Yet another cold front is heading down our way. Of course, it’s right after we got a couple of nice days for my morning walk. When I bemoan the fact to family and friends, I always get the same question. Why not just walk in the daytime?
I’ve got very good reasons for my pre-dawn walks. I’ve mentioned them, piece-meal, at various points before. Now, for the first time, I’ve assembled all the disparate pieces for your perusal! Maestro, if you please…
Give peace a chance
I live west in my East Coast part of South Florida. So far west, in fact, that there is practically no commercial development. There’s my little Publix shopping center and a relatively new Walgreen’s at the close-by intersection. Nothing else, really.
That means, in the pre-dawn hours, it’s all residential area walking. At that time, there is little likelihood of much activity. No hustle. No bustle. Just peaceful time.
Absent the rare delivery truck and occasional early work hours employee, I’ve only a few bikers and walkers to disturb me.
The sound of silence
Peace’s good buddy, quiet, is also in plentiful display in those still-dark hours. Even the birds (and, more beneficially, the bees) have yet to start their days.
During my most creative period, it was my early morning walks that provided me the best time to do my brainstorming. In the quiet of the morning, I am able to plot, write or simply spread my imaginative mind’s eye.
I’ve been hoping to return to my creative mood recently. I recognize my morning walks play a huge and vital role in that mood. All of that is facilitated by the stillness and quiet that envelops me on my walks.
I can’t get that any other time than in those early morning hours.
Breakfast in America
Another big plus of early morning walks is how efficient it is.
Walking around 6 am means I get back between 7 and 8 am. Slide quickly into a shower and eat breakfast and I’m all ready to go no later than 9 am. During my working days, I would keep the walks to an hour and be out the door before 8 am.
Granted, when I extend to the 10 mile walks, the timeline gets stretched, but I believe more now in regular 5-milers or so, as opposed to marathon walks.
Time is on my side
As you can see, given the above schedule, my day is left open for all manner of activities.
That includes lunches with Dad and Stepmom, freedom to help out other friends and family with rides and errands and my own errand-running needs.
Plus, of course, plenty of time to write these stultifying blog posts. Okay, maybe that’s not that big a plus.
Bottom line, if I am walking in the middle of the day, everything goes wacky in the schedule.
Burn baby burn
Finally, let’s talk UV index. Not a concern at 6 am in the morning. Most days in South Florida, though, the UV index is somewhere between 10 and “the sun’s corona”.
Given my special relationship with my dermatologist, I tend to prefer non-solar walking adventures. My Dad, he of the many years shirtless in Alaska, tells me he loses pieces to his dermo every time he visits.
I’m not at that point yet, but I also don’t have my Dad’s darker skin. Because of my Mom’s lighter coloring, I am more crossbreed. Able to darken, but generally fairer.
My dermo tries to get me to wear long-sleeve shirts and hats everywhere. Forget that. On the other hand, I don’t want to slather up every day just to take a walk. So, early morning is for me!
When I am only 4-5 pounds over what I feel to be my “playing weight”, I can rationalize missing a few walking days due to temperature conditions. Now that I’m running more like 7-10 pounds over, I can’t really use that excuse.
So, with that aforementioned cold front coming in, I think my answer to the “Why not just walk in the daytime?” question is going to be, “I guess I’m going to have to.”