Pandemic Walks

Taking a walk outside during corona times seems like participating in a gauntlet you didn’t realize you had signed up for.

Today we did an otherwise nice walk in nature if you discount The Fast Walkers. “Fast Walkers” have recently been redefined for me, because in an overly enthusiastic at-home yoga sculpt class a few weeks back, I inadvertently crippled myself by injuring my knee. This gives me a hobble that slows my pace dramatically, allowing most people, young and old, sick and well, to overtake me on a walk.

The problem is: there is a subset of women, all surprisingly with the same haircut and sense of purpose, who walk fast even for normal standards. These women are defiant walkers. They will not yield to your desires; they will not step aside. They generally travel in packs.

These women plague me. As I limp frantically to keep distance, I hear them approaching, readying to pull ahead. I step into muddy ditches, holding my breath, waiting for them to pass. I feel like an old horse who’d like to retire amongst these spry refreshed show ponies, celebrating their Saturday prancing ritual.

I remind myself in these moments, as I must often do these days, to remain compassionate and kind. We are all just trying to enjoy the sun. Get some fresh air. Gallop in the breeze. Whether racing a marathon, or slowly shuffling to the finish line, we all make it to the same place. And in The Netherlands, that place is never too bad.

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