My face is stinging with sweat.

Just got in from walking for about an hour, and it’s hotter than July out there. By now you will have noticed a couple of recurring themes since last month: I’m not a fan of Raleigh in the summer, and the sun is not a fan of mine.

I went out around 9:20 a.m., thinking that since it wasn’t quite 90 degrees, I'd be just fine. I completely forgot about the heat index. I left with a full, 28-ounce bottle of ice and water and returned with it empty. Unlike last month’s cancer walk, about 30 minutes into my stroll I slowed my pace – I’m guessing from 3.3 to 3.0 mph – because I sensed a bit of dizziness and sinus pressure, the latter causing the former. A lengthy string of hot, hazy and humid days no doubt has affected the air quality, and I need to remain mindful of that.

But here’s why I’m looking forward to doing this every morning for at least the next two weeks: It’s easy, peaceful and rewarding, on top of being a great workout. From now on, I’m just going to make sure to do it an hour or two earlier in the a.m., when the heat won’t be as draining.

The time we devote to taking care of our health is a gift, and we should treat it as such. Whether out walking, shooting hoops or jogging in the pool, we are doing something for ourselves, and we should guard that time selfishly. Me, I love just having the time to do nothing but think, and have come up with some pretty creative solutions to persistent problems during walks or at the gym.


This is the main reason why I’ll only partner-up at the gym if the other person sticks with his or her own workout, and allows me stick with mine. Too much talking is distracting.

It’s also the main reason I first made sure two specific neighbors weren’t chatting out front before heading out the door. I’ve seen these two ladies walking together a few times in the past week. Nice people, but a type I define as Eaters of Worlds. They talk loudly and incessantly about everything and nothing, peppering amens and hallelujahs throughout.

They prattle on like this for hours, eating up all my time, and thus my world.

Eaters of Worlds are why there are doors on offices and fences around yards. These ladies are fun to be around when I don’t have anything going on, or when something happens in the neighborhood and I want to hear some good, gossipy details, but there are times and places for that. Just not when I want to spend some “me” time on health and wellness.


All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.   ~   Friedrich Nietzsche

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Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.