Ryan Flynn —
I hate walking. I enjoy the physical exercise that comes with walking, and I know it’s in my best interest to exercise, but I simply hate the mechanics of walking.
Have you ever thought about how you walk? I’m not talking about the simple “one foot in front of the other” type when you’re actually thinking about it. I’m talking about analyzing the mechanics of how you walk, and why you are walking in that specific way.
I am constantly thinking about how I walk, and whether I am carrying myself in a confident and dignified manner, or at least recently I have been. I have been busier on campus lately, and with that comes a certain bit of expectation. It’s the kind of thing where you don’t want to walk into a meeting with President Farley with sweatpants on (even if they are Illinois College sweatpants).
Even if I didn’t think about how I was carrying myself professionally, I’ve always analyzed how I walk. In high school it was thinking about whether or not I looked cool while I walked. You know, a little strut and pants sagging just a wee bit. However, I must say there is a certain level of sagging that is cool, and a certain level where everyone around you is thinking, “what is wrong with you?” Usually that occurs when you have to wear gym shorts underneath your pants so you don’t have your entire underwear showing.
Then there are those old men that constantly walk around with their jeans pulled up just right below their armpits. I wonder if they ever think about how they walk. Actually the more I think about it, that may be why the older you get the slower you walk. If you were to walk too fast, you could get serious chafing from your pants riding up that far.
I love to watch businessmen walk. They are usually trying to walk quickly, as to not miss their next meeting, and yet they probably have never honestly thought about how they walk, considering their brains are usually concentrated on which stocks to keep and which to drop.
However, with all the examples on how to walk spread out in front of me, I am still self-absorbed as I walk across campus every morning. I have tried to mesh a bit of coolness, a bit of professionalism, and the usual “I am not attempting to rush to class,” while in fact rushing to class, into my walking mechanics.
So I think tomorrow I will simply stop thinking about it, and look at the trees while I walk or say hello to the person walking past me. I will really live in the moment, instead of just in my mind.
Update: Since I wrote this article, I did in fact do nothing of what I said I would do in that last paragraph. I think about doing that up until the point I put on my shoes, in then all of a sudden I am back into my zone, because analyzing is just way too fun…