Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Walk this way...

This week I thought I would write about something I enjoy besides travel, reading and dinning out. Walking. I love to walk and make time for it almost everyday.

Over ten years ago we made the decision to start walking for health and fitness. It's easy, fun and can be done just about anywhere. (Even in Minnesota in the winter!) We're not going for any speed or distance records here. Just a good pace for a couple miles. We probably average about 10-14 miles a week. Small potatoes by some standards but we're happy with it.

One of the challenges of having been on the road for over a year is finding a nice place to take a walk. We've been lucky to find some nice parks and trails in the most of the places we've lived.

Atlanta and the metro area has some nice parks and trails. One of the parks we found is Swift-Cantrell Park. There are nice paved trails, some pretty open spaces, both large and small off leash dog parks, a skateboarding area and all kinds od swings and play equipment. We're also lucky enough to have a nice trail that basically starts right at the end of the driveway here.

One big upside to all of this walking has been how we've changed the way we travel. With very few exceptions, (Hilton Head and Tybee Island come to mind) we plan our vacations so that we can walk and use public transport. It's been years since we've had to rent a car. It takes a bit of leg work to find hotels and neighborhoods that are conducive to walking but we generally manage it.

Walking let's you experience a place in a very different way than even biking does. It provides insight that I feel can't be gained any other way.

Walking in my own neighborhood has always made me feel connected to it in a way I wasn't before. From little things like changes to the day to day landscape of the neighborhood to seeing and meeting the people who live there.

And there are other tangible benefits. For one thing my pants still zip up despite the all too frequent meals out. It's a chance to get some fresh air after being in the office all day and an opportunity to talk over the day.

So all you walkers and might be walkers, step on the trail or off of the beaten path. You may be surprised at what you find there.

The true charm of pedestrianism does not lie in the walking, or in the scenery, but in the talking.  The walking is good to time the movement of the tongue by, and to keep the blood and the brain stirred up and active; the scenery and the woodsy smells are good to bear in upon a man an unconscious and unobtrusive charm and solace to eye and soul and sense; but the supreme pleasure comes from the talk.  ~Mark Twain

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