I am a walker. I am a New Yorker. I can easily walk 4 miles in a day and not blink or cramp up. I love the euphoria I get from walking. I also love that I know I can out-walk most other people, including potential thieves. Yes, that was a very New York declaration to make. In New York, walking serves as the major mode of transportation which is why shoes are of the utmost importance in New York. I carry my 5-inch heels in my bag, while I wear my Keds.
For many, walking serves an utilitarian function as one needs to get from point A to Point C. And with that usually point A is one point of the parking and point C is the the storefront. It is kind of sad, really. Many people view walking as a nuisance and I just don’t understand that perspective. Just today, I was told by a grumpy kid I don’t like to walk. Kids should love to walk. They should love to jump, walk and hop. Such a sentiment is probably why so many young kids are sadly getting Type II diabetes. It shouldn’t be that way.
As a society, people have gotten lazy. Maybe people never really liked walking. Although, I do not believe that for a second. How could people not have liked walking through the world taking in nature and its growth? In all fairness, I do see more walking trails being built up through various city centers and outskirts. On the west side highway of New York City, there is the Highline and the Greenway where you can speedwalk, jog or bike. New spaces are being created for everyone where they can engage in special walking activities. Walking is a special activity now. People will walk if it is in a cool spot where you can take a selfie or two. There is a website called the walkingsite where people get “walking information and support”. Hmm. What is this world we live in where people need information on walking? Apparently, according to Wikipedia, walking in the United Kingdom, includes walking in a park as well as walking up the Alps. Meanwhile, in the United States a vigorous walk is a hike. Don’t know about you all but walking is walking. But as we see nowadays anything more than a few blocks of walking is a hike.
We walk until we are told it is the end of the trail. Our built environment that we go through for work everyday is not set up for walking. We need to make special efforts to walk these days. I myself have a Fitbit where I get buzzed and zapped if I don’t walk 250 steps each hour. Here is the thing though, if I walk without my Fitbit on, does it count? The other day I went and did the treadmill and was extremely sad when I realized that i didn’t have my Fitbit on to acknowledge that I had indeed walked. If a tree falls and no one hears it…? You know how that goes. Apparently, the same is true for walking now.