Step Thirty Four

Step Thirty Three
August 5, 2015
Step Thirty Five
August 7, 2015


Two steps forward, three steps back. Lather rinse repeat. Just when I feel it coming together, suddenly it isn’t coming together at all.

Two blocks into a random stroll Wednesday evening, I knew my feet weren’t going to be much of a chapel. I could feel my neck muscles tensing up, a certain tightness that I’ve come to identify as my personal harbinger of doom. OK, doom is a bit extreme. Let’s say, harbinger of pain, suffering and general all-around ickiness.

Yeah. General all-around ickiness about sums it up.

I don’t get it. I’m healthier than I’ve been in months. Random weakness spells are fewer and further between than ever – we’re talking no more than two, maybe three, in a week. I’m doing OK on the elliptical machine. (Seven minutes! Four without complaining!) Heck, I’m even volunteering for extra dancing rehearsals! But a half-mile jaunt down the street sets off warning bells?! Come on!

Well, I paid no heed to the warning. My feet were going to be my blippin’ chapel, period.

I had plenty on my mind to work through, and I could have used God’s advice. Or that calm you get after you pray, even when you don’t know how God will respond, but you know a response is coming. Or, at the very least, someone to talk to while I tried to push for five miles.

I haven’t gotten the whole “feet be your chapel” thing quite right. For one thing, I carry my phone, complete with bluetooth ear piece. For another, I actually use it. (I work with a global agency – clients on different time zones means the phone is always on.)

Yes, my agenda is critically flawed.

I like to start off each walk at a slow, comfortable pace. It usually takes me 10 minutes or so at this pace to work through the most pressing concerns of the moment, and to lay out for God my plans for dealing with them. (I am deeply thankful, in hindsight, that God never seems too upset with my hubris. Maybe he thinks I’m funny?)

Then, around the 15-minute mark (where I assume I’ve logged a mile, maybe a mile and a quarter), if I haven’t received any calls, I’ll call somebody. If I can get ahold of someone from the office, I can start implementing strategies ironed out during the first 15 minutes. If not, I’ll start calling through my family contacts til I find someone I haven’t talked to in a while, just to shoot the breeze for a bit.

During these calls, time really flies. Some nights, when I’m feeling particularly good, I can log two hours. Once my Fitbit® logged 15,000 steps (about eight miles)  – just while I was talking on the phone. Those long (winded) nights haven’t happened in a long time. But it’s just as well, given how backwards I tend to treat this entire feet/chapel process.

When I set out last night, I had every intention of doing it the right way.

The plan was to spend an hour (or so) wandering the streets of Palmyra, just going where the wind blew me, thinking quietly about stuff. But, 20 minutes in, all I’d really processed mentally was the gradually intensifying pain in my neck. The constant throb was a greater distraction than any electronic device. I couldn’t think about any one thing for more than a few minutes. I failed to follow a single line of reasoning to any conclusion.

At 30 minutes, I was slowly moving up my driveway toward the kitchen door. Mission failure was imminent. All I had to show for my effort was a little bit of exercise. Big whoop.

Jeff Peyton
Jeff Peyton
Don’t be fooled by Jeff Peyton's accomplishments in communications, crisis and business management. He also wing-walked on an airplane at 700 feet, co-piloted the Goodyear Blimp and swam with sharks - and still managed to obtain paperwork officially declaring him “legally sane.” Really.

1 Comment

  1. Mom says:

    Sure hope you are feeling better this morning. Try it again this evening, maybe all will go well.


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