Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Streetwalking, the oldest....

I haven't always liked walking. In fact, I hated it. I'm not certain at what point I developed an appreciation of this seemingly pointless activity. I know it wasn't during the winter of my formative years when I lived in the north and crossed a frozen lake to attend school. I'm also pretty certain that it wasn't in the spring as I ran home through the woods while encountering assorted mid sized wildlife.

Perhaps it was during the car-less years in the suburbs before my children were born. It was an experiment...one year, no car, let's see how we survive. The ex and I were fed up with the all too frequent and expensive repairs and maintenance, not to mention insurance. We disposed of the vehicle at a dealership in a neighbouring town, trekked home approximately 5 miles and the rest is history. We became physically and fiscally fit.

The experiment lasted not one, but three years. During that time, walking became the main form of transportation. When it was absolutely necessary, we rented. After buying a house some distance from work, I hiked there and back. Sometimes, laundry would accompany me. I transported it in my car trunk, aka a suitcase, washed dried and repacked it before marching it back home.

It was great when I found a colleague interested in joining me. Each day, I met her part way and we hoofed it to work. Hard to imagine that our feet plowed through some of the most inclement winter weather and, just as when driving, we compensated by leaving home early. Snowshoes might have helped, but I'm not sure where we might have parked them. Eventually, as the weather improved, walking turned to jogging.

Fast forward many, many years. I was a busy single parent. As an inexpensive exercise regimen, I took daily walks with two of my neighbours. We had all joined a weight loss group and enjoyed our evening strolls and gossip fests. The further the hikes, the more successful we were at keeping out of the kitchen and away from snacks.

When I moved from that neighbourhood, I was forced to create a new route for myself. At first, it was somewhat boring and the frequency of my walks decreased dramatically. It was around this time that I discovered the joys of talking books. These became my new walking partners. Besides that, when I became overheated I was forced to stop at the local pub to cool down before continuing on my jaunt. It was liberating, it was literating and it was libationating. Invented words, but it worked for Dr. Seuss.

Last weekend, I saw the movie "Julie and Julia" where Julie tried to cook every recipe in Julia Child's cookbook. It gave me an idea. I picked up a map of Cobourg from the library. There are exactly 250 streets in this town. My plan is to walk the length of every street...just walk. I do not have a set time goal. So, here comes the challenge. Do I also have to walk "to" every street thus repeating some roads over and over, or do I allow myself the luxury of driving to some of them, then walking? At this point, I'm leaning toward option A, walking from my house to and along each street. But then, at this point the weather is terrific for walking.

So the oldest form of transportation, my old hobby, has become a new goal. I'm looking forward to finding out what I learn.

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