As I prepare to move, I’ve been making a list of things I appreciate about my San Francisco lifestyle that I’d like to take with me to Connecticut. One of the things that made the list was walking. Too afraid to ride my bike, militantly unwilling to move my car from the parking spot it took me 20 minutes to find, and faced with unreliable public transportation, I tend to walk everywhere. I’ll walk up to 1.5 miles without blinking, and I wouldn’t mind walking up to three miles, if it weren’t for the fact that I typically don’t have 1h+ to walk somewhere. Yesterday, E and I walked a grand total of 9 miles: 1.3 mi from here to Dottie’s. 2.2 mi from Dottie’s to Fort Mason. 2.2 mi from Fort Mason back here. 1.7 mi from here to a friend’s party and 1.6 back. I walked almost two of these miles barefoot – I’ve been having some weird problems with my toes and sometimes walking in shoes is quite painful. We haven’t done a long walk like this in a while, but I would say that we average somewhere between 4-6 miles on at least one day during our weekend.
E and I started walking together in Japan – usually just down to the track and then around it a few times; often we’d head to the beach after work and pace up and down the sand for an hour or two. E likes to walk fast. Always. (I think we made that 1.7 mi walk to my friend’s party in 30 minutes yesterday.) It doesn’t matter what the weather is like, or if he’s tired (or if I’m tired), or whether or not we’re walking up a hill. My walking speed is circumstantial – slow if I’m hot or tired, fast if I’m concerned about time – and while I often find myself tugging on E’s sleeve to slow him down, I’ve noticed that I walk much faster than most of my other friends.
There’s something about walking that gets our mental juices flowing – our conversations are better, more inspired, more attentive when we walk. We also notice our surroundings more. I love walking around SF – I’m obsessed with the different neighborhoods and fascinated by the iron gates and the flowers climbing over them. Whenever we get to the top of a hill, E and I always pause for a moment to comment on how romantic our city is (and, you know, catch our breath).
It has been pointed out that perhaps part of the reason my feet are all messed up is because of how much walking I do in crappy shoes. I have also been alerted to the fact that it snows in Connecticut. Neither of these things have diminished my resolve to walk as much as possible while I’m there. I figure I just need better shoes and warmer clothes, although the true deterrent may end up being the humidity: The first day I showed up to my office in Japan, I had literally soaked through my clothes and when I bowed during my introduction, the sweat actually poured off my face and onto the floor. This was after only 10 minutes of walking. If I hadn’t been so jet-lagged and wasn’t so convinced that I would die in that heat and humidity, I might have been embarrassed. But after that first summer, I learned that covering myself in baby powder every couple of hours usually made life more bearable.
Yesterday, after we came back from Fort Mason, E said that he was ready for next weekend. We’ve been blessed with sunny, gorgeous, *almost* 70 degree weather (quite the accomplishment for SF in the summer) and I hope it stays that way so we can enjoy another nice, long walk. Any suggestions?