Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning as I make my trek to the cramped old classroom that hosts Indiana University’s perspective on the Biology of Food, I pass through an especially wooded section of campus. Weaving through this pseudo-forest, a variety of redundant stone paths fight for popularity amongst the endless stream of students, professors, dog-walkers, and visitors that travel them each day. At ten in the morning this little corner of campus is filled to the brim. Every piece of concrete, no matter how irrelevant, is subject to the shuffling of feet stubbornly encouraging the progress of still sleeping bodies through the rest of their daily schedule.
As I join the groggy crowd, I often find myself thinking that making it to class requires the same amount of determination as getting through my morning work out does. Each class, each semester just one more cardio interval taking its toll not on my physical body but on my mental and emotional body. So I’m permanently running. Away from my parents’ protection, towards the future’s uncertainty, against my peers’ achievements…
As the time approaches to schedule my classes for next semester, my heart rate seems constantly elevated. The view of the campus around me seems inacurrate. Instead, I imagine it as a time lapse video with everyone, human and squirrel alike, sprinting, their various accessories jerking and flowing around them as they weave through the surplus of brick paths until something big enough, maybe a job or an accident or a death, finally intervenes and they come crashing into a dazed halt, where they will spend the rest of their lives.
And yet, there we all are mindlessly plodding along. It’s as if the plodding is the way the pressure becomes manageable. In walking, there is a defined limit on energy exertion, a certain amount of required calm that no other mode of transportation permits. While I am all too familiar with the growing road rage epidemic, I have yet to encounter any signs of sidewalk rage. Somehow, everybody walking seems to be able to amiably resolve any potentially angering situations.
I’m sure that I could spend a much larger span of minutes on this post, editing my amateur thesis on walking until it reached a level of perfection that I thought was worthy of my newborn blog, but I think I’ll give myself a nice healthy interval in which to walk to my advising appointment instead. I figure maybe if I give myself long enough, by the time I get there I’ll know what I want to do with my life.
A girl can dream, right?