I was never the most active child. I was in fact pretty lazy. I preferred to sit in my house and watch movies and soap operas, rather than go for a walk or do something to minimally increase my heart rate.
In the last three years though, I have become more active. It was a decision I made to better my lifestyle because I knew I slightly enjoyed the feeling of working out and I knew I was helping myself too. I would run on the treadmill and use other weird machines at the gym. I was happy with my choice.
Before the pandemic, I would go to the gym and run on a treadmill; I was reliant on machines to help me move because they only stopped when you pressed a button. I disliked running in the streets simply because I had to force myself to keep running. I thought that if I was sweating and there was a high wind that I would break out with acne. That in itself was a nightmare.
Now though, with this pandemic, gyms are obviously closed which means I do not have the fortune of using a treadmill. When I came home from college, and later found out the gym at home was closing due to the virus, I felt lost. I seriously had no clue what to do. I disliked running outside. I did not enjoy myself while doing it and I was not a sucker for the nature around me. But I really did not know what else to do.
Even though I previously had this more negative mindset, since the pandemic, I have been somewhat forced to seek alternative workout options. As it turns out, I have actually become increasingly fond of running outside. In fact, I love it way more than using the treadmill. I feel like I am one with nature since I run while surrounded by beautiful scenery. It is quite an exhilarating feeling. I get to see beautiful flowers blooming around me and I have a pretty little sun shining over my head. I feel unstoppable.
This feeling of being one with nature reminds me a lot of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. In his chapter Solitude, the opening line itself reads “This is a delicious evening, when the whole body is one sense, and imbibes delight through every pore.”
While this line does not necessarily reference flowers and trees and that beauty, it does indicate a sense of wholesomeness. The wholesomeness of a man who lives in an area surrounded by nature; while he could choose to feel lonely, he instead embraces it.
Lately, I run joyfully and am reminded of Thoreau’s work. I am reminded of the beauty of nature and how frequently I take it for granted. I am reminded of the beautiful world that lives beyond the outskirts of the various technological devices I use. I am reminded of how incredible it is to live in a place where I can see such lovely-looking nature. I feel more whole and I embrace the feeling.
I give myself more credit for opening my mind more and stepping outside of my comfort zone. I give myself credit for finally realizing that life exists outside of a smelly gym.
In a sense, I do envision myself in the chapter Solitude. I see myself standing near what is described as an isolated home. I envision myself surrounded by what feels like a million trees scattered around me. I envision myself looking at flowers in front of me. While my previous self would have disliked this feeling and would have much rather preferred to go to a more enclosed space, I feel even more free. I feel more whole. I have, too, become one with nature.