A History of Walking
Pulled a muscle on a toe a few days ago. The irony is, the injury of a minor toe forced me to limp around for about 2 days.
Guess it's the kind of thing that you don't really think about until something happens. We never fully consider the wonderous mechanics behind the simple motion of just walking. How the heel first touch ground, roll, and then the lift-off of our toes. Now, with an injuried toe, the lift-off process can be painful. A lot of power goers into every single step we take.
In the Buddhist tradition, they have something known as "walking meditation." It basically asks you to take each and every step mindfully, with consciousness and awareness of your breathing. It's a demanding practice that forces you to slow down every thought and every motion. But it does wonders for your awareness.
Anyway, I'm reminded of this book by Rebecca Solnit. It's called Wanderlust: A History of Walking. The book outlines the prehistory, history, and natural history of bipedal motion.Walking, she observes, affords its practitioners an immediate reward - the ability to observe the world at a relaxed gait, one that allows us to take in sights, sounds, and smells that we might otherwise pass by. It provides a vehicle for much-needed solitude and private thought.
We don't walk enough these day. Someone I know was very excited about planning a road-trip tour. But I'm starting to feel I'm more a walking/public transport person.
And since I recovered from the embarrassing injuried toe, I'm back to my cocky strut. I have a tendency to shuffle my feet while walking, that I know. But I never really realised how much of a swagger I put into my gait sometimes.