Monday, 4 December 2017

What's wrong with walking?

I walk. Anyone who reads this blog knows that. I live in Cumbria & I walk up big hills. BUT I also travel around the UK a lot with my job & I like to walk then too, but it's not always easy.

I use public transport & prefer to walk from the station to wherever I'm working or staying and so many times when I do that I realise how hard it is. Not the distance, that's the easy part; it's finding a safe route that causes the trouble.

Take this evening. I arrived in Ashford, Kent, at 6:17pm. My hotel is 1.7 miles from the station. Easy? No. Finding a route along a busy road is the first challenge, followed by navigating roundabouts and roads with no easy crossing places.

After that comes the long walk along a well lit but very quiet road.  The thing is people don't walk anymore, they drive, so routes are deserted.  When I was a kid in the early 70's I remember closing time at the local factories when you couldn't have driven if you'd wanted to because the road was choked with people walking home.  Today, at 6:30pm in Kent, where the traffic report on the radio is an endless list of holdups, I only saw 2 other people on foot in the space of a mile & both of them were runners.

Today there were pavements for most of the way - not all mind, I still had to take my chances on a narrow bridge with no pedestrian option - but in the past I've tramped along grass verges and, on one particularly memorable occasion, skittered along a very narrow footpath alongside a dual carriageway.

Walking is cheap. Walking should be easy. Walking gives you time to unwind, refocus & burn a few calories. "Walking Rage" isn't a thing (as far as I know) - at least not along quiet suburban pavements.

I love the film WALL-E and think they were right on the money with the scenes in the spaceship where folks float around glued to screens & have largely lost the use of their legs. It wasn't just a cute Pixar film, it was a warning about where we're all headed.

Walking doesn't have to be up hills. Walking should just be something we do every single day - it shouldn't be such a rare thing that it merits a 5 minute shocked conversation with a hotel receptionist who can't believe you walked "all the way from the station".

I do understand why some folks don't do it - especially women - it was scary walking along deserted unfamiliar streets alone after dark, but if more people did it, the streets wouldn't be quite so deserted and we'd all be a little bit fitter.

I walk because I like it, because it helps me unwind and because I know it's good for me.   I'll be honest - I also do it because it means I can scoff a warm chocolate brownie & not feel too bad about it afterwards... See? What's not to like? 😀

AND AFTER YOU'VE ENJOYED YOUR WALK - why not put your feet up with a good book or 3? 😀
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