Choose your lane

The first two weeks that I arrived, all I did was walk.

Everywhere.  Sight-seeing, running errands.  But now that classes have commenced, the only walking I do is from home to the bus, bus stop to class (or water taxi, depending on the mode of transportation I decide on that day).  I sit for the day.  Then after class, I walk from class to the bus, bus stop to home, where I do some more sitting – reading or working on assignments for the rest of the day.

This being said, I have tried to make it a point to do everything I can to get some more exercise worked into my daily routine.

Two days ago, on our day off of class, I went on my second run since I’ve been here.  The first one, probably the first week I was here, was a brief 30-minute run.  This last one was an hour-long 6-ish mile run(/walk).  I was definitely struggling.  It’s crazy to think that a year ago I was doing 5-mile runs.  EVERY day.  How the hell did I do that?  At one point during the run I wondered if maybe I was dreaming.  You know the feeling in dreams when you’re trying to run fast, and  you just can’t?  (Result of mechanism in our brain during REM sleep which actually paralyzes our body to prevent movements which occur in the dream to keep us from injuring ourselves.)  Nope, I’m just in bad shape.

Anyway, I would love to get back to my old, extremely active lifestyle, but the reality of the situation is that school is definitely not going to allow to have the time to do so.  So my creative alternative?  Making the hour and thirteen-minute trek (according to Google Maps) home from school as often as possible.

So I tried it out for the first time yesterday.  I decided to just take my time and enjoy it, and snapped some pictures on the way.

Two hours, a couple gallons of sweat (excessive due to wearing a damn backpack), and a couple (maybe more than a couple) wrong turns later, I made it home.  It was a pretty exhausting walk, but it was definitely good exercise.

I liked figuring out how to get home on my own.  (This has been a reoccurring theme since I’ve arrived, if you hadn’t noticed).  And getting lost and rerouting and figuring it out all over again.  For way too long I have allowed myself to believe that I’m incapable of doing certain things on my own, that I need the help of others.  I felt that I was too heavily reliant on others, and every reason for that was somehow the fault of something/someone outside of myself.

But ultimately, it’s on me.  It’s my choice.  It’s my choice to change the perception I have of myself.  How can I expect to have the freedom to pursue what I want, my dreams, if I am just stuck on this idea that A.) I rely on others, and that’s just how it is, and B.) that I’m incapable of functioning otherwise?

Relying on others means I’m no longer in control.  I’m in control when I choose to be.  “None but ourselves can free our minds.”

Anyway, so I’m taking this walk solo, with my thoughts and my music being my only company.

It was really, really enjoyable.  It’s gorgeous here.  There’s something beautiful and different to be seen every day.  Or maybe I’m just consistently impressed by the same things I’ve seen every day.  I wonder when I will walk down the street and be conditioned to the fact that I live here.  I wonder when the awe-factor will subside.  I wonder if it ever will.

What’s even better is that as I’m processing what I see via sight, it’s all vibing in my head beautifully with the music playing in my earphones.  You know, it’s like what music can do for a scene in a movie.  When the right song is playing in the background, it can take any moment and elevate it’s most serene, blissful state.  It’s other worldly.  Might sound like a stretch, but that’s just how it is to me.

I love how music has that ability to uplift.  It’s these types of moments, for me, that come the closest to the blissful, happy feeling of that of a dream.  That “ahhhh,” moment.  That “is this real?” moment.  The kind of moment that negativity can’t easily penetrate.

Back to reality.  It wasn’t until this morning that I realized something was wrong with my foot.  Likely a result of the long distance + lots of hills + shitty sandals + really terrible surfaces for walking.  I was kind of hobbling around school today.  But what did I decide after class?  To walk home again.  Probably a really dumb decision.  And my sandals were even worse for walking today.

My walk was a lot shorter today.  I knew exactly where I was going.  Although the sweating gallons-thing seems to be an unavoidable constant.  Oh well.

I must have been walking funny to compensate for my hurt foot, because my right calf is pretty sore.  I have a lot of lovely blisters.  And now my right foot is swollen.  This can’t be good. If my Dad were here, he’d say ice it.  But I don’t have ice.  I guess the best thing for me to do is just rest it.  No more walking home from school for me for awhile.

See if this were my dream world, I could just fly.  Actually, for me, it’s more like swimming.  Just leave the ground, drift into the air, float into the clouds like the surface is beyond the sky.

That’s why you can’t get a stress fracture in your foot in the dream world.  Oh well, I suppose I should just invest in some better shoes.

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