Friday, October 05, 2018

Going Solo

It was a beautiful day for a morning walk, i.e., cloud cover, no sun, cool but not cold. We Southern Californians are discerning.

I have noticed people do different things while they walk. Some folks just amble along with their dogs, stopping every couple minutes so their pups can sniff and mark their territory to their heart's content. Other folks are power walkers -- serious, intent on the road before them, but who still make time to smile, nod, or say "good morning." Some are company walkers -- usually women, talking away while walking away.

I find this latter group fascinating. Many a friend has tried to rope me in to their walking schedule, or has tried to join me. I have always politely declined. I am not unsocial, I just cannot do two things at one time. If I am talking, my walking automatically slows down as I ruminate and cogitate. Really, talking is a very complicated thing to do. Listening, even more so.

But walking tops the list.

For most of my life, I have been walking on my toes. Really. I didn't know it was wrong. No one ever told me that most people walk heel first, then toe down. In fact, my mom used to call me "ballerina," which very flattering description egged me on when I was little to try walking on my tippy toes. Ergo, I grew up with terribly inflexible hamstrings and a humongous gluteus maximus. My butt never got the memo that it was a muscle. Net result, I have always walked too slowly to keep up with people.

I first got the news that I was walking wrong from my physical therapist. After 20 plus years of a bad back, a medico finally tells me that my issues can be laid on the door of bad walking and, gasp, bad posture.

Apparently while walking, one is supposed to thrust out one's chest and tuck in one's chin. Obviously, this person doesn't know what it's like to walk in India. When you've spent the first 21 years of your life hunching your shoulders to avoid errant and purposeful elbows, palms, arms to your bosom, when you've thrust your neck forward aggressively to show men that they have a tight one coming if they make the mistake of touching a body part, you kind of lose good posture.

Who knew.

So now, I have to focus on walking heel first, chest out, belly in, chin tucked. With all my mental bandwidth thusly used up, I go solo.

1 comment:

Rashmi M said...

Interesting mention of how girls are supposed to walk in India. I was explaining this to my kids the other day and neither could empathize. I'm glad you do! :)