Atlantic writer Wayne Curtis looks at the “lost art of the in-depth walk” in a piece for Drexel University:
What do we lose by walking less, and breaking up our walks into Halloween-candy sized missions? We lose that opportunity to tightly stitch together our world. A long walk — it takes about three hours to walk 10 miles, and without breaking a sweat — gives us time with our thoughts, and establishes the right speed to appreciate the complexity of the world around us. It gives us time to plait the warp of random observations and the woof of random thought. We create a narrative and a place. …
On our tweet-length, mission-driven walks we remain cloistered in the sanctuary of our minds, focused on our immediate goal. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I’ve never an interesting thought walking from the outer edge of a parking lot to the entrance of a big box store.
I’m a little bummed that my new neighborhood is not walk-friendly (my WalkScore is just 32 … and that doesn’t factor in missing sidewalks). While 10,000 years may well be enough time for some of us to have more or less adapted to dairy or grains, I doubt that 100-200 years has been enough time for us to have adapted to the kind of 24×7 cacophany we live with now. Maybe that’s one of the reasons that pounding out a hour or so on the treadmill or elliptical with CNN blaring at the gym isn’t linked to better health!