Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

PW Ch. 9 - In the Zone

Everyone has a different philosophy when it comes to walking. We walk to get from point A to point B. We walk to increase our cardiovascular capabilities. We walk to decompress from the weight of life. Whatever the reason that compels us to walk, we walk with a purpose.

Though purposes may vary, the spirit of purpose is universal. It is a spirit that is tied to our senses. Our five senses connect us to spirit of purpose through our ability to see, taste, smell, touch and hear. For the sake of this discussion, hearing might be the most important sense that is used when we walk.
When we walk, our ears are constantly buzzing with the sounds of the world. These sounds propel some to their purpose and others to their demise. Given the walking history of Rousseau, we can understand how the sounds of Nature brought happiness to his soul (Gros 74). Consequently, the sounds of Nature distract me from my purpose, in comes my need for headphones. Walking with headphones allows me to focus and walk in my purpose.

Walking with headphones takes me to a similar plane of solitary that Rousseau would understand. Walking with headphones is not about being lost in the world, but more so about being one in my world. The distractions of society are drowned out and I am allowed to explore the topic of my philosophy. From The Roots to the voices of Michael A. Smith & Jemele Hill on the His & Hers podcast, I feel closer to fulfilling my purpose by helping to guide my thoughts.

Also, walking with headphones serves as a means by which one can be unknown, unrecognized, unloved and un-applauded (Gros 71). While some might view walking with headphones as an accident waiting to happen, it is safe to say that most individuals are safe when they mind their own business. A noble thought that helps defend the idea of walking with headphones. Clearly when one walks with headphones, they seek to avoid the pitfalls of human interaction. Pitfalls can cause an insult; where an insult was not intended. Pitfalls developed from the misconstrued actions of one individual towards another one.

While Rousseau seeks to engage society and find his purpose, I walk with headphones to engage my spirit and walk in my purpose. 


  1. I'm with you, Brandon. I find myself wearing headphones more and more--cut out the hustle and bustle (chatter, if you will) of the material world. Even when my program or song ends, I can go for an hour without realizing it's off. Carry on!

    1. The chatter can trip you up! Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good conversation like I enjoy a good whiskey. Yet, my headphones provide a sense of covering for me.

  2. Headphones are ok, but when I want audio accompaniment on my walks I just stick the device in my shirt pocket, upside-down, and don't have to dispense with the soothing sounds of birdsong etc. (I try not to walk on busy thoroughfares if I can help it... but yesterday morning, for instance, I walked downtown in Chattanooga and enjoyed the various sounds of humans waking to their post-holiday independence. Whatever works for you!

  3. I like to listen to headphones when I run or walk because it provides me a rythym to organize my thoughts and movements too allowing me to cancel out the distractions and focus solely on the goal I want. Sometimes though I like to go out into nature to decompress my mind and body from all that it is trained for by society, whether it is my appetite from advertisements, or the slight nervousness that I feel whenever my phone goes off. While in the city my mind sees a tree as artwork or part of landscaping, but when I camp for an extended amount of time the bark from a honeysuckle branch becomes tinder for a fire, or certain type of deciduous trees are more useful for a bow drill. I'm also more aware of calculated risks to survival. Where everything is provided for me in the city in nature, food and water has to be rationed. A phone only becomes something used to tell someone my location and I have to rely on my sense instead of google. This is what I love about nature and the ability to get back in touch with what I feel is the real existence of mankind, not one boggled by technology and sentenced to a chair.