Walk Don't RunPosted on: Apr 23, 2015
I 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.
It 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.