Walk Away, Baby

The 5th Beatle

Walking Tall
The Walking Dead
Walk on the Wild Side
Long Walk to Freedom
I Walk the Line
These Boots are made for Walking
Walk this Way
Walking on Sunshine
The Long Walk
Dead Man Walking
A Walk in the Woods
How to Walk

Movies, music, booksit permeates our culture. We even know catchy sayings like walk a mile in his shoes, and walk away, baby, just walk away. Learning to walk is a massive milestone that transports an infant into a toddler, a baby to a kid.

Once upon a time, I viewed walking with disdain. “Why would anyone walk somewhere when they can run?” — Jeff Cann, circa 1997. For ten years, I worked a half a mile from my front door. Did I walk to work? Nope, I road my bike. Honestly, I never considered going for a walk, “it’s a waste of time.”

“Jeff,” you might say, “hiking is walking. You like to do that.” Giving it a different name tricked me. I’ve always loved hiking.

Three weeks ago, I screwed up my shoulder—out mountain biking, over the handle bars, blah blah blah. You can read about it here (Subluxation… Again). I finished up that post predicting I’d be back to mountain biking in three or four days. I’m not. My MRI is on Monday.

I’m somewhat addicted to exercise. First off, I eat too much. If I don’t exercise, I quickly gain weight. But more importantly, I need time alone with steady, even breath and an elevated pulse. It calms my mind, leaves me at peace. When I miss this sensation for a couple of days, I get agitated. I rode my bike a few times since I fell—but not far and only on the road. I found that a half hour is my max. Hills hurt, up and down, amazing how much your shoulder participates while riding a bike.

So walking then. Most mornings, I walk to work now. Different job, it’s farther than a half a mile. I measured it. Yes, I actually strapped on my running watch and measured the distance to work (1.65 miles). I needed to mail the library’s annual registration to the Bureau or Charitable Organizations so I walked to the post office (1.3 miles round trip). Some days, like yesterday, I walk home from work. And some days, like yesterday, Susan and I walk our neighborhood before dinner (2.0 miles). When we have a bit more time, we walk the Culp’s Hill loop (3.0 miles) or the Devil’s Den loop (2.5 miles).

I must be walking eighteen miles a week.

God, my shoes are old, my work shoes that is. I got them in 2017. I just changed jobs, and I decided to freshen up my footwear. Fear not, I shined them for the first time just last week, so they look like new again. Look new. The shoes seemed fine until I started walking 1.65 miles twice a day. Now it feels like I have a quarter-inch of cardboard under my feet rather than an inch of rubber. Those sidewalks are hard. My calves hurt; my heels hurt. Who would believe walking to work is harder on my body than running? But it doesn’t bother my shoulder at all. I think I’m losing weight.

As my shoulder heals (I hope it heals) I plan to continue walking to work. Right now, with morning temperatures in the sixties, I arrive at work in a lovely mood: relaxed, exhilarated, joyful. We’ll see what happens when thermometer dips below freezing, when ice encroaches the sidewalk because residents ‘forgot’ to shovel. Will I still like it? I hope so.

My neighbor Mr. Skeeter has walked to work daily since I moved here in 2005. I always assumed he lost his drivers’ license in some alcohol fueled hit and run decades ago. Now I realize it’s just a really civil way to start the day.

20 thoughts on “Walk Away, Baby

  1. Walk Like An Egyptian
    Walking In L.A.

    Maybe you can get your shoes resoled🤷🏼‍♀️ add a 1/2″ of rubber to the bottom. Comfy shoes are a must!
    I need to get back to walking. I get plenty of steps in my house and yard, but it’s not the same. Summer is still hanging on here☹️ and I’m less and less tolerant of heat every year it seems.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lovely post, Jeff. I’m glad something good has come out of your shoulder injury (in a way). It’s great that you’re doing all that walking and enjoying it, too. You’ll have to wait and see how you feel about braving the snow and ice when they come. Your temperatures (at 60F) are similar to ours at this time of year. We use Centigrade, so 60F is about 15C, which is roughly our daytime temperature at the moment. It’s getting colder this week, though. Tonight it is only 5C (41F). Brrr …

    It does sound like you need new shoes. Your current ones have done you a good turn, after all. You’ll have to run a poll on WP. Post a photo of your shoes, and we can vote to say whether we think you should buy new ones or not. Silly idea, but it just popped into my mind for some reason.

    I used to love walking; I’m going back about ten years before I needed a wheelchair to get anywhere. I loved walking down by the river and under the trees on my way to town. It instilled a sense of calm and peace in me; whereas now I go out and about everywhere in Alfie, I have to concentrate on my ‘driving’ and making sure I don’t hit any pedestrians (or annoy the cyclists!). Oh, and another title for your collection is – Just Walk in my Shoes” by Gladys Knight.

    Hope your MRI goes well on Monday, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. City office-worker tip: keep your work shoes under your desk and do the walking in trainers, to save your feet. Plantar fasciitis is no fun. Glad you’re enjoying the walking though, and I hope your shoulder heals soon, keep us posted on the MRI.


  4. Avid walker here. I switched it up. Like you, I still wanted to get out and do something but my inner ankles feel sore if I push the running too much. With the extra cost of everything, I haven’t bought new running/walking shoes (and I bet that is adding to my ankle problems). I love my Hoka Bondi’s, but my goodness they are just too expensive. Hope your shoulder is okay. And enjoy your walks – it’s perfect weather to be outside!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My running shoes are up for replacement too. I buy new ones every October whether I need them or not ;-). I *think* the MRI has goodish news. There doesn’t seem to be anything torn that needs to be babied for months. The report talks about a lot of chronic damage, signs of multiple dislocations and crap floating around in the joint (which is probably what hurts so much right now). I haven’t talked with the doc yet, I’ve just read the report and googled a bunch of unfamiliar terms. I hope I can see him this week., Re: running, I’ve been doing more short runs recently (3-4 miles) and I’m pretty excited how my whole body doesn’t hurt when I’m done. That may be my thing from now on. Too bad about that Zion half marathon I had my eye on. (Can’t afford it anyway).

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m walking, yes indeed I’m walking…….I wish. I’m glad you are walking. I have done none of that for probably 6 months and can’t make myself reestablish the habit. I even bought the shoes!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s