Walking, you learn the land. The knowledge lives in your body, not just in your mind.
My walk takes me to the top of a hill. It’s a long climb, quite steep in parts. I have dubbed the steepest stretch Cardiac Hill. A friend told me she knows a woman living in my neighborhood who mentioned a cardiac hill in this area. I’m sure it must be the same street, and I am delighted that she gave it the same name.
When I started taking these walks, I was panting by the time I reached the top. Now, I can take it in stride. When I’m feeling ambitious I try to take it a little faster, so I’m a bit out of breath again at the top. There’s a flat stretch when you turn the corner, long enough to let my heart rate slow again, before the land slopes upward again, more gently.
A personal trainer could not have devised a better interval training workout. The variation in effort keeps things interesting. The last time I had to use the gym treadmill because of rain, I tried to reproduce the experience of walking my route by setting the treadmill to uphill, then flat, then uphill again. It did improve the experience. A little.
Of course, the treadmill has no downhill setting. I get a nice long downhill stretch about two-thirds of the way along my walk. Effort is rewarded in a very satisfying way. I imagine it would be even better on a bike. Whee!
Being someone who is directionally challenged (my ability to get lost in the simplest situations is a standing joke among those who know me), I have been trying to notice directions.
I’ve found that on most days, the wind comes out of the south. That made me wonder what you’d call that wind. Is it a south wind (the direction it comes from) or a north wind (the direction it is blowing toward)?
I asked my weather-obsessed husband, and he said it’s the direction from which the wind is blowing. The internet confirms this, so it must be true. My body is telling me that the prevailing wind around here is generally from the south.
I decided to check this and immediately fell into a whole lot of complexity, as this Airmap article demonstrates. This seems to say it’s the southwest where that breeze comes from. So does this wikipedia image.
I think I’ll take a compass on my next walk.
An entry in the Daily Walk Project.