Day 116 – 680 Miles


Today, I’d like to comment on the social aspect of walking. At the beginning of last week, I had a dear friend, Todd Register, suggest he come along on one of my walks. A better idea couldn’t’ve been offered up. We broke from my march in the south end of the city and trod in his childhood stomp’in grounds, the Cherokee Plantation subdivision. It was a refreshing change of pace for me and gave Todd (who’s looong since moved away from these adolecent haunts) the opportunity for that stroll down memory lane, something everybody loves doing. (We even stopped by to catch up with seldom seen friends Rick & Emily Williams. Endorphins flowed all around). A drive through nostalgia just isn’t the same as doing the thing on foot. A walking speed (and the act itself) allows time for recall of stories and tales, triggered by familiar sights, to percolate up which drives conversation further than the three minutes the same journey by a car, would ever have. Talking and walking with a friend is the essence of joy.

On nearly all of my daily ploddings, I’m accompanied only by an old radio friend, Ned P. Ryerson. He’s amazingly enlightening, but the only problem is that he does -all- the talking. We all want not to just hear ideas, but to talk about’em too. So, the opportunity of walking with a friend shouldn’t be passed up. Rather, it should be sought out. Only good can come of it. Consider that walking has been the catalyst since before the ancient Greeks, for the genesis of philosophies that provide foundations for modern governance, morality, and civility (to say nothing of literature and poetry). There was a reason men like Confucius, Socrates, Plato, Locke, Machiavelli, Aristotle, Thoreau, etc. were wont to combine walk with talk. They intuited that movement of all our body constituents of muscle, bone, heart, lungs, blood, even visceral organs – begets interplay, begets ideas. The most famous walk of modern time (if not all time) occurred in 1985. After days of tense unproductive negotiations at the Geneva summit, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev took a break from negotiations to take a walk and that walk yielded a dramatic reduction in nuclear tensions between the worlds two super powers. Civilization exhaled. A simple walk with a friend can be the bromide for humanity’s ails.

While very few of us (certainly not me) possess the high intellect of the names dropped here, it doesn’t take a genius to recognize that wading into the brook just to listen and contribute to the babble feels good.

Let’s go for a walk.