take a walk.

I have always loved walking.  Even before I learned to associate it with exercise, miles covered, or calories burned, I truly enjoyed the practice.

granada

In college, I lived about forty blocks from the set of buildings designated as my campus.  While I was typically running too far behind schedule to take a stroll to class, I nearly always walked home afterward, whether the temperature be below freezing or above eighty.  Climate didn’t matter; I simply loved the walk.

Those post-class hikes taught me an important lesson about cities: there is no better way to experience one than to walk it.  As I covered the Manhattan blocks between school and my dorm room, I passed through four distinct neighborhoods – quaint, trendy, grimy, pristine.  I watched one seamlessly flow into another, saw the numbers and types of people in each change, felt the neighborhood energy shift from one to the next.

fulton stall market

Consequently, when I travel, I walk everywhere, sometimes beyond the point of reason.  On my first trip to Paris, I was so busy flitting from place to place that I only scratched the surface of the city.  When I returned, however, I walked miles and miles, finally reaching an understanding of the city’s ebb, flow, and relentless classicism, no matter the district.

salzburg

When summer arrived in Prague, I began to tread over the cobblestone regardless of my destination.  I strolled over a valley of railroad tracks on my way to work, wound through tourist central to teach English lessons, crossed the river to meet friends for Sunday afternoon brunches.  The city began to feel small and unbelievably accessible, covered east to west by my two feet.

IMG_2720

A few months ago, I was blindsided when I was told not only to stop running, but to also restrict my walking.  I could never give it up altogether – walking is a means of transportation in New York.  But suddenly, twenty blocks was no longer a distance meant for foot travel; it was a distance covered by two subway stops.

dubrovnik

I picked up my custom orthotics two days ago.  As instructed, I wore them yesterday on a thirty minute walk, and for the first time in six months, I exited my apartment building with the knowledge that the walk I was planning was okay.  Turns out my orthotics need some serious adjustments – but that’s not the point.  What matters is that I have learned to appreciate the basics.  

Whether alone, in someone’s company, in the city, or on a boardwalk, I have relished in the simple joy of each walk I have taken this year.  The running question remains, but walking?  Right now, that is my goal, and perhaps it is the only goal I need.


Are you a walker?  Where’s your favorite place to take a stroll?

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12 Comments

Filed under exercise

12 responses to “take a walk.

  1. NYC is definitely my favorite place to stroll, which is why I’m glad I’m here now 🙂

  2. Seriously, can your pics get any more gorgeous? I love reading your posts, cause it’s like a little story. I have always loved story time. 😉

  3. A

    I LOVE running and walking but we actually just got bikes and have been riding all over town. About a year and a half we moved to a small town and there are sidewalks and bike paths ALL OVER! It’s GREAT! We can go everywhere we need to go…. the best part (similar to walking) is we are out…. in the air and sun and breeze. No radio, no seat belts, no road rage….. just us on the road! Keep walking!!
    -A

  4. Beautiful pictures…I felt like I was there, right beside you, listening to you. ❤

    I like to walk–but I am more of a city walker than a rural walker. This is probably b/c I have always lived in the country and around neighborhoods–I get bored with it. I am more fascinated with people watching, buildings, wall art/graffiti.

  5. I love walking in cities, especially the exhausted feeling at the end of the day that tells you that you’ve seen as much as you could. I love your writing style!

  6. I LOVE walking!! I really do so much by living in NYC. One of my favorite places is Central Park, but really I love walking everywhere in the city (except for the very crowded places!).

  7. lowandbhold

    I just found your blog through Whit. What gorgeous photos. Makes me feel like I’m there!

  8. I was a walker before starting running. I still take walks on my rest days and whenever I want to bring my bulky camera on my day out.
    You’ve been walking all over gorgeous places. Glad to know you can go back to walking all over the city again.

  9. I think we are long-lost cousins 😉 I am a huge walker- city streets and comfy shoes are my idea of the perfect day. New York is my favourite place to walk- like hundreds of cities just in Manhattan!

  10. I LOOOVE this post! I LOVEE walking too. sometimes it seems so amazing to me that two little things like our feet can take us so many places. its crazY! and i envy you for living in manhattan. when my mom and i visited there, we walked SOOO much that our feet hurt – but it was so much more exciting than taking the subway from place to place.

  11. What a beautiful stroll! I love the pics. All of them just look so peaceful.

  12. Those are beautiful pictures! I love walking and always have. My favorite place is probably alongside Lake Michigan in Chicago, or really anywhere with nice scenery.

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