It was a different walk in a familiar walking path.. A walk around a beautiful, scenic and serene reconstructed lake. I went a couple of times around the lake and each time with a different walking ‘partner’..

The first time I went around the lake (app 2.7 kms is one time around the lake – measurement curtesy – a fitness tracking app), my walking ‘partner’ was Krishnan. The walking path was muddy and uneven. For us, these walks are times to discuss on varied topics.

As we walked around the lake today, we were in a serious discussion about a recent happening and at random intervals his statements were “Look at this dog, so cute.. Look at that dog, she has such a furry coat.. Oh, that must be a rotweiller.. Do you know what breed that dog could be?” And my mind voice was like “Ehhh!!! Aren’t we in a serious discussion? Now why are you bringing these dogs into the discussion? Shall I continue my walk while you admire these canines?” Now I know who gets distracted first when Mr. D is taken for daily walks:-)

What I could do if I need this walking ‘partner’ to listen to me – have a few fancy coats, each one being in colours of black, brown and white, some looking furry and some not.. a collar around the neck of the coat with a leash hanging from the collar. Different coats for different walks!!! Whether this will work is anybody’s guess 🙂

As we were almost completing our walk around the lake, I saw that there was another path that could be taken mid-way to complete the walk; and this path looked a bit more cleaner and even. My mind was made to take the second time walk around the lake only to take this path that I happened to suddenly see.. And this time, my walking ‘partner’ was myself.

This time around, my conversations and discussions were happening in my mind with me and myself 🙂 It is so different to converse with oneself. One is one’s own worst critic and best friend. In such conversations with myself, I can get totally lost in thought and oblivious to people around.. or I could have a beaming smile on my face because I realised something that sounds silly or like what happened today, suddenly decide to write a blog and think what needs to go in it.

Time in the walk to take the other path to take and complete my walk – the path that appeared cleaner and even. Like in life, paths can also be misleading!! What we see from afar is not what it is!!

A few meters into this path, I saw that to proceed further I need to cross a pit that looked a bit steep. I needed to walk down a slightly steep decline, walk across a few big rocks of different shapes and sizes and then walk up a seemingly steep incline. The soil was a bit loose as well, in the decline and incline.. My mind immediately went to an earlier experience of walking in a similar terrain during a trip with a friend to a hill in Castleton, in the Peak District of Derbyshire. I recall falling in different places of the trek, as the terrain was slippery and marshy due to rain the previous day; and I had to walk back with some wet shoes and muddy jacket and jeans. My friend had gone ahead and was out of hearing distance.. a few other walkers saw me sitting in the slushy land and asked me, “Are you ok?”.. I would struggle hard to get up, only to fall again.. Duh!!!

The recall of this experience made me freeze today and the thought of – If I fall in the decline or incline I would fall on those big uneven rocks and could get hurt or fall into the lake, and could get wet. Fortunately the thought of drowning in the lake didn’t cross my mind!!

I thought of turning back and not taking the path less traveled. The human mind finds it difficult to resist challenges. There is always that urge to fight the odds!! I stopped for a minute, motivated myself and told myself to walk carefully and took the first step forward.

The decline and the incline were easy but walking on the rocks wasn’t easy.. Some of the rocks were jagged and it was precarious to step on them.. I wobbled as I looked at the different rocks to decide which ones to step on.. Finally crossed the rocks and climbed up the incline and breathed a sigh of relief..

I walk a few steps forward and see another pit.. “Oh my god!! Another one?” Isn’t this what life also deals us? Cross one hurdle and up comes the next.. I looked around to see if there was an escape route.. Alas, no!!

Here there were some young adults happily playing with the water and it appeared that neither the decline nor the incline nor the uneven rocks were an issue for them. What appears a challenge for one seems like a breeze for another!! This pit seemed more steep and the rocks more jagged or was that my fear creating its own illusion? This time, I had to halt for more time to talk to myself and then walk down and up this pit. Whew!!! When I finally walked up the incline of the pit and completed my walk, I let out a huge sigh of relief..

Who ever said that the road less traveled was easy? From afar it seems so but it certainly ain’t!!

All our journeys aren’t always easy ones.. Some of them come with obstacles of different shapes and sizes.. How we cross them and how others cross them may not be similar, let alone the same.. Competing therefore doesn’t seem to make sense..

Our life is shaped by many a past experience that sometimes come to haunt us, when we are taking a new step.. How we tide over it is something that is unique to each one of us. Do we want to abort the new step and turn back? Do we want to take the new step, address what haunts us and also learn more about ourselves? I am not sure if there is a definite answer to this and I guess it is ok not to have one as well!!

Walks – work for the body and the mind!! Addictive indeed!!