I live in the East Village, one of those New York neighborhoods that's either totally lovely -- willow trees, hidden parks, kids playing in the fire hydrants -- but has pockets of disgusting everywhere.
Example: Yesterday I saw a three-legged, tail-less rat (I mean, it looked like a gopher; rats aren't usually out during the day, but I guess the crippled ones do what they have to do). It was hopping across a discarded mattress that had "BEDBUGS" spray-painted on it to get to a random pizza, out of the box, also on top of the mattress. Then this goony pit bull on a leash came by and lunged for the pizza-eating rat, and though it thankfully was jerked back by it's owner, I still imagined what almost happened and basically almost threw up.
If you don't live in New York, I hope I've sufficiently de-glamorized it for you.
But. Walks keep me sane. I have ADHD but don't take meds, so until I started walking -- with headphones for 20 minutes four times a day -- I felt sort of deathily unfocused all of the time.
Walking is also amazing for:
•suppressing cravings (for me, these are usually for root beer, fruit snacks, and Pop Tarts)
•alleviating depression (sunshine is soo important)
•clearing emotional blockage (FACT: if I have spoken on the phone to either of my parents about their consistently ridiculous "late midlife divorce" proceedings -- WHO WILL GET THE BABY GRAND PIANO NEITHER ONE OF THEM PLAYS, OMFG?!?! -- I need to storm around for 30 minutes).
•improving mental function and memory. Check out this study published in my favorite mag, Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.
Does anyone else rely on power walks like I do?
(Oh, when I went back out to snap a photo of the bedbug-gy mattress, it [thankfully] was gone. So instead I took a pic of some street art from my neighborhood by this dude SKULLPHONE. It sort of illustrates how I feel when I'm talking to my parents on the phone lately. HAHAHA, divorce.)