Saturday, April 28, 2012

Thoughts on Walking

This morning I picked Bill Bryson’s I’m A Stranger Here Myself up after a long hiatus. Bryson was born in the US, moved to England for 20 years, then moved back to the US--this book is a collection of articles he wrote for a British newspaper after coming back. The chapter I opened to, as it happens, is titled “Why No One Walks.” Here’s how it starts:
“A researcher from the University of California at Berkeley recently made a study of the nation’s walking habits and found that the average person in the United States walks less than 75 miles a year—about 1.4 miles a week, barely 350 yards a day… Eighty-five percent of us, according to the Berkeley study, are ‘essentially’ sedentary and 35 percent are ‘totally’ sedentary.”

Somehow… maybe this makes sense. Evolution shaped our ancestors to conserve all possible energy in case more dire conditions were to come, and our brains remain programmed to take advantage of the chance for energy conservation (aka laziness) whenever possible. Sadly, I can’t pretend to always be an exception. As I’m typing this, I’m laying on our couch and finishing my second bowl of Cocoa Krispies. But 350 yards… I’m fairly certain I walk nearly that far just trying to help Andy find his keys.

With so many beautiful sights to see and people to meet out there, I can’t imagine being able to stay so very  put. And while walking may not always be the main goal, it sure makes for a nice, cost-efficient (and conveniently built-in) way to get around. But when the idea alone isn't enough, here are a few sites I use to help spark my sense of adventure:

“I believe life is constantly testing us for our level of commitment, and life’s greatest rewards are reserved for those who demonstrate a never-ending commitment to act until they achieve. This level of resolve can move mountains, but it must be constant and consistent. As simplistic as this may sound, it is still the common denominator separating those who live their dreams from those who live in regret.”       --Anthony Robbins


  1. Hi Jess- We just subscribed to your blog and are looking forward to reading future ones!
    I am about 3/4 thru Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods" which I had for a long time but never read. Interesting in places and very humorous in places but then he actually never finished the trail!! I am sure you and Andy will publish a much better book when you are done!!

    Hugs Grandpa

    1. Yeah, Andy read it and was really frustrated that he never finished the trail!