Tuesday, July 24, 2007

free time

I have a lot of free time right now, so walking continues to be pure joy, but I find myself wondering whether I'll keep walking once I go back to work. Walking takes time and intention. It requires slowness, patience.

I sometimes feel pre-emptive disappointment in myself for choosing to rely so heavily on my car once school starts up again. My job is far. Many of my friends are in D.C. I have more responsiblities to cram into a day. Where will the walking fit? Rather, will I choose to make it fit?

We'll see.

In the meantime, I have thrown down a couple of challenges for myself. If I'm going to walk less when I have less time, I ought to walk more when I have more time, right?

1. Soon, I will head off into the woods of W.V. with a pack on my back, one much heavier than anything I lugged across Spain. Lots of trees (including the Whispering One-Sided Spruce), lots of cold water to swim in, lots of stars, lots of fresh berries to pick, lots of pounds on my back. No beds, no fresh chocolate croissants (though you just never know when one might be delivered up to you). A friend and I did this same hike last year. It was amazing, but this time we're hoping to not have to slurp a mud puddle as a water source.

2. I have this little idea in my head that I should walk to Boot Camp one morning. It's always struck me as a bit preposterous that I drive for 40 minutes round trip in order to exercise for an hour. Of course, that would necessitate getting up at an unbelievably ungodly hour (we're looking at fewer hours than fingers on one hand). Still. Perhaps this Friday . . .

3. Here's the hardest one. Even before walking the Camino, I found it frustrating how much I rely on my car to go to work. Having a long commute is probably the thing I dislike most about my life, at least in terms of things that I have the power to change. I like my job, though, and I like where I live. I'll be making the drive for the foreseeable future. There's simply no reasonable way of maneuvering the 40ish miles round trip from my apartment to NVCC/Loudoun without a car.

Fortunately, I have no need to be reasonable right now.

I often complain that I can't walk to work. Well, I can; I'm just lazy. I've just never set out to do so. There's a rails-to-trails path behind my apartment that just happens to lead almost directly to my workplace. So, I plan to take a 3 day trip to work and back.
DAY 1: Walk to work.
DAY 2: Work.
DAY 3: Walk home from work and collapse in my bed.

This is, to be clear, a moronic undertaking in Virginia in August, particularly since I'll be walking two very long days.

Do I really want to walk, to understand what it is like to walk in my community? Well, yes, but it's far and it's hot and it's . . .

Start chewing on those Benjamins, Pool. It's time to put your money where your mouth is.

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