As I open the door to step out for my walk this morning, it’s dark. In early November, in Ohio, before the time change, it’s pretty much still dark at 7:30 AM, particularly on a cloudy rainy day. My weather app, which gives precipitation forecasts down to the minute, says light to moderate rain will start in 51 minutes. I walk for an hour and twenty minutes. So, I’m going to get wet. How wet is yet to be seen.
I make my way out on my path and somewhere past the halfway point, the rain begins to fall. It’s OK. I knew it was coming. My pants are getting damp. Rain is running down my face. My hands are getting numb. I’ve made the turn for home, it’s just one step at a time. If I just keep going, I’ll get home soon enough. I think of how nice it’ll be when I finally get home and can get into a hot shower.
Suddenly, a passing car stops beside me. It’s a woman, by herself, with a dog in the back seat. She’s saying something. I stop my podcast, take out my ear phones and say “I’m sorry?”. I figure she’s asking for directions somewhere. She repeats herself “Would you like a ride home? Are you OK?” Wow. I can’t believe she stopped to ask. I’m a bit taken aback. It is cold. It is raining. I could be home in less than two minutes from here. “No. I’m good. Thank you very much for asking.” She rolls up her window continues on her way and makes the next right disappearing up Gregg Drive.
I’ve set a course. When I left the house, my goal was 10,000 steps- minimum. I knew it was going to be dark, but it would get lighter. I knew it would rain. I knew the rain would be cold. But, I also knew that I only had to endure for the course I had set out and it’d feel so good being back home, warm and dry with 10,000 steps done. I had a plan. As I continue on my walk I remember how my daily walk is a metaphor for life. I very often don’t feel like taking that first step, but once I’m on the path, there is no turning back. There are no shortcuts if I want to accomplish my goal. As I walk along, I take my usual circuitous route up and down the various cul de sacs instead of just making the beeline for home which would get me home much sooner and much drier but shy of my goal of 7 miles and 10,000 steps.
Finally, I make the final turn for home, up the hill, arrive at the front door and step into the warm house.