I never would have thought of doing it, but there was that day before Christmas when it snowed quite a bit and all of downtown was gridlocked and I was facing the very real possibility of sitting on a bus for several hours, so I got off the bus and started walking. That day it took me almost 2 hours to slog home through the snow, but I didn’t mind. I was still moving faster than the cars. That day of gridlock, I learned it was possible to put one foot in front of the other and get home under my own power.
Today I chose to walk home. The days are getting longer and I can already feel the tug to be outside. I’m one cubicle over from the cubicles with a window. When I stand up I can see whether the sun is shining or not. Today it shone all day. Somehow, when I left at 4 pm my feet took me in the opposite direction from the bus stop, and they kept going. 1 hour and 20 minutes later I was unlocking my front door.
I feel great, much more energised than I usually do after sitting on a bus for 40 minutes (and with traffic these days I’m often stuck on a bus for longer than that). Google maps tells me that it is 7.5 km from my office building to my house. So now I know that 7.5 km is a completely doable walk. Yes, it took me twice as long as usual to get home, but I got exercise and fresh air on the way. If I’d hurried home I would have had to spend 40 minutes doing some sort of exercise inside. So really I didn’t lose any time at all. I think I’m going to make this a weekly habit.
4 thoughts on “I walked home from work today”
Yeah, the joy of walking… unless it’s -30 celcius out (or maybe -20 with a harsh wind chill factor)even winter walking can be a pleasure.
I’m continually amazed at how daunting people find even short walks of three or four blocks. The art of using one’s feet for transportation seems to be growing ever more rare. People have expressed shock when finding out I walked from Old Ottawa South to, say, Downtown.
Perhaps I’m biased (my last name is Walker, after all!) but it seems like a perfectly viable form of transportation to me (if slower than cycling). A month-long hiking trip on the Appalachian trail demonstrated to me the amazing power of humble feet to cover fairly large distances.
Leaving the car at home has the double dividend of being both environmental and healthy- triple dividend of beauty/relaxation if you’re lucky enough to live by the canal or some other scenic route. It is also a great way to build community, through chance encounters on your way home.
Kudos for walking!
Car culture wants us to believe that somehow walking and biking isn’t quite grown up — real adults drive cars. Many folks spend thousands of times more money on their cars than on good shoes or decent winter wear. It’s foolishness.
I sold my car several years ago and am much happier and freer without it. We walk or bike as much as we can, and love it!
It’s time to reclaim walking — and to create lifestyles and communities where walking is healthy, pleasant and safe. See http://planetfriendly.net/walking.html for some links, resources and organizations.
I hope you do make it a weekly habit!
– Peter Blanchard
gateway to a green, sustainable Ottawa
That’s EXACTLY the distance I walk to work each day, and that’s EXACTLY how long it takes me if the sidewalks are bare and dry and your bus ride is EXACTLY the same length of time as mine on a good day!
It must be genetic. Your Old Dad used to walk 6 km to and from work in the winter, when he couldn’t cycle safely and salt-free. That’s why he still treasures his boots as much as his bike. Mind you, there’s still a car or two in his list of treasures