Brooke and I go on 3-5 walks a week. Depending on the day we will pick one of our loops which vary in distance and time. Our longest loop is about five miles and our shortest is around a mile. While walking my amazing wife and I will talk about EVERYTHING.
We walk and talk, talk and walk. I wasn't a big walker before I got married. I never saw a point of going on a walk unless it was utilitarian in nature. If I was walking to get a candy bar then it was TOTALLY worth it, but a walk to just walk - no thanks.
Then Brooke and I started going on them and I realized that something was happening as we walked together. First, I noticed that we were off our phones and away from screens so there weren't any distractions. A distraction free environment with someone is becoming more and more difficult in our society. Then, I noticed that our walks became about more than just chit chat. Our walks became a safe place for us to vent about frustrations in our life, dream about things we never said out loud and open up about our struggles. Our walks became precious to us and the more we go on them the more we open up and talk to each other. And the more we talk to each other the stronger our marriage has become!
I sometimes feel like marriages fall in the crapper because of the "schedule" they get stuck in.
The schedule usually looks something like this - Get up, go to work, come home from work, eat dinner, work on something else, watch TV, go to bed. Repeat 5 days a week.
There are times in that schedule to talk, but they are either rushed or full of distractions. I've found that a simple walk eliminates all of that and gives you the ability to be a little more open, a little more real and a little more honest. The longer you spend distraction free with your spouse the more likely you are to get to a real issue, problem or idea.
Last night Brooke read something online that really frustrated her and was feeling "swirly." Feeling swirly is the worst. It can really only be described by this emoji - 🌀. So, I got June ready and we went on a walk. As we walked she begin to express why what she read got to her and by the time we got home she was totally over it. Surprisingly, on the walk I didn't do much talking about the issue and just tried to listen, which is really hard for me. I LOVE TALKING! But, Brooke just needed to talk and if we stayed home she probably wouldn't have gotten to the truth of the issue that she needed to get to. That would have lead to a whole night of swirliness and that is THE WORST!
Sometimes we expect really profound things to change our marriages. We look for the hail mary when working the ball slowly up the field will do. A walk is just that. It isn't glamorous but it works. It provides a distraction free space to be open, honest and real. Isn't that what we wanted when we got married? Someone to be open, honest and real with? Let's start giving ourselves the space to do that and let's start with a few more walks!