This blog introduces you to my special brand of BIKE. I show you how to find your Best self, access your Inner strength, tune in to your Killer instincts, and use your Expressive voice. It's inspiring, spiritual, quirky, and it's all in your head. It's about ATTITUDE, not exercise, though that might be a side benefit.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Early morning walks inspire deep thoughts

I wonder if Jack Handy ever wrote any of his "Deep Thoughts" while taking an early morning walk along a canal bank like the one pictured above.

I've uncovered several of my own along a canal bank. In fact, I frequent this particular spot pictured above. Called the Arizona Canal, it runs about 25 miles from one end to the other (from Scottsdale to Glendale), thus, providing a great running, hiking, jogging, walking and bike riding route for people who live, work and visit Phoenix. It also makes a great place to ponder.

Along the way, you'll see trees, desert vegetation, the water, an historic resort, elegant homes, and a landmark rock formation with spiritual qualities. Called the Praying Monk, I watch for it and always pause to take in those qualities.

I prefer to ride or walk alone along the canal, so I can savor the time to think. But sometimes my daughter joins me, and we experience the healing qualities of water together. And on Saturdays, you'll find me there with friends. They run it. I walk it, winding up with a six-mile exercise-filled morning. Sometimes, when I'm in my best shape, I can run four. But generally I walk the six. We all meet at a nearby coffee house for breakfast afterward. It's a pleasant way to begin a weekend.

Despite the enjoyment I feel when I'm with other people, I definitely prefer my time alone out there along side of the water. It's a calm and relaxing place. Ducks swim along with me, baby chicks following behind this time of year. Birds fly over me in the trees. Bikers and runners pass me by. Occasionally, I'll see entire families. We exchange friendly hellos. Especially when I'm out there by myself, I'm inspired by all of these sounds and sights. Ideas come to me. Answers to questions I'd been having are revealed. I've even recited entire speeches in my head, if I have an upcoming presentation.

The canal provides a quiet place to consider the challenges of the day. When I get back home, I write everything I can remember down in my journal. Some of it I use right away. But most of what I jot down I save for a later purpose. I look forward to this time. If I could go daily, I would.

Do you have a spot near water where you go to spend time alone with your thoughts? If there's nothing like this near you, how could you create such a healing space for yourself?


Ed Pilolla said...

i live in southern california and nature isn't so easy to find. but there's a corporate fountain i visit and you know, when you intend a meditative place, it happens. really enjoying the peaceful energy of your blog.

BIKE LADY said...

Thank you, Ed. Your comment reminds me of a story I wrote for US Airways about urban waterfalls. In it, I included water fountains. Huge ones. There's a resort near me that has one; it mimics a natural waterfall on the Walpai Reservation in Northern Arizona. I visit this resort a lot. Just to sit and listen.

Babette said...

A walk alone--anywhere--does this for me. I walked all over NYC last month and found it so inspiring and rejuvenatin...I can lose myself anywhere.

I do, however, miss walks with friends...that was always free therapy in my book..

Anonymous said...

I walk every morning, but at the mall, which doesn't exactly inspire deep thoughts, but does allow me to clear my mind and pull myself together every morning.

BIKE LADY said...

Barb, I agree about the free therapy on walks with girlfriends.

Brette, I agree that a walk anywhere, even a mall, is a good idea. And I've seen waterfall in malls. Does yours have them?

LisaSam said...

I walk by a pond around a golf course. elps me calm down and inspires good ideas.

Kathy said...

It's funny as I read your post I'm thinking of all the watery spots I've found inspiration in places I've lived. A small lake in Michigan, the Hudson in NYC, a harbor in Southern California, a pond in London's Hampstead Heath, a night on a river in China lit with candles floating in paper boats -- and now some falls on the Potomac where I hike whenever I get a chance....thanks for the reminder.

Sue Dickman said...

That looks lovely. I try to run on the bike path in Amherst after work at least once a week, weather permitting. It goes through woods, with farmland off to one side. And there's a stretch where there are streams and beaver ponds--seeing the beavers was my reward earlier in the spring. The bike path closer to my house is more industrial (I live in an old mill town)--still nice, but I treasure those weekly runs in Amherst. No matter what's going on, I always feel better afterward.