Thursday, December 15, 2016

Hank Sanders: Senate Sketches #1539: Walking is so powerful

  Walking is so powerful. I don’t mean the placing of one foot in front of the other. I don’t mean taking one step at a time. These acts may be powerful in their own right, but I mean something more. I mean all the things that walking does for the human body, human mind and human spirit. With all the challenges of this ten-county Senate District I represent, I need every bit of power walking provides. Walking is so powerful.

  It was 26 degrees one morning, but I forced myself to go walking. It was hard to go walking in the freezing cold, but I asked for help from on high. I did not walk the whole two miles. In fact, I walked just about one mile. I was so glad that I walked this day. I felt so much better all day just because I walked 20 minutes in spite of the cold. Walking is so powerful.

  It really helps to have a walking partner. My walking partner is Faya Rose Toure. On many days, she says that she does not feel like walking. I then go on by myself. More often than not, I will see soon Faya coming down the road. She comes because I am her walking partner. Sometimes neither of us feels like walking but we push each other. Walking is so powerful.

  God created walking for more than just getting from one place to another. Walking is central to our very being. Walking is central to our health. I know the power of walking firsthand. Walking is so powerful.

  My brother Charles has diabetes. I shared with him my fears of developing diabetes. My deceased mother had it, and a number of her eleven living children have diabetes. Charles emphatically stated that I would not develop diabetes even though I have many characteristics that make diabetes likely. I am very overweight, obese to be exact. I am African American. I am in my seventies. I eat many of the wrong foods. Diabetes runs in the family. Charles knew that I walked regularly. I don’t have diabetes. So far, he is right. Walking is so powerful.

  I used to have gout really bad. When I had my knees replaced, I started walking again. Now, I rarely have gout. I have back problems. Sometimes it is so bad that I am stooped over. When I force myself to walk in spite of the pain, I have less pain and stand up straight. Walking makes a concrete difference in my gout and my pain. Walking is powerful.

  At 74, my memory is not what it used to be. It used to be excellent, but now it’s just good. However, it gets worse if I miss a few days of walking. When I get back in my walking groove, my memory improves dramatically. Walking is good for the mind. Walking is so powerful.

  I rarely get down or even low in spirit. However, it does happen from time to time. I even get depressed on rare occasions. It only happens if I don’t walk a few days. It is hard to walk when we are low in spirit. It is extremely hard to walk when we are depressed. But I force myself to walk, and my low spirit rises and my depression lifts. I am my old self in no time flat. Walking is good for the spirit. Walking is powerful.

  I should have high blood pressure. I am old, overweight and African American. However, my blood pressure has been excellent all these years. When I walk regularly, it remains excellent. When I miss walking for various reasons,  my blood pressure rises to less than excellent. I should have heart challenges. I have all the characteristics that align with heart challenges. But I don’t have heart problems. I am convinced that walking keeps my blood pressure good and protects my old heart. Walking is good for the body. Walking is so powerful.

  I have noticed that my physical balance sometimes seem a little off. It develops when I miss walking for a few days. When I resume walking, my balance improves. The balance is not only physical but mental and emotional. Walking affects every element of our being. Walking is so powerful.

  I recently read that daily walking can add seven years to the average lifespan. I cannot prove the truth of this assertion, but I am still living. Something helped me get to 74 in spite of working too long and hard, eating too much of the wrong foods, and challenging my health on various other fronts. I also read that walking helps us not to look our age. I don’t know whether I look my age, but those who don’t know my age are surprised to find that I am 74 years old. There are so many other benefits of walking. Among the better known are stress relief and weight loss. Walking is so powerful.

EPILOGUE – I believe that God places seeds of disease within each of us. I also believe that God places seeds of prevention and cure within each of us. All we have to do is cultivate the seeds that prevent and/or cure disease. Walking is one way to cultivate these seeds.

  About the author: Hank Sanders represents Senate District 23 in the Alabama Legislature.

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