Friday, December 27, 2019

My Walk/Sketch Fitness Program

11/24/19 Green Lake neighborhood

During the warmer, dry-weather months, it’s easy to get the recommended five-days-per-week of aerobic exercise with a combination of Jazzercise classes and walks around Green Lake. When the long wet and cold season begins, though, I have a hard time getting out the door for a walk, and I start slacking.

I thought about how I could motivate myself to continue walking during inhospitable weather, and I knew that one carrot on the stick would always work for me: sketching. I worked out a walking route that would give me a total of about 45 minutes of walking time (the same as one lap around the lake), but after about a half-hour, several coffee shops would be on the route. When the weather is wet and dreadful, I could stop for coffee and a sketch before finishing the walk home.

I’ve only done it a few times, but so far, I’m enjoying it, and the reward of a sketch is exactly the incentive I need to get myself out the door. The bonus that I hadn’t even thought of is that when the weather is tolerable, I can sketch outdoors along the walking route. If I were to simply step outside in temperatures in the 30s and 40s, I would be too cold to sketch. But after walking for 30 minutes, I’ve warmed up enough that stopping for a short sketch is bearable (and a treat during indoor-sketching season).

Last week, I made the palm tree sketch on one of those walks. On this day, I spotted a yellow excavator, orange dump truck and blue Porta-potty adding color to the winter dreariness.

So far I’ve been bringing along my usual everyday-carry bag on these walks, but I want to lighten my load. Now I’m motivated to put together a sketch kit for my annual minimalism challenge – both for my walk/sketch fitness program and for everyday-carry (at least for a while). Stay tuned!

Updated 12/30/19: My new minimal kit is in action!

Updated 1/25/20: A New Yorker magazine article talks about the benefits of walking in stimulating creative thought for writers. . . and I think it applies to drawing, too!

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