I didn’t feel like working out tonight; but I did. Rather than running my usual route, I stuck to walking on the track tonight. There’s something methodical about walking that oval over and over and over. Sometimes on the straight-aways I even close my eyes. It seems that it sometimes takes more effort for me to focus on walking hard than going out for a run. It’s like it forces me to be present to the moment because if I mentally check out I’ll either start running or slow way down. One of the things I enjoy about running is being able to mentally check out: headphones on, Pete in my ear, lost in the atmosphere — no thinking. But when I get my power-walk on, it seems I have to really focus. And tonight I turned the music down low and observed all the other folks enjoying the cool weather with me. There was a father/daughter duo talking about a big decisions. There were a couple of nurses debriefing their day. There was the guy that provides individual coaching to all the middle school cheerleaders. There was even a group of about 20 playing frisbee golf on the field. Newly hung Christmas lights glowed in the distance reminding me of the season that is upon us. At the end of it all, I was glad I had set aside just 30 minutes to focus on one task at hand, being fully present. And hey, it doesn’t hurt that it’ll help me keep my blood pressure low and in the range of “athlete” according to my doctor this morning (100/65 baby)!