Today was the day I had to register Katie for high school.
To do this I had to be at the middle school at 1pm.
In the old days, I would have hopped in my trusty van and made the trip in ten minutes.
On foot it is a forty minute walk.
Fortunately it was a pretty day so I enjoyed the trip. I took Katie out of school early and treated her to lunch at a restaurant on the route to celebrate this milestone. We hadn’t been there before (and Katie wasn’t expecting it) so it was a real treat.
Then we walked the forty minute trip back home.
When you walk everywhere you must plan your trip in advance. It takes a lot longer to get to your destination so this has to be taken into account.
You must wear comfortable shoes when taking trips such as these. Katie learned that the hard way when she forgot to pack her tennies after her band competition. She ended up removing her heels and walking home barefoot that day!
You also have to account for weather conditions. An unexpected rain storm can be a bitch, while cold weather can cause frostbite if you aren’t properly dressed.
If you want to do any shopping, you have to plan ahead and bring a shopping cart unless you want to carry heavy bags.
And of course, a sprained ankle or a blister can make walking almost impossible.
Even with all of these disadvantages there is good in hoofing it.
For one, you will get exercise without going to the gym. I can feel my endurance improving with every trip I make and my leg muscles are already becoming more defined.
Another advantage is the fact that you can relax, look around and enjoy the scenery. I adore walking past the pretty houses and watching the flowers starting to peek through the soil.
When you are walking you also have time to think. I compose blog posts, emails and even work on my book when I’m out on my jaunts.
My favorite advantage is the extra time I get to spend walking with my daughter. We chat about all sorts of things when we walk places together!
Katie likes for me to meet her at the school when she stays after so that I can accompany her on the trip home. It takes some not-inconsiderable time out of my day but since it was my dream to savor these last few years of her childhood (and I am blessed with the available time) I am more than able to indulge her.
Some times I even bring the dogs with me when I have to meet her at the school. This way they get to share in the adventure as well.
I have even noticed an odd benefit to the extra exercise. I don’t get cold near as often as I used to, even when I’m sitting at my computer. I guess that the exercise has helped with my circulation because before I started this I stayed cold in the winter. Now I can walk in 40 degree temps in my shirt sleeves and still feel comfortable. I do carry a jacket in the event of a chill breeze, however!
All in all I must confess that I am enjoying this car free adventure. Despite the downsides I find this quite enjoyable.
Back in the not so distant past, many folks didn’t even bother with a car. They walked everywhere, regardless of the distance. From what I can tell already, this is a very practical decision. Sure it takes more time but what else would be doing, sitting in front of the television eating Cheetos?
If you don’t walk much I encourage you to give it a try. You may not be able to eliminate your vehicle entirely, but the experience is extremely liberating.