“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
Yes, it’s a Tolkien reference. But just stop and be thankful for a minute that it’s not a Sherlock reference.
It’s the first day of the New Year. By the time you read this, I may already be lost in the woods.
My good friend and fellow actor, my boys, and I are participating in a First Day Hike at Pocahontas State Park. It’s a chance to get out in the woods on the first day of the year. Today promises to be clear, and not too terribly cold.
If you know me well, you know that this is a great departure for me. Normally on New Year’s Day I’m watching the Tournament of Roses Parade while sketching or writing.
I’m 56 and, by golly, I’ll change if I want to.
I talked a couple of weeks ago about the need to really get back into walking. (There’s your Sherlock reference).
An old superstition says “what you do on New Year’s, you will do all year.” Taking lots of hikes in the New Year would not be a bad thing.
According to the American Heart Association, research has shown that 30 minutes or moderate physical activity each day helps:
- Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
- Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels
- Improve blood lipid profile
- Maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity
- Enhance mental well being
- Reduce the risk of osteoporosis
- Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer
- Reduce the risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes
I don’t run. I don’t do competitive sports. And right now, until the shoulder is moving again, I don’t swim. But I can walk. And I’m thankful for that.
I won’t get out to a park every week. But I can get down by the river ever day at work. Okay within reason during the winter months. And for that matter, during the summer months.
Yesterday, before the price went up, I signed up to once again walk in the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K. This will be my third year. Last year I raised money for Massey Cancer Center. This year I’ll do the same. You’ll be hearing more about that.
For today, it’s mostly about the chance to get out into nature and have some fun. If we get there in time, some hot apple cider.
And, for what it’s worth, I could use some hiking boots.