It’s National Walking Month! I discovered this in the delightfully named article “The slow death of purposeless walking”, in which the author reports the connection between purposeless walking and creative thinking. Apparently we’re far too distracted when we walk.
Hmmm…I myself no longer walk and text at the same time *smug face*. Partly because I started to practice mindfulness but mainly because of something that happened last year.
It was a quiet and sunny Sunday afternoon. I was walking to the train station, texting on my phone when I became aware of a hooded man running across the road towards me. He ran with such urgency that I prepared myself to deal with whatever crisis had obviously happened. But it wasn’t my help he wanted. It was my phone.
“GIMME YOUR PHONE! GIMME YOUR PHONE!” he shouted and grabbed it, but I squeezed it tight in my hand and as we grappled, I held on and held on and held on. He shouted some more. I think I shouted “NO!”. Eventually he gave up and ran across the road to where a car was waiting for him. As it sped off, several pedestrians ran over to check I was okay. I was shaken up, adrenalin flooding my body as I became fully aware of what had just happened and how lucky I was to still have my phone. It dawned on me that things could have been far, far worse. In fact, why the hell didn’t I just let him have the damn thing and reduce the risk of being hurt?
In these situations, our fight-or-flight instinct takes over and mine had fought like a tiger. My arms ached for a long time after because I had held on so tight. When the police finally arrived and listened to my statement they asked how, if the mugger had his hands on my phone, did I manage to keep hold of it? “I don’t know”, I said, “I just wouldn’t let go”. What I didn’t mention, could never mention, was why…
The text I was sending at the time was innocent enough, but there was No Fucking Way I was letting anyone see the hundreds of messages that had gone back and forth between the recipient and I. After several months of vigorous international sexting, my sim card was seeped in the juices of the finest filth, smut and kink. As I wrestled my phone from the mugger, it was not physical harm I was scared of, but rather strangers seeing the dark and dirty recesses of my mind. That and the fact that I kinda wanted to hang on to those for, y’know, quiet times.
My advice: while walking, keep it in yer pants*. Look at the trees, listen to the birds, smell the flowers. Save the sexting for boring train journeys 😉
Happy National Walking Month!
*Or ‘trousers’, for the British among you.