Why I Walk

Thanks for joining me!  It seemed like a good time to start a blog to record what I see and think and learn on my rambles – something about the year end and New Years and new beginnings I guess.  

It was also because I read a personal essay in the Toronto Globe and Mail by a guy whose mid life crisis involved buying a 50 year old city transit bus, just because he always wanted to drive one.  In my case, my mid life crisis was more about being out of shape, unhealthy, and getting chest pains just walking up the stairs.

That led in late 2016 to a full set of cardio tests, a stern talking-to from my doctor, and more importantly from my wife and son.  Since then, I’ve shed 35 lbs (15 kg) and gone from being winded after 20 minutes to finishing a marathon (and not even in last place!).  Now I’m setting goals for my walking – the Camino de Santiago perhaps, or John O’Groats to Land’s End.  Maybe it’s a quest, or perhaps just a mad journey.  Anyway …

Recently I was explaining that quest to someone and was asked the why question.  My reply was something like this: Because when you walk you experience and absorb the landscape as you pass through it.  All of your senses are engaged – you see your surroundings up close, you hear the birds and the wind in the trees, you smell the flowers and the rivers, you feel the ground under your feet, you taste your sweat and the air.  And when you walk sometimes your conscious thoughts fade out and you settle into a mechanical zone, and then other times your thoughts flow in a stream of consciousness of inner dialogue and plans and meanderings.  It’s introspective and immersive simultaneously.

Life is short.  Start walking.