Friday, 20 October 2017

Oxy-morons? A peaceful walk in the countryside with 100 others.



I have never understood the desire to go 'Collective Rambling', especially of the type where people carry ski sticks.

Surely a walk in the country should be relaxed, taken at one's own pace, and in reasonable meditational solitude.

This lot above (there were many more behind) passed by our house recently. They all looked miserable as they 'marched' at a military pace, all looking straight ahead as if desperate to reach their destination as quickly as possible. They seemed to take no pleasure from being out in the peace and quiet of the countryside.

I usually go for a couple of walks every day; weather permitting. Bok joins me, and we go where our noses lead us. We take our time, and are as happy to walk 5 kms, as we are to walk 20.

There was a sense of determination about the people above. They were there to take sensible outdoor exercise, and to follow a prescribed route; not to be seen to be enjoying themselves. For them, walking was not for enjoyment, but for achievement. I quite expect they all wore pedometers, stopwatches, and heart monitors. They will no doubt all return to their urban homes to record in their efficient 'log-books' where they went, how far it was, and what rotten bloody sandwiches they ate for lunch. Not one of them will have noticed any fauna or flora, or even what the weather was like.

They might, of course, consider my style of walking as ramshackle and aimless, but that's how I think it should be.



37 comments:

  1. To me, yours is a motherhood statement, but I know some will disagree, forgetting that walking can benefit the mind as much as the physical body.

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    1. Walking in the peace of the countryside, or on a deserted beach, should be an uplifting experience. Time to think, and brush away the cobwebs. I don't think this can be achieved along with a hoard of others.

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  2. Now your walks sound so wonderful to me.
    Especially when Bok is walking with you.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I'm just this second back from my early walk. Very misty here, and still not properly light. Our clocks go back at the end of the month; I shall be very pleased!

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  3. Some people seem unable to perform anything on their own, but need the ordered company and direction.

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    1. I suppose that's what it is; safety in numbers.

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  4. When back in the UK we live in a tiny cobblestone cottage in a tiny hamlet noted for it's beauty and surrounding woodland and pretty beck. Our cottage is right next to the Coast to Coast walk. From my bed, early morning, I can hear them coming, cutting out the birdsong. They are in largish, noisy groups, each trying to be the loudest and most important. I see them from my window totally disregarding their environment. Then there are the loners, or couples with clicky clacky sticks. Heads down, marching on, intent on that day's prescribed destination and timing. There will be a short break till more pass during which time the thrush resumes banging his snail shell on the throttle stone, the heron flies back down to the water, the rabbits pop out of their burrows...

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    1. We don't get many passers-by, but when they do come they usually sound like some junior debating society; all fighting for a hearing. They could be your lot, let loose in France.

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  5. We used to go mountain hiking with a couple of friends but after two outing with them I told my husband I was starting to dislike the mountain. They walked with their heads down and pushed on; it looked like they wanted to reach the mountain refuge quickly so they could sit down and eat the bean soup sold there.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. It sounds like our lot here; they can't wait to get it all over with.

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  6. I couldn't agree more. Totally unable to do anything on their own, smugly telling people "I walk at weekends with a group" "we keep the pathways open, we beat the vegetation aside with sticks, because the nasty farmers grow crops in fields where we want to walk so we have to do it" aided and abetted by left wing councils who don't know a sugar beet from a loaf of bread, or how any of it ever gets on their tables.

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    1. I wanted to say all that too, but you've said it better.

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    2. It's like that round here too, they shout in very loud and posh voices and mow everything in their path down. Still, there's always the rather fun game of 'hide the public footpath sign' to be played....

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  7. I used to walk once a week with a group of friends, but they were more intent on walking fast and getting their exercise. If I had to stop to clear up dog poo I then had to run to catch them up. I now just meet them for coffee after the walk ! (Dog gets a walk earlier on our own )

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    1. Yes, they don't stop for anything; not even to admire the landscape.

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  8. We get plenty of those on our farm foot paths!

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    1. Probably some have come past us where we live near the Swale close to Richmond!

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    2. We're on a designated route, but even so we don't get them too often.

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  9. Yes, we have those groups around here, perfect description. Too busy nattering to notice the beautiful countryside around them. Solo walking for me.

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    1. Me too M. OK, I do go out with Lady M, but we just natter about banalities.

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  10. I'm always chiding my neighbour for recording every detail on his app when he goes for a run. I tell him to run like an animal, as the mood takes him, fast here slow there stop look around walk a bit, but no it all has to be done as per the computer programme.
    I think sticks are very useful for bringing the body back into balance and alignment when a person has got into bad habits - posture for example - or is recovering from injury.

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    1. It's the difference between 'screwed-up' people, and those who are more 'relaxed'. If you're anxious about exercise, it won't be doing the job.

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    2. That's exactly right. Someone said it here on the radio only yesterday.

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  11. We get hikers wandering around the flat land near my workshop. I feel like asking them why they need ski-sticks to walk - one in each hand! They even use them on the tarmac roads!

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    1. It's a very odd phenomenon. What good can they do, other than making them look like prats.

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  12. The others I see on my slow meditation walks are those only looking at their devices - they could just stay home and walk in place for all they see.

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    Replies
    1. Rolling-road walking, with wi-fi, hi-fi, and can of Red Bull.

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  13. I am a walker and hike trails near my home. I would never use ski poles or do a group walk. I have hiked the west highland trail by myself and will do so again next year. It is about what you are seeing and hearing. That is the fun of it.

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    1. Exactly Jane. That's what going for a walk is all about.

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  14. These type of people always leave me wondering the same as you.

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  15. Ski poles or walking sticks should never be used for walking, we need to be using ALL our muscles not just some of them! I think they make you grow old before your time.

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  17. The local randonée group is just like that. We only joined in once and didn't enjoy it. They marched too fast, too far and we felt we couldn't even pause to admire the view. We much prefer to walk by ourselves, at our own pace. Even the social aspect is overrated, if you get lumbered walking with the wrong person. And goodness knows why they want to do it in the hot weather.
    Meeting up with them at the bar in the square afterwards is the best part of the walk! They are exhausted, hot, sweaty and sunburnt while we are fresh and comfortable!

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