Walking is an act of exploration.
Like most other folks, I love a long walk in a scenic environment. As of now, that's not an everyday reality. Living a full life, some days I save time by combining training walks with errands. I skip the music and podcasts, choosing to notice my environment. Walking becomes connective, grounding and redemptive.
There's a great stretch of new shops on Long Beach's Atlantic Avenue in the Bixby Knolls area. Before beginning my 100 halfs journey, I am confident I'd driven down this part of Atlantic Avenue several times a week for over a decade. My nearest Trader Joe's was the primary destination. I hadn't bothered to notice all the new eateries, breweries or shops that have opened in the last few years.
Now that I squeeze in walks whenever and wherever I can, I find myself pulling over at various spots along Atlantic Avenue, changing into my walking shoes and checking out the neighborhood. A few years ago, the street was all but quiet after 7pm. The restaurants were favorites of the elder residents with few places for twenty- and thirty-somethings to enjoy. The stores were furniture stores and service providers whose business signs had hung for decades.
These new small shops and eateries are easy to miss at thirty-five or more miles per hour.
California culture is lived through our cars. It's easy to run the same errands, week after week, along the same streets and highways without ever noticing the people, buildings and shops you drive past daily. We're passing life by in our cars.
I invite you to squeeze in a walk in your community this week. Whether you walk to train, to get from point A to point B, or as an occasional adventure, pick a new route and explore.
See you on the path.