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Walking Is Better Than TV

On my walk home from work yesterday, I realized that I am extremely entertained by life as I walk through the streets of my town.  While many people rush home to watch television in the evenings, I stroll through life.  But more more than observing life as it goes by – as I would observe a television show (which by the way is totally made up) – I participate in life.  Real life.

I have a connection to my city.  I have a connection to the homeless woman who feeds birds on the same bench every morning.  I have a connection to the businesses struggling in the new economy, as I watch the sales come and go.  I have a connection to the doorman in our building, who I would never see if I went straight down to the garage for my car.  When I come home in the evenings, I say hello to the men having a cigarette after a long day working at Fare Start (a restaurant down the street that brings people out of homelessness by giving them job skills and a resume).

I have a connection to the atmosphere – the weather, the air quality – I know which way the winds are blowing, how the seasons are changing in intimate detail.

And the exercise… Yesterday it was a bit chilly walking to work, and when I got to work I had beautifully rosy cheeks and felt invigorated and ready to start the day!

I am proud to say “I walk.”  I walk to work.  I walk to the store.  I walk to meet friends for happy hour.  And I walk to walk.

I feel connected.  As I walk, my city surrounds me and becomes a part of me, as I become a part of it.  I am a part of my community.

Let’s walk together, and share our experiences.  Feel free to share your experiences below, and to join us in walking.

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15 comments to Walking Is Better Than TV

  • I quite agree so much is missed by getting into a car. By walking I meet and speak to so many neighbours as well as enjoying the lovely gardens.

  • I walk about 10 miles a day with my sales job (That’s 20,000 steps?). I seldom get to enjoy walking, but the wife and I just started spending time together walking our wild, free range doggy in the city. Despite trying to contain a lab/rottweiler pup with infinite energy, it has been a great excuse to get out and spend some time together after work.

  • I bet you can think of 1,000 things that are better than TV without hardy tryin’. ;)

    But walking should be near the TOP of the list. Good thoughts!

    We walk together to th’ river sometimes, about 1.5 mile each way. If we had driven we would never have noticed the neighbor who has beautiful annuals planted within an old iron bedstead.

    That’s right … a FLOWER BED …

  • Cath

    We’re moving house next week (still renting, but hey, it’s a roof, and an insulated one at that!) and are so excited about what’s in walking distance. Chemist, bakery, hardware, camping store, bike shop, gym, park, restaurants, farmer’s market, newsagent, library, supermarket, you name it, we can walk it! The kids and I are going to map everything within a 15 minute “walk-radius” and see what we come up with.

    The train station is 5 minutes away, so we’re talking about getting rid of our station wagon – which is used a couple of times a week – and keeping our hatchback. Fitting a family of five in there could be a challenge, but at least it will be good for laughs!

  • More connected to the changing seasons too. I’m on the look out for the first autumn leaf to start my collection.

  • I find the same thing with biking. Not enough places that I go are within walking distance or I’d do more walking. Well, not when it’s 108 degrees out… But, with the biking, I can observe the little squirrels along the bike path and note that the same people are running, walking, rollerblading, and biking that path every week. Or, I could be stuck in traffic irritated with the bad drivers and hitting every single red light. While I’m envious of cars’ A/C while biking in the heat, I’m finding my house doesn’t feel as unpleasantly warm when coming in from a bike ride as it does when getting out of a nice cool vehicle!

  • I agree – walking can totally integrate you with your community in a way that being in a car just doesnt. Cars insulate you from the weather and the world as a whole. For me a part of being greener is being connected with the world, even if my part of it is not very nice!

  • I really hear what you’re saying. When I get to run some mornings, I feel similar connections. Everything looks different when you’re walking at that slower pace. One day, my kids and I walked about a mile to our farmer’s market and my 4 year old got tired so we stopped and sat on the front porch of a nearby building (closed for the weekend)- the same building we drive by probably 2 or 3 times a day. It was like a totally different place. We didn’t even know where we were.

    I would love to walk more. Honestly, I am lucky enough to work about 4 miles from home and could easily walk that every day. Unfortunately, living in suburbia doens’t make this very feasible to do every day. I work early and thus leave for the gym at 5:15am. It’s pitch black and I’m not getting up any earlier to walk to the gym. Though work is close, I need to jet to pick up a kid from preschool, then jet to pick up a kid from another school.

  • katecontinued

    For the last four months I have been walking about 2-3 miles most days. That is wonderful for me in itself with a major transformation in my energy level and breathing. But, the best part is I am walking with my 35 year old son. We started at the first of the year with one walk a week at a different beach each time – along the San Diego coastline. I found that our conversations flowed much easier than over a meal or a movie.

    Around Mother’s Day I insisted (long story) that he walk each day with me for a month. Well, he decided he felt so good after that month he just continued. He did decide to increase his physical challenge and make it more equitable by carrying a backpack filled with rocks. We are growing our relationship and learning about our community and the foliage all around us. The other day a former neighbor told him that she just loved seeing us walking everywhere because it made her think she might walk with her daughters when they are grown women. I cherish these walks and they push me – in a good way. I walk.

  • [...] I walk nearly everywhere.  I’m becoming a part of my community in many ways I could never have done in the country.  And I have time to do the things I set out to do in my life:  to change the world for the better in a large way.  I write this blog (and others), I work with amazing world-changing organizations and corporations in my company, I see my family regularly, and I participate in my community in numerous ways. [...]

  • Joanne, Me too.

    Red Icculus, My husband and I love taking a stroll at sunset – great life moments. : )

    risa b, LOL you caught me – yes, about 1,000. Harhar a flower bed. Very funny.

    Cath, We’re renting, too – there’s no shame in that! In this economy it makes a lot of sense. Interesting that the first one on the list of walkable businesses is a chemist… I’m curious what a chemist is? Is that what we’d call a pharmacist? GREAT idea to create a map of walkable places!!

    Deb G, definitely. Looking forward to seeing your autumn collection.

    Chile, Very true – biking has a lot of the same qualities. I am a wimp – I actually enjoy walking better because I don’t get so sweaty – I can walk to work in my work clothes, but if I biked I’d have to change and all… Wimpy and girly, but true.

    Jen, “part of being greener is being connected with the world” well said!

    Wendy, I wonder if there is a way to walk instead of working out one or two days a week? Sounds like you really enjoy walking! Maybe work out a carpool with local parents… Just putting the idea into your head! Thanks for your comment.

    katecontinued, Beautiful comment. Thank you for your wonderful story. I will now be thinking of you and your son occasionally as I walk. : )

  • Makes perfect sense, Melinda….especially when you learn that the warehouse where you’ve been changing has a security camera in it…

  • Yikes, Chile… I almost spit out my coffee! I suggest changing elsewhere… ; )

  • I recently moved to the South from Portland, OR and I miss that walking aspect. The beauty of the city as you so eloquently put in your post after this one, is that you really do have opportunities for increased sustainability that you might not otherwise have in the country. I’m a fan of both, and I’ll totally admit I was ready to move out of the city by the time I got down here. However I do miss that walking was my primary mode of transportation and the life that I was party to just by passing through it. So many things to see, so much a part of the weather.

    Looks like you are enjoying what must be Seattle–a great place to live also! And definitely full of wonderful like-minded individuals and available resources!! Enjoy!

  • There is so much to see out there in our towns and cities. You only get to see it by walking or biking it. In a car you can’t see the small things, feel the weather or connect to the people you share your space with (because you don’t share your space). I love to walk, even dawdle, through parts of town. If you look hard enough, nature is always there pushing grass through the cracks, leaving leaves in the gutters, throwing a shadow across a wall. These are the things that give me pleasure in my city life.

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