my family is pretty big into health. lately we’ve all been reading a ton of the lovable biomechanist, katy bowman. her book, move your dna, is definitely worth the read, but she has other books, a blog, and instagram, too. her advice is pretty much what we’ve been hearing from every health advocate ever; being sedentary is really, really bad for you. moving your body in lots of different ways for lots of the day is good for you. not exactly earth shattering, but getting more movement into my day has proved harder than i thought. i had this idea that since i do a lot of my living outdoors, i’m ahead of the game on the movement front. that may be true if i’m comparing my self to other people suburban america, but not so much if we are comparing anybody else in the world. i walk from my washer to the laundry line, i dump a 5 gallon bucket of greywater a few times a day, move hoses, and randomly putter on the property. but when i got a pedometer at the beginning of january, i discovered that even a more active than average day for me is less than 7000 steps. most days i top out a little over 5000. you’ve all heard of the 10,000 steps thing, right? i’m pretty sure that when i lived in vancouver i got a lot closer to 10,000 steps without even trying, because i enjoyed walking the half mile to work, and it was the path of least resistance to run errands by foot & public transportation. here, i walk around my property, or will go for a hike nearby, but never walk for transportation.
yesterday oliver (age 4.5) and i decided to have an “adventure” by walking to our weekly homeschooling gathering. we made snacks and filled up our camelbaks and ventured out to trek the 1.6 miles. we both enjoyed the stroll very much and now i’m just kind of embarrassed that after living here for more than 10 years, i’ve walked to town only one other time. and that walking a mile and a half felt like an adventure. it’s just weird that using our legs as transportation has gotten so novel. i think i might even prefer walking over biking here. because soft sand and steep hills are no problem when going by foot, we could take a more direct route, and didn’t see a car the whole way. oliver had no trouble walking the whole way on his own, and had plenty of energy left over to play hard with his friends for several hours. maybe we’ll get super ambitious and walk to the library one of these days, or the post office! look out world!
there’s a way that walking for transportation here feels like a radical act. i guess because NOBODY does it. there are a handful of people who bike, and we are generally seen as either impoverished or crazy. people seen walking are assumed to be even more impoverished and/or crazy. honestly, if i see somebody walking along the street here, my first thought is, i wonder what’s wrong? should i give them a ride? but there is something liberating in leaving the car keys in their basket and just walking out the door to go somewhere. plus we can feel super smug about the fossil fuels we aren’t burning and the long term health benefits of fresh air and exercise. holding hands and conversation is easier when walking than biking or driving too.