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If I can touch just one life with whatever I write, then I have succeeded.
1 month ago
Two Sundays ago, I decided to take a morning walk. The COVID numbers have been decreasing and alert levels are being lowered. The threat remains, of course, so adhering to the minimum safety protocols is still a must.
Anyway, the decision to go out for a walk was mainly for two reasons: exercise and for a change of scenery, and to determine how far I need to walk to complete praying the Holy Rosary.
From the house, there is a 300 meter walk that would bring me to a very long road that had rises and dips. All the better for variation and a bit of added challenge. The stretch of road is almost two kilometers from end to end.
When I say pray the Rosary, I mean all four mysteries - Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious. Walking is a great way to focus and contemplate, another reason why I wanted to do both activities simultaneously.
Since I haven't gone on very long walks for nearly a year, I didn't want to push myself. I figured I would walk enough to complete two mysteries. It is okay to break up praying 20 decades of Hail Mary's, as long as it's not just reciting it.
One thing I discovered on that first outing is that praying while walking takes the focus away from any exertion necessary to cover the miles. While there was sweat involved as you climb and descend, the strain on the legs, and even the lungs, become negligible because I was reciting and contemplating Jesus' life.
Since the road I was travelling still had a lot of elements - people, vehicles, animals, trees, plants - it was still a must to be aware of my surroundings and to stay alert.
But the walk was definitely made more pleasant by the praying.
I think I managed up to two-thirds of the road before I turned back. The plan was to start back when I was on the next mystery, because it would be around the same distance covered as the Joyful mystery.
A stretch was necessary, and after five or 10 minutes of giving my legs and feet a good cool down, I went in and proceeded to do more stretching on an exercise mat. Oohhh, there were muscles that ached I wasn't aware of, but it was to be expected given the long respite from walking a good distance.
I was actually worried that my body would be aching the next day but fortunately, I was fine. So, I decided that the next Sunday (yesterday), I would again go for a walk.
This time, the goal was to see if I could complete all four mysteries while taking a route that would bring me full circle back to the house. I figure around five or so kilometers.
The excursion was completed in an hour and 20 minutes through that roundabout route. And yes, I did finish 20 decades. It was a huge accomplishment!
Many times I felt my calves and feet starting to ache, but I would dismiss it and continue reciting the Hail Mary and contemplating on each mystery. In my head, what I was doing, however painful, was still nothing compared to what Jesus Christ had to endure, especially in the Sorrowful Mysteries (Agony in the Garden, Scourging at the Pillar, Crowning of Thorns, Carrying of the Cross, and Crucifixion and Death on the Cross)! Every one of those had Him shedding blood, and that's to save humankind, me especially, from sin! So what right did I have to complain?
The longer route also meant running into more people - there were pockets where a small crowd would gather - and I had to be very conscious of distancing myself just to be safe. As it was Sunday, vehicles were sparse at that time of the day.
I think part of the praying was for protection against disease and to be kept safe from any harm. And a form of penance as well.
If the previous Sunday had me in slight pain, yesterday's long walk (my niece was quite aghast when I told her how far) had me writhing somewhat.
So the walk was again followed by longer stretching, and I think I was ready to collapse on the mat later. Still, I managed to get up and go about my day, although there was some discomfort.
Turning in early was necessary. Suddenly, I felt the tiredness of the early morning activity. I used a foot patch to help relieve some of the discomfort, and it worked wonders. I woke up even earlier than usual, but I was already refreshed. And there was no sign of any pain.
I'm just thinking praying, and Mama Mary had a lot to do with that. She prayed for my healing, I know it. And I am blessed.
Next Sunday there's a family activity lined up, so I'm not sure how the walking and Rosary will fit in, but for sure I will find the time. I must, both for sanity and spiritual nourishment.