Thursday, April 30, 2015

In Praise of Walking

I leaned closer, and as she tapped the thickest part of [a rubber bracelet on her left wrist] a number of glowing dots rose to the surface and danced back and forth. “It’s like a pedometer,” she continued. “But updated, and better. The goal is to take ten thousand steps per day, and, once you do, it vibrates.”

...A few weeks later, I bought a Fitbit of my own, and discovered what she was talking about. Ten thousand steps, I learned, amounts to a little more than four miles for someone my size—five feet five inches. It sounds like a lot, but you can cover that distance in the course of an average day without even trying...
~David Sedaris, "Stepping Out"

We don't have an abcreads Fitbit, but one of us did get a new phone with a pedometer, and now that the weather has been warm, we have been trying to get out and walk daily. Like David Sedaris, some of us are a bit obsessive about making our 10,000 steps a day and achieving a little light applause and a gold medal from our phone's pedometer.  Some of us could use a little more inspiration. We could try Cheryl Strayed's Wild (although we've mostly been walking the city neighborhoods) and we've placed a hold on Stephen Ausherman's Walking Albuquerque: 30 Tours of the Duke City's Historic Neighborhoods, Ditch Trails, Urban Nature, and Public Art. Some websites recommend walking routes, the Paseo del Bosque Trail is calling to us, and even the City of Albuquerque wants us to Get Up and Get Moving! Still, some of us need a little more inspiration, so here are some items from the catalog that we hope will inspire all of us to take a walk!  (Once we finish reading, anyway.)

A Philosophy of Walking by Frederic Gros

Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit

The Lost Art of Walking: The History, Science, Philosophy, and Literature of Pedestrianism by Geoff Nicholson

The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot by Robert Macfarlane

The Last Great Walk: The True Story of a 1909 Walk From New York to San Francisco, and Why It Matters Today by Wayne Curtis

Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail by Ben Montgomery

Tracks: A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback by Robyn Davidson

A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople - From The Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube by Patrick Leigh Fermor

Like a Tramp, Like a Pilgrim: On Foot, Across Europe to Rome by Harry Bucknall


Patience (After Sebald): A Walk Through The Rings of Saturn

Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago
 For more walking guides (including travel guides), try a search of walking guidebooks or walking tours.  

What about you? Is there a place in Albuquerque you like to walk?  Do you take a daily stroll? Use a Fitbit or a pedometer?  Let us know in the comments!

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