Have Camera, Will Walk

Sometimes I lack the desire to exercise. I know. Shocking. I don’t think I’m alone.

I once wrote a post about how walking was important to me, back when I was doing Weight Watchers and realising that I spent a lot of my life wrapped up in wool and comfort. The motivation that was with me back then was real and inspiring. I did well. I imagine, looking back, that winter arrived and I retreated again into the all too familiar comfort from bleak Canberra days.

I wrote about  how I felt better about my cocoon time if I had been out and about. I know I feel better. I know it’s good for me. But I let bad habits slide back in and I’m at square one again.

Last month I started walking at lunch time with a wonderful friend I made at work. It’s a great time of year to do it and we decided over yet another indulgent lunch one day that if we like talking so much, we could just as easily do it in Spring sunshine, with fresh air fuelling our conversation. And with fewer temptations. Treats of a different kind, if you like.

From those lovely lunch time walks has come the knowledge, again, that I do actually like to move, that as cosy as it is to stick close to home where I can knit with wine and food, it’s not really that good for me, at least not in the proportions I’ve been doing it. Not only that, but I’m noticing that I’m knitting slightly bigger cardigans for myself than I was knitting a couple of years ago. Worrying about that is an energy sapper. It comes laden with guilt and shame. When I sit down to knit, knowing I’ve done some movement for the day is a good feeling. I hate living with guilt.

But I need more to motivate me than just imagining trimmer thighs or guilt free eating. I need something that feeds me without the calories and for me, that’s always creative expression. So I decided that I must take my camera, or my iPhone, and I give myself the task of capturing something on my walk.

I walk fast, I breathe deeply, I listen to music or an audiobook and I notice what’s around me. Paying attention to the world around me reminds me that what’s in my head, what’s weighing me down (figuratively, not actually in this instance) is alleviated to a degree by moving and noticing. By engaging.

There’s only one rule. I must come home with at least one photo of something I’ve seen. Sometimes it’s the case that I only take one photo if inspiration is thin on the ground.

The gardens in my suburb are bursting with life, with fertility, with colour right now. It’s a photographer’s dream. I try not to limit myself to flowers but it’s hard to look past them.

One evening last week, feeling stressed, full of difficult thoughts and swirling ideas, I went walking before a storm. I love a bleak, pre-storm sky. It makes me feel. There are few sights more evocative. I snapped these leaves against the darkening sky.

leaves against the sky

I used Instagram to add a filter to the photo. Are you using Instagram? If you are, I’m there as Bellsknits (surprise!). Share your photos with me there.

Yesterday I walked in the morning. Such a contrast to that pre-storm romance. My suburb is filled with irises now. Tall, sweeping, vivid, they’re incredible flowers and they’re waving at me from the gardens I pass.

iris tongue

I’m just hoping the people in my suburb don’t mind when they look out the window and see a woman with a camera getting up close and personal with their flowers. I do like to get up close. It’s the best way to see how they really look, what detail is hidden at the heart. Like with this poppy, growing wild at the edge of our deck. I never knew what detail was there until I pointed my camera at the centre of it. Breathtaking.


So over the course of National Blog Posting Month (daily blogging, hosted by BlogHer) I’ll be sharing some days what I find on my walks. Anything to get me out the door.



15 thoughts on “Have Camera, Will Walk

  1. I do understand your lack of motivation to exercise as I feel the same. I have also started walking again as spring is such a beautiful time to be out in the open. Happy walking.

  2. First – yes. Exercise and I do not work together. I have a really, really hard time getting motivated to do anything.

    Second – that picture is fantastic and I’m about to find you on Instagram. (lifeasaSAHM)

    Third – welcome to NaBloPoMo!!

  3. I never think of my almost-daily walk as exercise. I just love to walk with The Labradors, see all the native animals and birds and just think of nothing at all really. I am trying to be mindful. I am sure people would be proud to have their flora so beautifully photographed.

  4. I know that I feel better both mentally and physically when i exercise but it’s still hard to make myself do it. I have fallen off the exercise wagon and am struggling to get back on.

    Taking a photo on your walk is a great idea. The flowers are so vibrantly colored. You can keep the iris, though. The smell makes me sneeze!

  5. I also like to take a camera with me while walking. It’s hard to do it daily but I try at least weekly. (Does taking the kids trick-or-treating count as a walk?!)

    Are you familiar with Georgia O’Keeffe’s close-up paintings of flowers? If not, you may enjoy them.

  6. That’s a great idea, Bells, for giving yourself motivation for the walk. Can’t wait to see all the pics. (Actually, walking with a friend at lunch is a great idea, too!) I have the same issue: I can’t “relax” for the day if I haven’t exercised first. I feel like I haven’t earned sit and knit time unless I do. Winter is coming here, now, and it does get harder to want to go. I’ve found that investing in the right kind of clothes – that actually keep you warm – helps a lot. But it’s still not ever as fun as sitting and knitting, unfortunately.

  7. Oh, you’ve just described perfectly how I feel when I stick to my walks routine… and when I do it, how clean the air becomes inside my head, the worries, all the rest…I take my I-phone with me and off we go. And the part of sneaking into other people’s garden to take a close-up of a flower. I love the poppy photo!

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