Fat and Not Afraid

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Walking In The World

November 20, 2013

Taking a walk is our oldest mode of transportation and despite all of the advances in technology Wet baby footprints on pavementsince we first figured out how to do it it doesn't look like the walk is going anywhere any time soon. Many people use walking as a form of exercise, as activism, competition, or just to clear their heads. Heck, I know a guy who's walking to Rio from Wisconsin as a spiritual adventure to meet the gods! However, as I am someone who doesn't drive, I often find I'm walking to or from wherever I need to go (in conjunction with local transit). Walking is my primary mode of transportation, and I'm not alone; over 10 million Americans, and nevermind how many more millions of Earthlings, use walking as their primary mode of transportation! Here at my inlaws it's a ten minute walk to the closest bus stop, and because of the way the buses run, a good 40 minute walk home at night from a completely different stop a mile and a half away. There have been many times in the past year that I've used Kat and her stroller as a grocery cart, walking to the store and getting things we need and couldn't wait until the car was available for a big trip.

My world is smaller than I'd like it to be thanks to not driving, but it's also less hectic. I have to plan my trips ahead of time; no jumping in the car at the last minute and rushing somewhere for me! In order to get to work, for example, I leave here on the hour, walk to the bus stop for quarter past, then get to work on the half hour. For anyone driving it's a ten minute trip. In bad weather a walk to the stop or home from work takes longer as I have to slog through snow or deal with ice or wind. Taking that into account affects my whole day, as if I miss the bus I have to wait an hour* for another one. At that point I might as well just walk the rest of the way, or say 'I guess I didn't really need to go out.'

Walking allows me to get to know where I am on an intimate level; the change of the seasons and their hallmarks are readily apparently when you're walking and not zipping by using some other form of transportation. Depending on where I am I can spot animal tracks in the mud or snow, snag an apple off a tree or a berry from a bush, stop and talk to someone and their dog or let them talk to Katherine, and in other words, really BE in the space I'm moving through. The condition of the sidewalks, or lack thereof, weather, season and more affects me every day in a very physical way. Walking keeps me connected to the world and I wouldn't have it any other way.

*Locally most buses run every half hour during the day, and hourly at night. Sadly I live on the  one route that only runs on the hour permanently.*

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