Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very fast. ~ Thomas Jefferson
My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the heck she is. ~ Ellen DeGeneres
But the beauty is in the walking — we are betrayed by destinations. ~ Gwyn Thomas
If I could not walk far and fast, I think I should just explode and perish. ~ Charles Dickens
Today and tomorrow I am without my car (oh horror of horrors!) It needs a new timing belt (it has been over five years since it was last replaced). My car also needs new brakes and an oil change…… too much work for one day, so the garage gets it for two…. lucky me. Thankfully, I live in a city with good public transportation – therefore, my panic at not being independent with my own vehicle was only short-lived.
I think it is healthy to be without a vehicle every once in a while. I find that it allows me to realize how dependent I am on my automobile and how much I take it for granted. I find that when I am without my car I am reminded what great public transportation our city has and how accessible it really is. I am reminded how many individuals use public transportation daily and do not own a vehicle of their own.
I am also thankful to be temporarily without vehicle, as it allows me to walk around town, often to places I do not normally walk, so I am able to observe and see new sights, find new hidden shops and restaurants, and see my city through slightly different eyes. Today I had the bright idea, to save time and get some exercise, that I would pick up my girls at camp and then walk with them from camp to my partner’s place of employment. From there we could find a joint ride home and save on taxi or bus fares. The walk between the two places is about 30 minutes. It was a nice walk, not too many hills… however, my girls get out of camp at 15:00 in the afternoon – one of the hottest times of the day. It was over 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside. I am not sure it was the best of plans….. after 30 minutes of walking in this mid-day heat we were exhausted. We each drank a bottle of water plus a bottle of Gatorade…. and had bright red faces to match the fruit punch Gatorade. Yet, even in that heat, I was proud of our walking and felt like we had accomplished something. The walk, despite the heat, was pleasant…… it is a walk that we should consider doing more often. In fact, I often wonder why we do not have the courage to use our car less and our feet more.
Today, 211 days ’til 40, I am thankful for my feet – indeed, I hope that my family does learn to use our car less and our feet more – in the end we will see our city through new eyes and get exercise at the same time.