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Last week someone told me that slow walking had absolutely no benefits. They were of course referring to my way of walking. While on my morning walks, I am slower than most. Umm.. Let me rephrase that, on some days the tortoise can beat me in a race, I am that slow. I am kidding of course, but you get the drift. I am certainly no competition for P.T. Usha or any of her local counterparts.

It is not that I don’t wish/want to walk at a brisker pace like everyone else or even that I cannot. I can definitely TRY at least, can’t I? But then there is this simple matter that I have been advised to not overdo things as it might land me in serious trouble. And pray, tell me, who wants serious trouble, let alone land spang in the middle of it? Not you, not anyone, definitely not me.

There was no use telling the person going on about how I should be walking (or what else I should be doing) about my ‘bad’ back or the fallen arches of my foot or how a little care would take me a longer way than recklessness as I have experienced more than once. Besides hadn’t the experts in the field aka the orthopaedics, not to mention the physiotherapists, expressly forbidden the fast-walk routine?

The problem as I see it is the person belonged to the now-growing-at -alarming-proportions group of staunch believers in the old system of medicine and was a card carrying members of the everything-is-wrong-with-the-modern-system-of-medicine school of thought. ‘English medicines’ as allopathy is referred to is the Root Of All Evil. Well, at least the root of all health-related evil. Popping pills worsened everything. Besides breathing right solved ALL problems.

[Excuse me while at this point I roll on the ground laughing out real loud (ROTGLRL). It is going to take a while since it is not easy for me to lay down, roll around and get up – all the while laughing real loud too. So in case you have other things to do around the house you may finish those and get back.]

Hello there! I am back.

Now that I am done rolling (and laughing loud), also dusted myself of the dirt on me, plucked out the odd dried leaf sticking to my dress and hair, thrown out an insect or two off on a daring expedition to my inner ear, let me tell you why I attempted the ROTGLOL when it is clearly not good for my condition.

Breathing right supposedly would push out all the air trapped in various parts of my body and my back would be as good as new was the gist of what I was told. If your jaw has dropped to the floor on reading this, please lift it back up and put it in place before you continue as otherwise wandering mosquitoes, moths and sundry insects might inadvertently find themselves trapped within.

I don’t dispute AT ALL that breathing right has wonderful benefits. But if you stop me (while on my slow walk) to tell that it will magically cure my osteoporosis then you are wasting your time. Not your time, dear readers, but the person who held forth in an Ancient Mariner-sque manner to me about how easy the path was to perfect health. THEY definitely were wasting their time.

As if breathing right would magically strengthen my brittle bones! I suppose it would even fix the bones when/if they get broken? Really! The things people tell me! I think it is my face. Sigh. They look at me and think, ‘here’s one who looks like a perfect fool, let me try my theories on her!’ Anyways…

With all its possible foibles, I prefer to keep my ‘foolish’ faith in the modern system of ‘English’ medicine. Why? Ahh.. That’s a longer story I shall tell another day. I mustn’t keep you from your busy day/life. But before I go I will tell you this: Don’t judge people who walk slow. You don’t know their reason. For all you know they are enjoying the morning air while you are exercising. A sobering thought that, right?

© Shail Mohan 2022