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Walking, aching

November 3, 2011

Yesterday, the 2nd of November, the weather being warm and windy, the heart and legs being willing, I walked to my barber and back, about eight miles.

Most of the walk was down Crossover Road, a major north-south thoroughfare on the east side of Fayetteville, consisting of five lanes mostly at highway speeds (45-50 mph). So walking along this road, while efficient — there’s a sidewalk all the way — is not pleasant. The noise of the road disrupts both one’s thoughts, such as they are, and one’ s music, if one happens to have, as I did, earbuds stuck into one’s ears.

But noise was a small deterrent, as I was determined to wring good exercise out of the mild fall day. Temps must’ve been in the 60s, and though the cumulus clouds were high and fluffy their black bellies portended storm. I wanted to do this walk right, and do it now.

Took about an hour 20 minutes to walk each way — no land speed record for sure, but steady plodding.

My usual barber, Chad, was out but Bernard came off the bench for him and did a good job. “What’s this noise?” I asked. “The boss is cattin’ ’round, and you got to stay and work?” Bernard and I talked sports, the usual, though Bernard is not so fanatic about the topic as the boss.

The walk back was uneventful, but my right toes flared up again painfully. Is this arthritis at my tender age? Gout? Punishment for my sins real and imagined? Must’ve looked like Matt Dillon’s sidekick, Chester Goode, limping along and grimacing.

Aside from the toe ache and the subsequent thigh ache, I felt fine. I spent two and a half hours or so walking, gaining both exercise and destination.

Everybody was flying by on Crossover, and then Huntsville Road, where the barber shop is located, but that was fine. I was getting exercise, and getting even for too many days recently of sick inaction. (Head cold, cough, gut ache.)

This jaunt might not have qualified as a saunter, in Thoreau’s terms — there being no holy ground or grail I was destined for — but it was a purge for laziness, inaction, self-absorption. And I heartily recommend it.

It was also a warm-up for an eight-mile hike I’ll be taking this weekend with a hiking group I joined recently. This hike will be more rugged, more up and down, over rocky terrain. And will take longer, I’m sure.

But city walking is good too. A good departure from the normal get-in-the-car-and-hightail-it. Next time you just have to be somewhere fast, slow down and walk. It can be good exercise, sanitation, meditation.

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From → exercise, walking

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