Over the last five days I've covered almost 7 miles on foot. I found I can walk a mile in 20 minutes, without significantly raising my heart rate, and for all my complaints, it took five days before Tired and Sore caught up to me.

I wasn't yet a half mile from the house yesterday when I noticed Tired creeping up behind me as I ascended a hill. A few paces later when I crested the rise, Sore joined us.

I only allowed them to stay with my pace for a few minutes. They aren't good company, always complaining that it's time to walk home. Or better, use that cell phone in my pocket and call for a ride.

Since I made this resolution two weeks ago I notice I am more apt to pick up my pace instead of slowing it, to add distance rather than quit, and to feel disappointed when I return to my street, sometimes wishing for the time to just keep walking.

I would be lying, though, if I said I didn't sometimes feel like an old beach horse, too. You know the ones, tethered to a portable corral, available for riding when you pay $20. It takes strength to pull them from grazing, and a decent tug on the reins to get them moving once you're in the saddle.

The tired, old beach horse plods along in the sand doing all the work for you, not caring who you are or if you're excited for the ride or the beach. It just plods along until it recognizes the U-turn spot. Then you find out just how excited that old beach horse is to get back to the portable corral and resume grazing from the dunes.

There's a lot of parts to my every day when I plod like a beach horse just heading out for a ride. I can feel the energy kick in at the sight of my personal U-turns, and I do pick up my pace the closer I am to my corral.

But I don't want to see that happen when I'm walking. Walking isn't a job I'm saddled with. It's supposed to be my free rein.

I think it is far too easy to revert to being an old beach horse if all I focus on is reaching the U-turn point, then hurrying home. I also think I've been "hurrying home" far too often for too many years now.

It's time my boots were made for walking.