"Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time." -- Steven Wright
Yesterday was a beautiful day here in New England. It was warm and mostly sunny with temps in the low 70's. That's pretty close to perfect, if you ask me.
Mondays are my rest day from running. I've been doing my long runs on Sunday, so this makes perfect sense to me. I have trained my body to run six days per week and think that's quite enough. Even God rested on the seventh day.
But, I really wanted to be outside, to feel the sun on my face. After the winter we had, I think I'm still in Vitamin D deficit.
So, I decided to go for a long walk around town.
It's been said that runners hate walking. I don't know if that's true for others, but it's definitely not true for me. I think it's like comparing apples to oranges. I run to stay fit, to compete and, well, because I just really like doing it. Walking is almost like meditation in motion. It's not a workout, IMHO (no offense to those who walk to stay fit. That is a perfectly good choice for some people). In fact, when I went out yesterday, I didn't wear my Garmin, iPod or running sunglasses. Time and pace was irrelevant. I would walk for as long as I felt like.
When I walk, I notice things that don't seem as readily apparent to me when I'm running. Normally, I have an "agenda" when I'm running. I'm focused on my breathing, my heart rate, and my pace/distance. None of that applies to walking, for me. I pay more attention to the sounds of the birds, the colors of the trees in full bloom, the sweet smell of flowers, etc. (I know I sound like a dirt worshipping, birkenstock wearing, tree hugging hippie, but nature really is far out, man.)
You know what else I notice more when I walk?
The expressions on motorists faces.
There seem to be a lot of unhappy people out there, folks. It didn't matter whether the person driving past me was in a BMW or a Chevy Citation with more rust than paint, which tells me that even a beautiful car can't make a person happy. By and large, their lips were set in a rigid line, bordering on a frown. The more I looked for it, the more I saw it. Perhaps they are weary from their commute or toting their young kids from activity to activity. I don't know. But, I do know that I didn't see a lot of joy there.
On the flip side, I saw cyclists, runners and other walkers out there with me, enjoying the day. In fact, most of them smiled, waved or said hello to me.
Maybe we'd all feel a little bit better if we sat on our butt less and got up on our feet more.
(No offense to the cyclists reading this blog post. Hey, I try to be politically correct, here.)
"Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it." -- Soren Kierkegaard
Speaking of "Walk", it just so happens to be the name of one of my favorite songs to run to (and its lyrics inspired this blog title). Please enjoy my heart pumping, adrenaline rushing Pantera clip. (If you don't share my penchant for heavy metal, you might want to skip it.)