Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ripple effect

In January, I started going on walks every day during my lunch break. My building has a fake indoor walking track. It's really the bridge between the upstairs of the north and south wings, but it happens to be a circle, and people happen to use it as a walking track.

When it got warmer, I started going outside.

See, there's a wee little lake outside, just behind my building. Too small to be considered a lake, really, but not small enough to be a pond. So when it was warm enough, I started walking around and around that lake. I liked it lots better than inside – I was less visible, and I did only ten laps instead of the forty I do on the tiny inside track.

One day, I noticed some men walking around my tiny lake. Then they crossed the street. I kept walking, and about ten minutes later, they crossed back to my side of the street and continued around my lake.

Thick-headed as I am, I had to witness this a couple of times before I started to wonder what was on the other side of the street. But finally one day I followed them...

And found a bigger, better lake!

I started walking between the two. Eventually, I saw someone disappearing across a street near my new lake. I was a quicker learner this time and soon followed her across and found yet another lake. This one – this third lake – is my favorite. It's where I see baby ducks and baby geese and turtles, and it's where the songbirds seem to live.

I've found one more lake, and suspect there's another two, at least, lurking around some other corners. I have yet to explore that far.

I called my mom one day and told her about following the people across the street. About how all this time I'd been walking around the same little pondlake over and over when really there's miles and miles of trail around these many lakes. She exclaimed "That's like a metaphor!"

If I were a crazy cool author like my fav. Sarah Dessen (what up Jaz? So glad you love her too!) I know I'd be able to weave this into a story and use it to change my characters' lives. And maybe someday I will. (Dibs. None of you get to use it. ;)

But for now, what I have to say is this:

The ripple effect that can be caused by small changes amazes me. November first of last year, I started a new job. Around the same time, I started this blog, and I started trying to pay attention to what I ate. These three beginnings have interwoven and changed so much of my daily life.

I look back and feel like so much has changed. And sometimes I forget the work that has gone into those changes. None of these changes were easy. Small, yes. Easy? No.

Now, every day I take a break at lunch and enjoy a little bit of nature. Sure, I'm walking on a paved path in an industrial area. But I can't explain to you the joy of hearing birdsong or of seeing those sunbathing turtles and fluffy yellow baby geese.

And tonight? Tonight I'll be running – my third week in a row of going three times a week. I'll be running for 24 minutes total, the most I've run so far. But it doesn't scare me. So far, in my Couch to 5k club, I've only been amazed at what my body can do.

I'm not writing this to brag on myself. I'm writing this to hopefully show that small changes can have big results. and that big things really start with small steps.

I hope you all are having a lovely, lovely Wednesday. If you got this far, thanks for reading. :)


Cassy C. said...

That IS like a metaphor! What a great post - I share your experience looking back a year or so ago and marvelling at how much has changed. I think the most effective change is really just a culmination of little changes - usually big changes are unattainable.
So glad I found your blog - it's pretty awesome!

Alyx said...

I really love this post. I especially love that you're running 24 minutes total tonight. That just seems like such a daunting number to me - but I know you have worked hard to get to this point, and that's awesome! So glad the little changes have had a big effect!

Amy said...

Love the metaphor!
And that is so cool that you have those lakes! I need to take pictures of my walking route downtown! :)

Kate said...

Love the metaphor/book idea.
Love that you're running more and more.

And I"m totally jealous that you can go walk on your lunch break. I only get 20 minutes for lunch on a good day. :/

Margaret Hart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Margaret said...

Thick-headed. I liked reading that. I thought of Grams. I would walk by the baby geese, songbirds and the turtles too. Any honeysuckle in bloom? Another benefit of walking/running outside--the scents carried on the breeze. Anna and I started running/walking in a deal to allow her to skip conditioning summer school, she gets to wake me up before work and we go together. :)

Margaret said...

I am testing to see if my avatar shows up...

Margaret said...



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