We're all about walking this month, whether that's walking for fitness, transportation, or just for fun. One of our staff members, Keenan, has walked as a hobby for years, and has walked all the way across Raleigh. We asked him a bit about his bipedal adventures around town; read what Keenan has to say below.
Walk us through your walk: Do you map out the route beforehand or improvise? Is there any preparation involved or do you just get up and wander off?
I usually plan on a location, like a distance marker that I can stop at for a tasty snack or beverage. After that I usually take scenic routes around to find my way there. I have a good idea of what routes I should take to get there, but most of the time I just wander. Trying to find things I've never seen before. I try not to think of the distance by itself, I just think of the treat I am headed to, or the time I am trying to fill. Most of the time when I take walks I don't plan much outside of generally having the time to take an adventure.
What prompted you to walk the city?
When I was younger, my parents and I tended to take longish walks, so I've always just done it. Specifically, my mother, who very much instilled my love of hiking and adventuring. Also before I had a car or other transportation It was my preferred mode of travel. I hated waiting on rides.
Have you seen anything noteworthy on your walks or learned something about the city?
Mostly I look for new routes or landmarks to help orient myself so I don't get lost. Most recently, I had a chance to walk through DC. Seeing architecture and culture in different areas has always been a fascination of mine. That and pretending I'm not a tourist.
Do you find Raleigh to be particularly pedestrian-friendly or not?
No. A good portion of Raleigh has sidewalks, but there are many areas that have nothing but dirt for blocks.
Walking can be very meditative. Have you come to any profound realizations or life-altering personal epiphanies while walking?
It's usually the time I get to self-reflect. I have time to think out issues and feelings that I don't give myself time to think through. I also use it as a way to workshop ideas for stories or projects. All in all, very much so, but none that I can recall.
What shoes do you wear?
Whatever shoes I have at the time. I am enjoying the New Balance 880s as my current walking shoe though. Most important thing that I have found is socks. I've worn through most of my favorite socks due to long distance walking.
In general do you prefer walking or running? Do you think there are any benefits to walking that you wouldn't get from running?
I enjoy walking a little more than running, and it's just because I've always enjoyed walking. Running I've only recently gotten into. I don't have to think about walking, but I always consider running before I start. Walking is also easier on my knees.
Any favorite walking routes in town?
Nope. I enjoyed walking to North Hills. Pretty much every route there is enjoyable.
Have you walked across any other cities?
I've walked Asheville, including some trails out there; DC and surrounding areas; Wilmington, NC; Wilmington, DE; NYC; Providence, RI; and probably some other places I can't recall.
Any other walking-related tidbits you'd care to share?
Stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and buy great socks.