A Walking Man

As the story goes, a Texas rancher is describing his ranch to a farmer from Virginia. “I can get in my truck in the morning and start driving west and by dinner time I still wouldn’t have gotten to the edge of my property,” the rancher says.  The Virginia farmer is silent for few moments, as if pondering the Texan’s words, then replies, “I used to have a truck like that.”

But seriously, our farm is a modestly sized piece of land compared to the huge tracts farmed in the west and midwest.  But it’s plenty big for us. It makes for lots of walking.

We have a utility vehicle that can get us around the farm pretty quickly, but most of the time I choose to walk.  It’s .3 miles from our house to the front part of our farm, .7 miles from our house to the eastern edge and about a half mile (I’m guessing) from our house to the northern edge.  I walk nearly a mile every morning to do my chores and over the course of a day I probably walk several miles on average.

Walking is excellent exercise of course and it’s good to ambulate without spewing fumes, burning fossil fuel and making noise.

All the walking I do has caused me to notice how little most folks tend to walk.  I’ve even seen gardening videos on youtube of a guy showing how to plant potatoes from the seat of a utility vehicle, presumably to avoid having to actually walk while doing it.

I like to walk.  I don’t like the idea of not being able to do it.  Given the choice, and absent any rush, whenever possible I’d rather than walk than drive.

I reckon I’m a walking man.

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11 comments on “A Walking Man

  1. “Bridges are for burning, so don’t you let that yearning pass you by…” Nice piece, but I confess I like the trip down memory lane even more…

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    • Bill says:

      I decided to add the song at the last minute, because it was playing in my head the whole time I was thinking about walking so much and while I was writing the post. It is truly a fine song.

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  2. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, it’s always kind of humorous to me that folks would spend such an incredible amount of money on fitness center memberships when all that’s needed is a good stiff walk around the neighborhood. Who knows they just might get to know a neighbor or two. Many many years ago when my wife could do it, we walked the neighborhood and met many of the neighbors we would have never met other wise. Now my exercise comes in the form of gardening with bending, squatting, digging, and various other natural exercises that fitness centers have special machines to simulate. My exercise actually produces something of value. Fitness centers and trainers are hamster in the wheel syndrome, don’t you think?

    Have a great walking man day.

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    • Bill says:

      Your comment reminds me of something humorous I saw recently. The quote was something like, “I’m baffled when I see people who own treadmills and riding lawnmowers.” You could substitute “gym memberships” for treadmills and the point would be the same.

      And yes, why run in place when you can get the same benefit while actually accomplishing something?

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  3. I am totally with you, Bill. Our five acres backs up to a National Forest and a great hill I climb up two or three times a week. And our mail box includes a mile round trip– also with hills. Who needs a treadmill or a stair master when you have the great outdoors to enjoy! –Curt

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    • Bill says:

      Absolutely.

      Backing up to a National Forest is a nice way to make sure you’ll have good neighbors.

      In addition to all the walking around I do during the day, we try to take a paseo every evening after supper. Tonight we walked about a mile. The crickets have returned and it’s a beautiful evening for it.

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  4. A walking man here, too. If someone were walking from NH to Alaska, I would say, Of course. Who wouldn’t. And I would want to go too.

    I have been thinking about the AT.for years. I am pretty sure the length of it is in my future.

    We once walked and now we do not. And look at us. Convenience is deadly. Just ask your heart.

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    • Bill says:

      I’ve thought of trying to through-hike the AT. I know I would enjoy that kind of challenge and solitude. But I don’t think it’s going to be part of my life. At this point, I just need to stay home I think.

      I really enjoyed your post yesterday and it’s been on my mind a lot. I’m posting something tomorrow that I think you will appreciate.

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  5. It’s hard to pick a “favorite” James Taylor song, but this is certainly one of my favorites of favorites, for the very reason that it does lend itself, as so much of his music does, to walking and thinking. I remember reading or hearing somewhere that the story behind the song was spiritual in nature, but it’s been so long that I don’t recall the source or the story.

    Adding to the synchronicity files, in that last weekend JT’s Never Die Young found its way to me and I’ve been listening to it all week while walking my dog, who (sad story alert) I learned on Monday probably won’t be around for too many more walks. Having James as a soundtrack comforts me as we make our way slowly around the neighborhood.

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    • Bill says:

      There is nothing in the world like a good dog. May your walks be joyful for as long as they continue. Peace.

      JT makes good music for walking. “Walking Man” does seem spiritual to me, at least in some sense, leading off with Thoreau and the image of “holy land,” but the lyrics lend themselves to different interpretations I suppose.

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