In February, I started power walking three times a week, an hour and a half each time, all around my town. I feel reborn! Not only do I get the endorphins whipped into a frenzy, but I'm getting to know my town in a new way---I'm finding streets and neighborhoods I had no clue about. I've run these streets, I've biked these streets. I've driven these streets. But walking these streets... that's a different story. As is my wont, I've thrown myself into this new pursuit with all my heart. Here are some books I've read on walking, for example: The Lost Art of Walking by Geoff Nicholson. A thinnish book that meanders a bit too much, mixing some history with personal anecdotes and a filler chapter on photographers. Worth reading if you stumble on it (get it?), but not worth making a trek for. (Oops.)
The Places in Between by Rory Stewart. He walked ACROSS AFGHANISTAN! In 2002! He's young, he's extremely passionate! Very worth reading, especially in these times when we need to cure our ignorance about this country and its neighbors. On Walking by Joseph Amato. Just started this one. More scholarly than Nicholson. There's lots of anthropology and careful historical context-laying. Not a page turner, but then, we weren't expecting it to be. Were we?
Combining sketching or painting with walking isn't my focus right now, since I'm in it for the hard workout, but others do this very successfully. Julie Oakley is one such, a pioneer sketcher/walker, whose One Mile from Home project can be seen here. Katherine Tyrrell is another such. As is HER wont, she's organized a whole new group called Sketchercise and she's invited me to participate. I'll keep a sketch log of things I pick up while walking and draw later.
I found some wonderful shoes for summer walking. They're pictured above. They're lightweight (so packable) but sturdy and supportive. I think they're technically water shoes, but, good. If I encounter any rushing torrents or tsunamis in our neighborhoods, I'll be ready for them.
Oh, and when the time for Brittany comes, I'll be walking, I'll be sketching, I'll be painting. I'll be wearing my shoes.What about you? Want to go for a walk?