Journalist Mick Boskamp, 8 years clean & sober and former client, writes in this column
from Castle Craig, why he finds walking and recovery a golden combination.
Do you see the picture on this page? I made it. I am not a photographer, I am
journalist. Writing is therefore better off for me than taking photos, but this
picture can go through with it. Actually, the photo took itself. I just had to
focus and nature did the rest. Which still amazes me when I do this one
See the image, that is the part of Zandvoort that I captured with the camera on
is a five minute drive from my home. And all the years that I've lived in the seaside town
with interruptions in between about 40 years together, I had this hot spot until
my shame never discovered.
You do not hear from me that the Corona crisis has delivered anything good. That's what it is for
world suffering that has been suffered since March 2020 is simply too great. But the past 14
months have made me go for a walk. Seriously am going
to walk. So not half an hour, but an hour and a half (sometimes two hours) a day and
then five times a week. A new world opened up for me. A world of
an unprecedented natural beauty. When I get out of the apartment building where I live, I walk
straight into the dunes. From there I can go all the way from Zandvoort along the circuit (where
hopefully Max Verstappen will finish first) to the beach of Bloemendaal
walk. Through beautiful dunes.
The place where I took the accompanying photo is called the Amsterdam one
Waterleidingduinen, while the area on my side is really on the border between
Zandvoort and Bentveld is located and the capital only starts about 45 km away. That
The area owes its name to the fact that drinking water is extracted here
for Amsterdam and surroundings. Here you imagine yourself completely in a film set. See picture.
A photo that was also taken when it was barely spring. You have to find out how
it is now on a fine day.
In my walking bible entitled You walk slim and happy of the Belgian
health and hiking coach Lies Helsloot, short shrift is all
prejudices about walking. Like walking is to old people. What
a shit! I don't know, but take between 10.000 and 15.000 steps a day
not only keeps me physically healthy (it has made me feel quite a bit
lost kilos without dieting), but I also reset my outdoors
thoughts. And as a possessor of an ever-racing mind, that's a glorious one
feeling. But perhaps more important for a recovery addict like me,
is that the conversations I have while walking with sponsors from a higher,
more intimate level. And I regularly get back that this experience is completely
mutual. It is therefore nice to talk if you don't have to keep looking at each other and
it makes it easier for you to say what you think or what is on your mind.
Yesterday when I was walking in the Zandvoort dunes, I suddenly thought of my
stay at Castle Craig, Scotland eight years ago. That it was a pity that I was then
could enjoy life less than now and I could enjoy the walks in that
breathtaking Scottish Borders regarded as an obligation. Maybe someday
return. But not to recover, but to take brisk walking steps.