Lessons from the Pavement, Part IV: Oh The Places They’ll Go

Awhile back a friend told me about “Meetup” – if you haven’t heard of it, I encourage you to check it out.  Being the lover of social gatherings, community activities, and pursuing different interests I browsed through Meetup upon Meetup to find the right one.  I came across one called “Healthy Streets”, which invites individuals to join various pedestrian adventures through the streets of local cities.

On my first meetup outing I learned that our organizer has been without a car for a couple of years now.  While talking about her experience of transitioning from depending on the four wheels of her car to getting around by foot, bike, bus, train, and rental car she said something that stuck with me, “I see the communities around me so differently now that I travel without a car — being on foot really changes my perspective.”  As I have been incorporating spurts of walking and jogging into my exercise regimen I have to agree.

I’ve been exploring different paths throughout the neighborhood, and as I’ve been doing so, I’ve been learning just how far and how quickly my feet can take me to the places I like to go.  7 minutes to the In N Out, 12 minutes to the nearby market and deli, 15 minutes to Smart N Final, 20 minutes to Target…with this new knowledge it’s as though the city is shrinking before my strides.  On the way home last night my husband noticed that from our most-used freeway interchange to our home exit it is a little less than 3 miles.  Now fear not, I am not planning to run on the freeway, however, in my head I was thinking, “I could totally do that”!  The loop around the Rose Bowl is just a little more than 3 miles, so if I was to walk the distance from our freeway interchange to home, I know I could do so in less than an hour (again not that I’m thinking of doing it) – neighborhood now made smaller, perspective changed, confidence boosted.  So in the words of the great Dr. Seuss

“Congratulations!  Today is your day.  You’re off to Great Places!  You’re off and away!  You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy [or gal] who’ll decide where to go…Oh! The Places You’ll Go!  You’ll be on your way up!  You’ll be seeing great sights!  You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.”

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