part of Ecuador amazing nature not so far away from home.
I couldn't sleep last night, I was overthinking, not necessarily stressful stuff. I was having tons of ideas, my ideas where having ideas. This is often exciting, but when feeling sleep deprived something I doubt my ability to excuse this ideas.
Today I've been feeling tired after a bad night sleep. I value sleep more than I value most things, so even thought I was feeling a bit lazy for this walk, I had a great time walking Zizu, and letting the ideas flow.
I even came up with a nice sounding quote:
Don't let insecurities hide behind what looks like resonable excuses.
I was getting obsessed over learning a certain subject that I'm passionate about, I hit a wall of overwhelm, this is where thankfully I forced myself to go for a walk.
I was feeling pretty stressed, I'm happy I forced myself to go for this walk. I feel a bit overwhelmed by certain stressful things I need to do, but I can definitely see how the walk helped free some tension.
I usually go for my walk in the afternoon. I started experiencing some anxiety during the morning. I just came back from it and I do feel better than I did. I've been feeling overwhelmed this last couple of days. I know there will be days where I don't see the point in walking nor on keeping this log of my thoughts.
I just have to trust that the walk will benefit me, and that this track of my thoughts might help someone else as well to do the same.
Today was satisfying, I had a productive work session, I actually finished video editing project that process that usually takes me over 3 hours in almost half the time. Going for my daily walk felt like a nice transition to the next things I want to do with my day. I'm in a good mood right now, ready to take onto more fulfilling work.
Today has been challenging, yet I've been dealing with it better than previous days. The stress and anxiety on all the things I want to achieve faded away with this walk.
Today I walked with my girlfriend and we talked a lot about software.
I'm developing courses to teach people how to have more technological self-reliance she had some interesting thoughts on certain things that might work. She gave me good ideas, we had a pleasant talk and 40 minutes went away in an instant.
I was trying to solve some problems with the online courses on productivity that I'm building. I say my mind not being able to focus anymore into seeing thing clearly.
Frustration was coming, so thankfully I have this habit to force me go for a walk.
I walked my dog with my girlfriend and I nice relaxing time.
Today is Sunday and we have plans with my family, so I had to go for my walk early in the morning. I had a lot of thoughts I needed to organize for the online courses I'm building, my girlfriend is a great listener and full of great ideas, I'm writing all of these new ideas down before leaving the house.
Today I went with my family horse riding in the morning, it was awesome, but it left me pretty tired. I was posponing my walk until later in the day. I went for a quick one fust before I went dark, I didn't feel like it, nor did I feel mood improvent, but I'm glad I didn't break the chain of habit.
Simple walk, I had some good ideas, the kind of thoughts that I was eager to come back and write down. Since I don't have my phone I had to try to keep them in mind. Now, if you excuse me I'll go write them down.
It doesn't always rain here in Ecuador were I live, but when it does it goes crazy. There was a thunder that cut out the power, so I've been out of internet for the past hours. I waited for the rain to go down a bit to go for the walk.
I actually really enjoy rain, I got my old coat from times living in England and walked all the way to a nice park where the smell of grass felt amazing.
It's easy to make an excuse not to walk on days like this so I'm glad I did, because it was one of the best walks so far.
Half way there, it's been so far a great habit to get into, today it was raining again. I had nice company Zizu and my girlfriend. I cleared of my mind, ready to organize some thoughts and plan out some of the work I want to do tomorrow before the weekend.
I've been having a good day so far, I finally fixed some things on my website that I've been postponing. Instead of trying to fix more of the endless problems that come from creating online content, I decided to take a break for my walk, it was pleasant.
I've been listening to the audio-book of Malcolm X's autobiography. I only started it yesterday and I'm halfway through. I wanted to listen to it on my walk, but I resisted my urges and decided to stick to the "no phones allowed" rule. I'm glad I did, but now back to the book.
Today was extremely different to other walks. The only one that was kind of similar was on Day 3. I wen with my mom, girlfriend, brother, and my brother's friend to this amazing lake.
This place was a 3 hour drive away from the city. We walked around this massive lake with a beautiful view.
I've been feeling stuck in my progress towards the work I want to do, so it was valuable to have a break in nature and breathe some fresh air.
I was feeling pretty low, a bit of a headache and some personal issues bugging me. Thankfully my walk put me back on track. It was pretty incredible how much of a mood boost I got today out of some fresh air.
Today was a reminder of the importance of chasing pace, breaking mental patterns by doing something different. I'm starting to see the power of the walk.
Nice long walk. I was feeling pretty good before the walk, but after some fresh air I feel even better.
Even-though it takes an extra effort to allot time in the day for a walk, it's a habit that's worth acquiring, I don't know how easy it would be to make this into a permanent everyday habit, but I'm glad I have this blog post to revisit whenever I feel like remembering why walks are worth it.
Today we went for a dog-walk with Grace (my girlfriend), she needed to vent about some decisions she needs to make. It was nice to be there for her and listen. I'm happy to know that this walks have helped me sustain a healthy relationship.
In other news, Zizu (my dog) got off the leash and started running like a maniac. Grace and I run after him worried of him running into the street as cars where passing by. It was only when Grace stopped running that he went towards her. It was stressful, but fun.
Today was my brother's turn to walk our dog. So we went together for a walk and it was great. I'm happy to have found this time to bond with my brother.
I need a new chair, my back was hurting from being sat all day writing. (you should she my chair, it's my DIY attempts to fix a broken desk chair) Thankfully a nice walk always helps.
I can't believe it's been 22 days already, I'm finding these walk more useful as I keep building the habit of every day walks.
You know those hipster socks? They are just girl sock really, I'm talking about the ones that are short enough to display your ankles (apparently ankles are cool now). Either way, I'm not wearing those again for my walk, my shoes started scratching my feet because of them.
This all made me think, is there such thing as dedicated walking gear? I mean there are running shoes, hiking shoes, but aren't walking shoes just shoes? I thought all shoes were already made for walking.
Either way, these are the thoughts you end up having when you don't have headphones and too much of a clear mind to let it wonder. I love it.
Today was a bit of cheating since it wasn't a normal walk, but I ended up so exhausted after it that I decided to make it count. We went with my family to an awesome dog park. Zizu was learning some new tricks and we had a lot of fun. We stayed there for a long time, but the walk was mostly about running in circles and paying with Zizu.
Today I woke up in a bad mood, it happens sometimes. It's really hot outside, but I decided to go for a dog walk early in the morning. It didn't make a huge difference in my mood but I'm glad I did it anyway.
This is the first day of my sabbatical week, which is a concept created by Sean McCabefn:1.
In short, this sabbatical week means a week without scheduled work or obligations. It's margin time to rest and only do the things that I feel restful or fee like doing.
I schedule this time every 7 weeks. I didn't anticipate this walking challenge to be part of my sabbatical week, but thankfully a nice walk is exactly the stuff I need.
Today was great, it was raining an hour ago, so as I walked through a path full of trees it smelled amazing, a great restful walk to clear the mind.
This was another dog walk with my girlfriend. We had an awesome talk on branding, economics and the psychology of the buyer. It would have made it as an awesome podcast episode. What can I say I got a smart girlfriend, and she's been reading a book about these stuff.
Today was short, since I'm on my sabbatical week mentioned on day 26 I went with my girlfriend to an awesome breakfast restaurant. I asked her to go on a walk with me first.
It was great, she talked about some of her worries and exciting things about the future. We had an awesome walk and then a great breakfast.
I can't believe tomorrow is my last walk to complete the challenge. Today was great, I had a great idea, I run straight into my notes to write it down.
It's strange how normal the habit of walking everyday feels by now. I don't want this challenge to end, which is a good thing.
This is the last day of the challenge, I can't believe it's over. This challenge represented a big transformation from me.
It's kind of sad to know that as a millennial I've never had so many consecutive walks without my phone as a distraction.
I highly recommend trying out this challenge. I feel I found a flawless way to free my mind as the stress of the day arrives, I know I can always just go for a walk.
Now it's your turn, send me a message if you plan to do the challenge. Even better write a blog post about it and I can link to it in this page.