“What compels you to stare, night after night, at all the glittering hokum that has been deliberately put together for you?” J. B. Priestley
For quite a few years, my family and I have been cable television free and generally television free for most of that time. We’ve had a laptop and monitor so that we could occasionally watch Netflix or a DVD. Otherwise, we’d listen to music, talk, or just enjoy the silence. This past Christmas we took the leap and purchased a real TV. It’s a 50″ Vizio complete with soundbar, subwoofer and XBOX Kinect. We still don’t have cable but we watch Netflix frequently.
We’ve recently completed the entire series of Cheers – all 11 seasons. I am now infatuated with Mad Men. I watch an episode and I can’t wait – I have to see the next one. Slowly I have found myself spending more and more time sitting. “I’ll work on that post after this episode.” “As soon as Mad Men goes off, I’ll get to work on the car.” Etc. The want and desire to vegetate creeps into you. All of a sudden, you find yourself old beyond your years.
For the past two weeks, my wife and I have been hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail (I recently published a post about it.) We have managed to find time to do it three times last week and three times this week with plans to do it again today. In the post I quoted the distances wrong but as it stands, we are doing 8.6 miles per day (two days ago we did 10.8 miles.) That’s a total of 53.8 miles over the two week period.
As I sit now, my shoulders hang low from a bouncing 40+ pound backpack. If I don’t move my legs often, my knees tighten up and don’t want to move. Both of my heels hurt. The balls of my feet ache. I have some kind of reddish-blue swollen area just above my left arch. And all of my muscles have some type of tingling sensation. BUT I FEEL GREAT!
I’ve always enjoyed the solitude of deep woods solo adventures. But most of the time, it isn’t practical. It’s important to understand that even when we can’t go deep into the backcountry with a backpack and a fishing pole, we can still get outside and enjoy nature. Whether it is a day-hiking trip, a weekend camping trip, or just a short paddle down a lazy river, your body and your mind will feel immediate results.
Do yourself a favor. Turn off your TV and go find some outside physical activity. Go for a hike. Go for a bike ride. Go for a swim. Do something. For that matter, turn off the computer right now and go for a short walk around your neighborhood. Do something.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like Day-Hiking the Appalachian Trail (Harpers Ferry , WV to Weverton, MD) and Public Service Announcement.