Take a Walk

I can't be the only person who does her best thinking while moving, or makes her closest connections with other human beings while undertaking some sort of collective activity. I've had my best business ideas while out for an easy run. I've made some of my closest friends at the gym and in my running group.

Yet I sit on my tail end in chairs attending meetings and serving at desks most of the day. Or in the front seat of my car, while my tail end heads to new chairs in different locales. This is while I'm supposed to be thinking or bonding with people.

Even when people suggest meetings to "get me out of the office" to talk in a more relaxed fashion--a common tactic for people who want to network or to sell me things--we go to a restaurant, coffee shop, or bar.

More sitting.

I'm going to revolt. I'm tired of business lunches, coffees, and drinks. And I'm tired of sitting on my butt most of the day. When I need to have a meeting that doesn't require a white board or a computer--and, really, most don't--I'm going to suggest some sort of physical activity.

All the people--mainly men--who go golfing with clients and business partners? I'll take that as evidence that I'm not alone. Maybe we nongolfers just really don't know what else to do other than sit at a restaurant or in a coffee shop or in a bar, if we aren't in an office setting. Or even sit at an athletic event, where we continue to flatten our backsides while watching other people play.

Fortunately, I live in the fourth largest city in the United States, Houston, where there are plenty of interesting urban expanses and beautiful green places to walk--all in reasonable proximity. About a mile from my office, there are three walking/jogging trails. There are also countless gyms and athletic facilities, and most people I know belong to one of them. (Because even though there are many great places to be outdoors, the summer months in Houston can be unbearable in the afternoon.)

No excuses.

And no, nothing too strenuous will be required. I don't think well or have great conversations when I'm doing speedwork or when I'm on my third rep of a really heavy set of weights. I'm talking about taking a stroll, trying new equipment at the gym, or even giving putt-putt golf a try. (I'll pass on the real golf. Sorry, Dad.)

Of course, full disclosure: In my ideal world, I'd get to wear pajamas or athletic clothes at all times. So in a way, this will help bring me closer to my ideal world. Bonus.

Want to meet with me? Let's talk a walk. I'm almost always up for that.

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Reader Comments (4)

I really should take you up on that offer! I know we both wouldten joy the conversation and the great outdoors.

June 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeb Evans

I would love that! Name the date--I'm in!

June 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie Farnsworth

Taking a walk on a Sunday.

It's already 6:45, get up!

Can't we do this later today? I promise I'll go.

No! Now! Otherwise the parking lot at the park will be full up. See! I told you

One and a half miles there and one and a half miles back. Walk past the bayou paddling launch area. I'm going to do this kayak thing one day. I swear. One of these days.

Up the first hill. Knee already aching. Really? Yes really. You didn't walk at all yesterday because of those lectures and you ate cookies during the coffee break. Don't deny it!

Watching the pavement lulls me into a semi conscious state. Keeping the road ahead of me just at the top of my vision. Thinking bout work, bout the car tune up I need to schedule next month.

A bike guy coming behind me. I can hear the hum of his tires.

"To your left, to your left!"

At least this one warns people. Most just zoom past. This one has a carbon fiber bike that probably cost twice as much as my first car.

A rabbit crosses the trail followed by a pair of squirrels.

Second Hill. Don't quit or stop. You stop and you won't want to keep going.

Dog walking people coming past. The dogs always want to sniff me and I have to dodge to keep from getting tangled in the leash.

Third hill. Now its a straight shot to the end. I keep going and nearly crash into the guardrail. Now turn around. Or do I? Why not just a little farther today? to that tree, or maybe more?

STOP! ok, that's far enough today. Just get back to the car now.

A pair of twentysomethings come from behind me jogging. Both with an easy gazelle-like stride. Chatting and laughing. Both with the long and lean bodies of joggers that have been doing this for years.

I'm tempted to speed up, to catch up but no. This has nothing to do with them. Set your own pace.

Back to the first hill. Power, power, power! The left calf muscle screaming "no more!"

The car park in sight. Straighten out your clothes. Stand tall in front of those just starting their walks.

Back in the car and back home for some water and an ice pack for my knee. This is why you never skip a day.

August 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWilliam Pora

Love this comment, William! It's so similar to what goes through my head on hard running days, when I've forced myself out there and I'm just plumb not feeling it. Oh yes.

August 27, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeslie Farnsworth

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