Walk Don't Run

Posted on: Apr 23, 2015

finish line of the Snowdon ChallengeI have turned into one of those people that complains about their knees and makes ‘oof’ noises when they have to pick something up off the floor. It’s all because a few years ago I made the unwise decision to climb Mount Snowdon, cycle 40 miles and kayak across a lake in one day, for charidee. The day itself was awesome and really enjoyable, but I did the whole thing with a knee support because I was a bit too enthusiastic with the leg weights when training.

Add to that four years of walking an hour a day to work (often with a backpack that was mysteriously heavy despite containing no more than several lip balms and my lunch), and a short-lived attempt to ‘get back into jogging’ and my knees are fucked.

The other half (TOH) suggested I try walking more slowly. Because I’m a stomper. I walk with purpose. Walking is a way of getting from A to B, why dawdle? But when he pointed out that my preferred method of transportation was putting a shit-load of pressure on my joints (something about weight-to-surface-area-ratio), I decided to try and take his advice.

I went out at lunchtime and made a conscious effort to walk slowly. It was pretty much impossible. It felt so alien that you might as well have asked me to write left-handed or enjoy watching football. And it’s not just down to my natural gait, it’s also indicative of a deeply-ingrained impatience.

walk don't runIt reminded me of when we went to the Tate Modern (how much does that sound like a pretentious version of Band Camp girl in American Pie – ‘This one time, at Tate Modern…’) and there was an installation that consisted of a massive storage container with no lights inside, and, it turns out, nothing else. I guess it was all about ‘The Experience’. I don’t know about The Experience but it did highlight to me the profound differences between me and TOH. I walked in and made a beeline for the back of the unit, convinced there was some hidden treasures therein. TOH strolled in, pausing to get accustomed to the dark, I grabbed his hand demanding that we go to the back and see what was there. Was there ever a better metaphor for impatience?

So at the age of 34 I’ve realised that there are some things about yourself that you can’t change – I will never be able to change my walking speed, and I will never be one of those people that doesn’t run straight to the back of massive dark storage units posing as modern art. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

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