Best Mode of Transit Amid Metro Decline

Power Walking
Photograph by Darrow Montgomery

Banish the image of a matronly woman in bright-white Reeboks charging around the track. (Unless that’s you. If so: Work it.) If not: Replace the image with yourself, wearing what you want, hauling butt down the sidewalks of D.C.

You can do a solid march with long strides, or go mellow and and make it a stroll. Add an arm swing if you want. This is less about the power and more about the walking. If you’re lucky enough to be able-bodied, have an unconstrained morning routine, and live within three miles of work, consider the possibilities.

Bicyclists think they own righteous transportation. They’re wrong. Look at them—they run red lights, run into pedestrians, and pay money for their extensive gear collections. Power walkers, on the other hand, mind their business. They have no obnoxious pro-walking blogs, demand no special street paint, and get no credit for their contributions to increased ease of transit for all.

Burning calories is a mere side benefit of power walking. Don’t miss the point by incorporating fitbits and exercise apps, and don’t ruin it by checking your phone the whole time. Chances are you need to burn stress more than calories. Try observing the patterns on old manhole covers instead. They’re not all the same. Or look at trees and buildings. And what’s the point of living in a city if you can’t sing out loud in public? Give your mind a break.

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