Day 88: Walking is Hard

by ashleighpenrod

I’m currently rehearsing for a dance show that requires me to walk.

Yes, walk. And that’s it. I walk.

But it’s not just any old walking. It’s slow and steady walking that is deliberately quiet, grounded and light. I’m supposed to walk my whole body forward—my heart, my brain, my belly, the space behind my shoulders, the back of my head, my legs, and all of my tissues and skin cells. It requires a kind of presence that is completely absent of ego. In short, it’s hardcore.

Tonight in rehearsal, I sucked at it. I got distracted by my shoes and kept scrunching up my face when I looked at the stage lights. I’m supposed to look forward and walk in a straight line, but somehow I looked sideways and walked in an arch. While half of my brain focused on being extremely cold, the other half reprimanded the cold half for not investing more in the walking (“Pay attention! Walking makes you warmer!”).

But, there it is. Sometimes walking is hard.

And sometimes other, much more complicated stuff is hard. Like knowing where you want to be but not how you should get there. Or wanting to save the whales and the trees but feeling like Earth is too big and you are too small.

Those complicated hard things become easier when they’re broken down into steps. Meeting a life goal? Step one: update your resume. Saving the planet? Step one: bring a reusable bag to the grocery store this week.

Aptly, walking becomes easier when broken down into steps as well. Step one: take a step.

Tomorrow, I will take some really good steps. And hopefully by this weekend, I’ll be walking.