The Superiority of Walking


Last week, Luke Adams posted an article entitled The Utility of Longboarding. In his article, he posited that longboarding is superior to walking when thinking through an issue. Obviously, that is complete nonsense, and such assertions are easily shown to be incoherent and hold no real weight when brought against the arguments of a seasoned walker.

First, in Luke’s own words, every second on a longboard requires constant attention because each second could be the difference between life and death. When you longboard, your mind is constantly focused on the longboarding. You cannot think through your issues because you become so preoccupied with avoiding cars, potholes, and pedestrians.

Walking, on the other hand, gives the mind a chance to carefully examine a choice, turn it about again and again in the mind, and then to finally map out a plan of action – an answer. When I go out to contemplate life’s big questions, do I reach for the longboard, or do I use my God given legs to carry me closer to the answer? Obviously, I choose the latter option.

The concentration on a subject that can be achieved while walking is not even comparable to that which may be said to be achieved on a longboard. I sometimes get so caught up in thought while walking that I will find myself at a destination without any recollection of how I got there. When walking, I can get so caught up in the world of my mind that I become completely detached from the physical world. I may see where I am walking, but I do not consciously see because my consciousness is completely removed from my surroundings.

Ten minutes walking with such focus is worth a week’s longboarding. No issue can receive such laser pointed focus from the longboarder. Consequently, any issues that you have would be best mulled over by walking. As St. Augustine so wisely put it, “Solvitur ambulando.” (It is solved by walking.)

Luke also argued that, “Walking gives one the impression that life simply meanders along at a steady pace, that one’s actions are of no real consequence, and a general feeling of quiet observance of the world with no real incentive, or even any ability, to effect it.”

What ludicrosity! I beg you listen to Charles Dickens’ thoughts on the matter, “If I could not walk far and fast, I think I should just explode and perish.”

Walking 2

Walking, true walking, is not some slow paced amble through the forest. Walking is purposeful, thoughtful, and often quick paced. I cannot, for any meaningful question, meander along at a casual pace. I must walk with speed for without it I fear that I shall not have my question so quickly answered.

The assertion that longboarding is somehow better than walking is ill thought out. Friedrich Nietzsche insightfully said, “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.” Although that may be a hasty generalization, it largely holds true to my experience.

If there be something superior for thought than walking, it surely is the shower and not the longboard. In my experience, however, walking is the greatest thing for truly great thinking.

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