City Wall of Xian – Exercise

Nehemiah 6:15-16 “So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.” (NIV)

The City Wall of Xian, China is wide and long and requires seven hours to walk around the wall surrounding the old city. Each rampart is decorated with electrified red lanterns for light at night, and are spaced exactly 120 meters apart. Why 120 meters? Arrows could shoot a maximum of 60 meters and that gave the guards the ability to shoot down any invaders. There were pedestrians and bicyclists and hired bicycle carriages traversing the broad expanse of stones on the top of the wall. Large red gates guarded the interior courtyards spaced around the wall.

A group of 3 year olds were being led in warm-up exercises in the courtyard. They had numbers on their shirts that matched their parents. They were from the many pre-schools in the area and were there to walk the seven miles around the city. Children running and their parents trying to keep up with them overtook us on the Wall. Encouragement of time with parents and exercise was a realistic goal for these young Chinese. As always, they stared at us “foreigners” as we applauded their efforts and took pictures of them.

After 9.2 miles walking this day on the Wall and in the History Museum, we all voted for a Chinese foot massage. They slapped our feet, massaged our legs, cleaned our toes and laughed at the men who were not very comfortable with the experience for an hour. There were four of us in a room and we had Deng Fung hot treatment in the basin full of Chinese herbs. It cost about $30 per person for an hour. Heavenly fun!


How do you exercise? What long journey did you begin and not finish? How do you rest after a difficult day?

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