Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Thoughts on walking
I have noticed that the “outside” world is as Gros says, a transitional place in our modern world. However, it is interesting to note that this has only been the case in the last few hundred years. A few centuries ago the outside was constant and there wasn’t much difference between the outside and the inside. As I’ve stated earlier in class I have a brother who literally lives in the woods in a camper in order to escape modern society. He lives in the outside. He and I talk frequently and he describes to me the unpleasantness of the “Inside” he experiences. Most things have become too loud and busy for him to handle anymore. The pace at which he lives is a crawl, there is no rush involved.
I frequently go for walks at the Stones River National Battlefield. During these walks is really the only time I am outside. Even during these relatively short walks I can see the pace of life change into a slower, more comfortable stride. What is it about walking or perhaps just being in the “outside” as the author puts it that causes this? Is it the walking in itself or more of the outdoor part of it? Would you gain as much from walking inside as you would outside? I don’t think you would experience the same effect.
Nietzsche constantly went on walks, especially when his head was hurting with the constant migraines that he received. I have very bad teeth and occasionally get tooth aches. I always seem to end up walking to try and distract myself from the pain. I am uncertain whether or not it actually alleviates the pain or merely distracts me. Upon reading of Nietzsche’s constant pain and his effort to “walk it off” as the old saying goes, I found a kindred spirit or perhaps a brother in arms to say the least. Is there a medical philosophy behind a person “walking it off”? I am unaware of any medical research to support it, however it is a very common belief. As Diogenes famously said, “It is done by walking”, a sentiment that I think of frequently while trying to walk off pain.
Walking seems to be a simple yet powerful exercise. As a mode of transportation it is about the slowest thing you could do. However, it is also a powerful activity that causes people to think clearly as they stride.