I spent most of my childhood inside. I live in a climate that favours winter over summer, yet I’ve never made a snowman, and until adulthood, I hardly ever played in the snow. My parents both worked full-time; with them out of the house, I was often left to my own devices, which back in my day, were books, or watching crappy TV.
My mother wasn’t keen on letting ME play outside alone, or even with my friends. It was the 70’s, and 80’s, which felt like the peek “kidnap era” from what she’d have me believe. My brother on the other hand, he could do whatever HE wanted, whenever he wanted, and with whomever he wanted; I, the “little girl,” had to be kept under glass, protected, and shielded from the world.
I did have “outside” time, but it was usually after my parents returned home from work. We’d go for a walk, or a bike ride, usually to some sort of convenience store, or ice cream shoppe for treats. I guess the efforts of exercise were negated by the sugar, but we had fun! Winter nights were spent holed up in the smoke filled living room while my parents puffed away, on cheap cigarettes, and we wasted our braincells watching whatever we could pick up on our tin-foiled-rabbit-eared antennas.
I’m not really sure when, or how my love of walking developed, but I’m grateful that it did. At some point in my life, I started walking instead of depending on public transit. Honestly, I think it’s attributed to my lack of patience for waiting. Waiting for crowded buses, or metros seems like such a waste of time when I could start walking towards my destination instead.
Most of my friends aren’t walkers, but a few of them share my passion for pounding the pavement. I’ve been told that in spite of my little Chihuahua legs, I move with long strides, and great speed.
I may have grown up “inside,” but I always lived somewhere walkable. Once I had my independence, I was free to walk wherever my feet could carry me. I was a city walker. Everything I needed was within a 10-20Km stroll, so weather, and time depending, I’d often choose to walk, rather than sardine myself into a steamy metal passenger tube. Interestingly enough, I tried biking around the city, but didn’t enjoy it nearly as much. It’s something that I think I’ll have to explore again at some point, but right now, my location makes biking impossible unless it’s on a steady trail.
Now, in what feels like lifetimes away from my childhood, I am still a walker. I long for days when I can step outside and walk to my destinations, rather than controlling a 1 1/2ton vehicle down country highways. I plan my vacations based on where I can get the most walking in. I exchange my lunch hour for power walks through the forest every day. My passengers know that when I park in a large lot, I park as FAR AWAY from the door as possible because I like the. ability to walk into my destination. I’ve even been so frustrated that I walked 10km in stilettos one Saturday morning!
Honestly, I think walking makes me feel strong, and powerful, and sometimes, that’s enough to push me through the day!