Thursday, April 10, 2008

Walking Unplugged

Too often, I fire up the iPod and head outside for a brisk walk.

But especially now that it's spring, during the last few walks I've taken I've left the gadgetry at home.

And it's amazing what tuning your visual attention to your surroundings can do for you.

Took a photo of a daffodil on my phone.

Heard six distinct bird calls in a one-block radius of my house.

Noticed that a neighbor's weeping willow tree has gorgeous pink petaled flowers this time of year.

Saved a child's ball from rolling into the street and executing a nice little kick to lob it right back into their hands (an actual achievement, given my lack of athletic prowess).

Met some neighbors I hadn't seen in a while and chatted up their one-year-old.

Walked farther and enjoyed it more than I have in quite a while.

Now you try it. Go ahead. Unplug, walk around and see what happens. Maybe you'll notice more, too.


Kitty said...

I almost never walk around with an ipod. I'm usually tied to one at work these days, since work has been so incredibly focused.
I find listening to an ipod very isolating. Walking around and being immersed in the world seems much better.

Sounds like you had a wonderful walk! I love moments like that. They really make life seem much more full and rich.

Spandrel Studios said...

Hi, Kitty!

That's interesting that you use your iPod to tune out the rest of the world when you need to focus. What do you listen to?

When I need to dig in and concentrate, lyrics are way too distracting (especially because my work revolves around writing), so I tune into classical or instrumental music - anything without lyrics.

penpusher said...

I often try to go for power walks in the middle of a work day. So I'll fire up my ipod and walk a few blocks just to clear my head.

I think I will try your idea of going unplugged, must be really liberating :)

Spandrel Studios said...

Welcome, penpusher!

Power-walking during the middle of the day is an excellent idea! Probably makes it easier to face the rest of the day, no?

I'm starting a new job soon and I'm determined to incorporate mid-day exercise breaks into my schedule. However, my new office is land-locked in a suburban office park, so walking outdoors may be a challenge.

There's an on-site gym, too, so there are options - I really have no excuse!