The Walking Commute

Walking: an inverted pendulum gait in which the body vaults over the stiff limb with each step. [].

I walked home from work the other day. It was awesome, and kind of delicious. More importantly, however, it was a different way of doing something I do every day (i.e., commute) and had assumed could only be done one way.

In addition, it was training for the 480-mile walk known as the Camino de Santiago, the 28-day survival training I will be doing in the summer, and whatever walking I will be doing during the course of this journey around the world.

It was a 5.1-mile commute, all on foot. Cris dropped me off at work in the morning, and I took a backpack with hiking shoes and clothes. I wanted to get in the habit of walking a lot, to break in the shoes, and to just do something that so few people in this town get to do. Because I wanted to prove to myself that I am still a youthful specimen of physical prowess, I really charged. I did it in an hour and a half and came away with a pretty good blister on my left foot.

Aside from the blister, I was surprised at how imminently possible it can be to walk 5 miles in a day. With the right life-planning, this could be a reasonable way to commute in Los Angeles. More importantly, though, it reminded me that in the times in my life that I recall as the most delicious, they all involved a walking commute. As the sabwavique goes on, this will be something to keep in mind.



My entire life I have had a deep-seated instinct that life should be delicious. Until recently, however, I had no way to express that sentiment because the notion was so contrary to the themes under which I was oriented into this life: work hard, be polite, go to church, repent, do good not evil, do not indulge, do not have too much fun.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s plenty of people for whom these notions must be supremely motivating. I am not one of them. For me, these are the things that keep me up at night, make me question my gut reactions, and generally stop me from experiencing the world in all its …deliciousness.

I owe this term to my wife. She is Brazilian, and when we first met I couldn’t help noticing how many non-food items she referred to as “delicious” – movies, sunsets, exercise, you name it. It wasn’t long before I realized that this was her direct translation of the Portuguese word “gostoso/a”. In Brazil, everything that enriches the experience of life is gostoso. A beautiful woman is a gostosa. (In fact, a woman with large thighs is not fat, she is a woman with um exceso de gostosura – an excess of deliciousness).

As this journey progresses, I will seek to experience the deliciousness in all things – in the departure, in the arrival, in the travel, in the motion, and in the stillness. Life can be delicious, and for me it absolutely must be. I cannot express how liberating it is to know that this will be an enduring theme of my life.