My New Year resolution for this year was to start morning walks from January 1st. I am happy that I could wake up by 5.45 am without an alarm clock and could start my morning walk at 6.00 am. Of course I had to read the New Year greeting SMSes in the phone and New Year greetings on Facebook first. I do not have the habit of returning the greetings. I am too lazy to type on phone keyboard and even with the computer I cannot form a good greeting. So, I keep them unanswered.
Back to morning exercises. I was used to evening walks while I was in Anuradhapura and continued some morning walks to the bus stop from residence after coming to Homagama last May up to June but totally stopped them after coming to Ja-Ela in July. The reason was that I had to play with my son till midnight and when I go to bed I was so tired and could wake up next day only to get ready to go to the job.
But, after meeting Dr. Nimal Perera, a friend of mine from the USA at his residence last night, he thoroughly advised me to start some morning exercises. I immediately decided to start walking from today and I am glad that I could do it.
I walked for almost an hour. This was after six months. My legs didn’t resist as I had the habit last year. Only thing is I am yet to buy a good pair of shoes for walks.
Walking in Ja- Ela is not as exciting as walking in Anuradhapura where I could see the scenic beauty. Here what I see are endless vehicles and collected garbage on the roadside. I wish the roads in other parts of the country become as clean as those of Parliament area.
Though I felt some physical exercise would do good for me I was not kindled for it till Lionel Balasuriya, my online friend in California, USA asked me to walk few miles a day. I started it towards the end of the last year, first by completing a smaller circle around the neighborhood and then enlarging the circle day by day. Then I started walking from Bulankulama Waththa (where I reside) to Matale Junction in Anuradhapura and returned. It gave me quite a good exercise but the road was too dusty by the evening and thought of changing the route. Finally I settled for the route from the home to the Nuwara Wewa reservoir bund and along that to the east end of the bund and then cross the Anuradhapura-Dambulla main road and back home. The walk takes exactly an hour.
I usually have a cup of milk tea before I start. I start the walk between 5.30pm and 6.00pm. By the time I walk on the byroad along the canal people have started bathing and washing in the evening. Nobody cares about me and I walk along. There is a grove on the way and every day I see few people gathered there and having drinks. Place is full of empty arrack bottles and polythene packets of bites. Then I have to cross the Anuradhapura-Dambulla main road which is being renovated and climb up the steps to get onto the Nuwara Wewa reservoir bund. Earlier it was a bit difficult to climb the steps but now don’t feel any difference as I’m quite used to this. Walking along the bund is soothing as I get the wind coming across the reservoir and I see the rocks of Mihintale and Ritigala in the east. Less people bath here as the water is deep and people are advised against bathing in several places and annually few people die in the reservoir. Then I come to the Anuradhapura-Dambulla main road again from the eastern part of the bund and if I feel hungry, I buy few wadeys (a bite made of lentils) or a vegetable roll or two. I cross the road and walk back to home between 6.00 pm and 6.30 pm.
I ensure I get my earphones and the phone to either listen to mp3 files or radio while walking. On a good day I would find BBC news program rebroadcast by SLBC. If not I try to find a radio station that I can enjoy and failing which I would play some songs in the phone. Mostly the songs would be Hindi remixes or nonstops. Songs of other languages don’t suit to my walks. The other option is to call some of my friends who are free at this time while walking. This way I keep maintaining my friendships as well.
After I started evening walks, I can sleep early and wake up early. I feel very healthy as well. Monthly medical reports are also within the margins of normal numbers. I recommend you also to start walking and I thank my friend Lionel Balasuriya for constantly encouraging me to walk. Now it is very difficult to miss my evening walk.