Wednesday, April 18, 2007


This morning I went for a walk. No running today, just the slow saunter of a leisurely walk.There is so much a runner can learn from walking. For me, it is chiefly a reminder: to enjoy the passing world, the melting world, the world around me speckled with brown and green. When I run I feel machine-like: the clicking pulse and pumping heart, the mechanisms of the lungs and muscles. When I walk, I am a grazing animal, free of fences. I leave the concerns of time and distance behind me, and I remember how to play.

One of my favourite New York State authors walks every morning. Thoreau says walking will keep me from rusting, should I “stay in my chamber” all day. He says there is “nothing in it akin to exercise…but is itself the enterprise and adventure of the day.”

This day, canopied with blue after so many grey ones, is a day worthy of so many small adventures. Warmed-up homemade tomato dill soup and a veggie nori wrap, finishing an article, an hour of yoga in my favourite room, gathering my wool for tonight’s first Syracuse “stitch n’ bitch” with 7 women I’ve never met.

But the best adventure was the walk. The sun on my skin is like the embrace of an old friend. The snow melting off houses patters like rain, and under my feet gurgles into a hidden urban brook. The neighbourhood comes alive as nature sheds its final coat of ice, people push windows from their dusty rigidity, and the mighty exhalation of adventure impels every one of my steps.

(picture is from my cycling trip last May)

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