the power walk


Although I've always considered myself a pedestrian, it took the sour situation of the end of my last relationship to really propel me to explore the streets of Edmonton on foot. Although the majority of my transportation in the city had been on foot, rarely did I set out on walks just for the sake of walking. At least not by myself. I had always found walking to be a calming experience, and so in the thick of what was probably one of the more stressful periods of my life, I would escape from my apartment and just walk. At the risk of sounding too overly dramatic, I can honestly say that walking was probably the one activity that helped me the most at that time.

Perhaps it was the endorphins that were released during exercise (I would walk fast enough for it to be considered exercise)... maybe it was the vitamin D. Whatever the combination of elements, walking became more than just a form of every day transportation for me. My daily constitutional became the one part of my day that I was loathe to miss.

Of course winter arrived, and with winter came snow and ice... and although I pledged to continue, the frequency and length of my daily constitutional dwindled. I ventured out a few times now and again, but I fell trap to working longer and ending my day too tired to even think about walking. Which of course was ridiculous, since walking is one of those things that tends to perk me up. But after a winter of breaking my daily habit - working late into the evening and pausing briefly for supper and other life activities, my mood was getting progressively worse and worse. The last two weeks in particular... I found that I was becoming rather negative when I had no cause to be. The gentleman had commented on my general unpleasantness, which gave me pause... if he felt it necessary to comment on my attitude, how might I be coming across to others? I sought to remedy this immediately.

My plan... resume the daily constitutional.

On Sunday I was up early, so before breakfast I left the apartment and headed towards one of my preferred routes. I brought the beast along in case I felt like documenting things photographically (or cinematically as the case would be). As I wandered across the river and round about through Whyte Ave, I encountered a friend on her way to her community garden plot, a colleague out for coffee, and many random strangers who had left their homes on this beautiful Sunday, meeting friends for breakfast or stopping in at one of the many shops along the avenue.

(And now, the video of my stroll, accompanied by the sorrowful crooning of Frank Sinatra in the hilariously fitting tune entitled Walk Away. Sometimes I can't resist these music choices, no matter how cheeseballish they seem)

When you walk along the same route frequently, you start to take note of certain things. I walk on the multi-use trails a lot and I can't help but notice the variety of people using them, whether they be traveling on foot or rolling by on their bicycles or skateboards. While I'm sure many were just between point a and point b, I'm sure there were several who, like me, were out exploring the city just because.