An Ode to Walking

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I’ve observed a funny phenomenon in my town. I ride the train with people who after our ride is done, get into their car to get to their home. Please understand my town is a mile big in its entirety i.e. not big at all. The very next town has a train station, as does the town before it. It takes all of my self-control to not stop them and ask them why they do not walk home! The train stops in the middle of town so you can get north, south, east, or west of the station in 20 – 30 minutes tops (my house is a 25 minute walk each way). I’m sure a few of them have a good answer as to why. Some may have a health condition, or really need to get home quickly for some reason, but I bet most of them could walk.

I will boldly state that those who could walk are overcomplicating their lives, wasting gas, causing pollution, and missing out on the most wonderful chance to commute, exercise, decompress, and boost creativity in one fell swoop!

I walk to and from the train each weekday, and many weekends when I have something to do in the city. I do this in regular work clothes, and comfortable, supportive, but professional shoes. I sometimes am carrying a cake, or art supplies, and sometimes both! I also pack my breakfast and lunch most days. I have been doing this for almost 9 years now.Ā  Sometimes, if we have something to do together, the weather is seriously bad, or if it’s very late at night, my husband will give me a ride, but it’s the exception, not the rule. I get to experience the seasons turn in detail: each day a new flower is in bloom, or the leaves deepen their autumn hue, or disappear altogether. I see what new birds are in town, and the happiest sight is seeing the little cracked open blue eggs scattered on the grass — I know the robins hatched! I think through problems both in my regular life, work life,Ā  and creative life — I rarely do not come to a conclusion about what to say, what to do, or what next step in my work needs to happen after my walk. I write so many things in my head (thankfully the park is full of benches if I need to stop and scribble something down)! I’m not the only one this works for! Walking has so many health benefits too!

Sometimes I’m cold, or hot, or damp — but it’s temporary. Remember this is a 25 minute walk. My hair gets windblown, but who cares. I get a little sweaty, ditto. Small prices to pay for all of the benefits I’ve mentioned above.

I’ve been thinking of this recently because I had to buy another pair of shoes. My plain black clogs which I’ve had for about four years started making my knee joints hurt. This happens once I walk the life out of a pair of shoes. The uppers were also extremely scuffed, scratched, and all of the piping is coming apart. No wonder with all this walking I do! I like to have two pairs of black everyday clogs going at all times so I can switch off — they last longer this way when they get to rest and dry out between wearings. David bought me a new pair last year as a gift, so I should be pretty good now!

The photo above shows my latest pair — I love the woven/knitted looking texture! I swear by Dansko shoes because they are well-made, are an employee owned company with a good agenda, are so comfortable (you can wear them all day right out of the box! and nurses, doctors, and chefs are crazy about them since they are on their feet so much), and I think they are cute — I have no problem wearing them with dresses. I love the variety of materials, colors, and prints. They are pricey — about $120 USD a pair — but since I wear them for about 4 years, this comes to $25 a year. I know people who spend $25 on a pair of shoes at Target or such and they tell me they only last a few months (and are usually not this comfortable or good for your feet). Not to mention, I do not pay a gym membership!

I hated to spend the coupons since I am so low on them this early in the year, but I think it’s foolish to destroy your knees trying to save coupons. I can cut corners by not buying any new clothing, etc. for the rest of the year. C’est la vie!

COUPONS REMAINING:

18 out of 66

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9 comments

  1. Getting in a car to travel a mile… Sheer madness. I know having that conversation with some is a lost battle but you’d think the economics would persuade them if nothing else.

    I love walking. Aside from the heart and figure benefits and contact with nature, I love the headspace that comes with walking. I’ll often get the train to a different stop to give me extra walk home time. Even if I’m carrying a load or have projects at home worth getting back to!

    And yay, for comfy smart shoes. My next pair will be some Doc Martin lace-ups. You can still get models that are made in the UK, they are wide enough for orthotics and they last for years!

  2. What an inspiration! At the moment I catch a bus to work that stops right outside my house. In summer I’ll sometimes get off at an earlier stop, but as the evenings grow darker it’s so very tempting to stay on the bus as long as possible. But walking is wonderful for all the reasons you mentioned so I’ll definitely have to build more of it back into my life!

  3. I remember just the same thing happening when I commuted in London and I always thought it was mad. These days I have to drive to work but I miss the twenty minute walk I had home from the station that let me clear my head, think and observe.

  4. I’m just a walker in general. It’s difficult some places — suburbs where there are barely any sidewalks and nowhere to walk to even when they do exist. We moved from one town where drivers would literally drive right at you because they felt entitled to the roadways, to another river town where pedestrians and cyclists were everywhere & it was drivers who had to stop. So, yeah, I don’t know. In good weather, I like to walk, but I know people who absolutely never go anywhere except in a car. It’s too bad.

    1. Yes, the town I moved to sold me because it’s a walkable town. Small, sidewalks everywhere, special pedestrian cross walks, a main street – we even have a crossing guard for adults on busy nights šŸ™‚ The New York TImes even did an article about the walkable-ness!

      http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/02/realestate/02livi.html?_r=0

      Some of the houses we looked at in other areas didn’t have sidewalks! There is no way I could ever live somewhere like that since I don’t drive.

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