Larry Kies (pronounced Keys,) invited me to join him in training for a half-marathon which is held at Africa University the same time as its annual Peace Marathon. Larry takes training walks twice a week for the month leading up to the marathon, and he warned me that he sets a mean pace for these intensive training hikes. In spite of his warning, I said, “Sure, I’d like to train with you.”
He told me to meet him at his gate at 6:30 AM. I was up at 5:30 the next morning to have a quick bite of breakfast and be ready. It was a cool morning, which was a good thing. Larry was not kidding about setting a fast pace. I’m a good walker, but I had to really step out to keep up with him. Although I walk two or three miles a day, it’s not at Larry’s intense pace, so I decided to add an extra training walk.
Tsvingwe (say Tching-way) is a village almost four miles from Africa University. I decided to hike over there after office hours on Tuesday. I got there OK, but the sun was beginning to set when I started back at 5:30, and I knew I had to go at a really good pace to get back to campus by nightfall. I felt a keen sense of exhilaration as I hiked along in the gathering twilight. The sun was no longer visible, but it left a pink glow on the horizon. A gentle breeze brushed my face, bearing cool evening scents with it. As I inhaled deeply, I couldn’t help but reflect on the wonders of walking.
My heart and lungs hummed along in harmony with my walking pace. The bones, muscles, and tendons of my legs flexed rhythmically with every step. All my involved joints worked smoothly with the swing of my legs, arms, and torso. My nervous system was vibrantly tuned into the action, and I felt great!
I arrived home at 6:45 PM. After having a good veggie supper and a hot bath, I fell into bed and slept like a log all night. Walking does truly wonderful things for body, mind, and spirit. Training for the Peace half-marathon is great. Now I’ll have to see how the real event goes on October 2nd!