Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I Don't Know How to Walk

Obviously, that's not true.  I do know how to walk, but what I don't know, is how to walk for the pure pleasure of walking.  I do not know how to walk without walking somewhere, and usually that somewhere is a place where I spend money.

Last Saturday, it was a lovely day outside.  Clear skies, 64 degrees, the perfect day to go for a walk and I tried to talk myself into doing just that.  Here's a recap of the conversation I had with myself:

It's a beautiful day!  I should go for a walk!
Maybe I should walk on the treadmill, I really want to make it count 
and I don't really like to power walk outside.
That's silly, the whole point is to get out there!
I guess I could walk to Berk's and look at those shoes....
No, I don't need more shoes, and Berk's is less than a mile away, 
that's barely a walk.
I could walk to Wildflour and get a cupcake.
You don't need a cupcake.
But Wildflour is almost three miles away, that's a good long walk. I could get a juice.
You can't go to a particular business just because it's far away, 
and I'm talking you out of paying $6 for a juice.

After that mental wrestle, I just stayed in and read a book.

The problem is, I love to go for walks, but it's not as fun alone and without a purpose, it just feels weird and uncomfortable.  Going for a run, that's a thing, but just going for a walk by yourself... I don't know.

My mother and I always went for walks when I was growing up, and it was great.  We'd walk and talk and it was really the only time we spent alone.  Since my mother and I are not close at all, it was nice to know that we could always go for a walk and catch up with each other.  BF thinks walking is boring and it's like pulling teeth to get him to go around the block with me.  Even when I bribe him with an ice cream treat, our walk is only to the store and back (four blocks).

When I was in grad school, I used to go to Old Navy every day to walk around mainly because it's a huge store and I didn't want to appear to be one of those 'mall walkers.' Those people are the worst.  This walking habit costs me hundreds in Old Navy clothes (at least they're cheap).  After I got tired of going to Old Navy every day, I started going to Target and Bed Bath and Beyond.
If I lived closer to the beach I could walk by myself--people do that.
But I don't want to live by the beach, and I live right by a park where people also walk
Here's a line from a blog post I wrote in 2008: "I went to the mall on Saturday. I had to go pick up a pair of shelves (at some chick’s house) that I found on craigslist at 11am, and while I was carrying them to my car, I realized that it was a beautiful day. The sun was shining brightly for the first time in quite a while, yet it was crisp and refreshing—the kind of weather where you want to get shit done. So I went to one of the places I hate most in the world, (also indoors because regardless of how lovely the day is, I’m just not an outside girl. I don’t have an outside agenda, and as much as I do sometimes long to walk for pleasure, I prefer to walk somewhere so I know when I’m done)."

So this problem is on-going, and honestly, one of the main reasons I picked Providence as a place to move is because it's so walkable--but I still need an agenda.

Part of this problem is solved by the fact that I can walk to work--so that's good.  I can get the walking out of my system and get paid when I arrive at my destination, but what about days off?  How can I get my walking fix without going broke?  Perhaps this is something I just need to get over, or perhaps I need to lie to myself about where I'm walking, perhaps there's another solution I haven't considered.

Anyone else have this problem?  Any suggestions?


  1. Find somewhere that you really LOVE to walk, like a park. Somewhere that is fun to explore. I walk at our rec area because I like to bird watch and be by the lake. This probably sounds way easier than it is. :D

  2. I can't run, so any outdoor cardio is walking. We have a few nice (paved) walking/running/biking/skating trails around here that I enjoy walking on. If you think of it the same way you think of running, you'd probably enjoy it more. I have my ipod and a few landmarks to know how far I've gone, just like a runner would do, but without the pain and hardship of dealing my knee problems.

  3. I understand the walking alone thing. For me, it's just terrifying to be alone with my demon-like thoughts. Podcasts are very helpful in that respect. It provides a focal point for my thoughts and keeps me going. Comedy podcasts are my favorite, but to each their own.

  4. i agree, walking with an ipod helps you feel less "alone" and people seem to recognize you are walking like you mean it.

  5. Seriously @Fargo, demon-like thoughts!?! I'm starting to worry about you...