Walking. Like who’s watching who?

The nocturnals. Or the insomniacs. Or both.

There’s a handful of us that walk Cove Island Park in twilight, before daybreak.

There’s the lady with the Lime Green winter coat. Knee length. Fur lined hood, always up. Most noticeable, besides the strobe-like-pulsing, lime green coat, is that you can see her across the entire length of the park. Her arms stiff and straight, swing up and high, then sharply down, and repeat. I watch her. I find it all hypnotic. Like a giant tropical parrot, with her wings clipped, trying to get airborne. She read somewhere that if you ball your fingers into a fist and slash your arms way up and sharply down, you will lose many more calories then if you walked like a normal human. She passes me, never makes eye contact.  I wouldn’t make eye contact either walking like that.

I walk.

I note that I hold my arms tight to my sides, then wonder if others look at me. “Look at him. Poor thing. He must have something wrong with him. His arms don’t move.” So I move my arms just a wee bit to and fro but it’s awkward. It’s somewhere in between Lime Green and a Robot, creating a lot of resistance so I can’t build up any momentum. Jesus help me. 

I walk.

There’s the runner. Always shares a perky good morning. No matter what the conditions. Man, ~ est. early 40’s, tight spandex-like bottoms. Large, big bezeled iPhone (Early model) strapped to his right bicep. A runner, he circles the loop 3x, big grin on his face as he passes. Reminds me of a younger Roper (Norman Fell), the landlord on Three’s Company. I watch him as he passes. Happy SOB isn’t he? When’s that last time I ran? It’s been months. And there used to be a time when I cared. And look at me, I could care less. God, what a slug.

There’s the Japanese-American woman. Hair bobbed. Middle Aged. Never misses a day. Wears nothing loud, only beige/brown tones. Takes short, quiet steps. Never a whiff of fatigue. Her face calm, a woman at peace. Has to be a missionary of some sort.  Only people doing a whole lot of good can be that put together.

She passes.

I walk.

I stretch to climb up on the break wall, careful not to swing the camera gear on the rocks. There’s a sharp tug on my hamstring. The Hammy. Maybe if you did more good you wouldn’t be a few steps short of an entire body collapse.

There’s my friend the Retiree, in the photo above. I’ve spoken of him before in “Walking. One Short. From Wing to Wing.  Swan lover, like me. He’s in his 70’s, like way older than me. Like Way, Way Older. Panama style hat, no matter what the temperature. A hardy soul. He walks down Weed Avenue to the park and back each morning. His arms swing normally. No unnatural acts, but he does walk with some urgency.  At his mid-point, he sits on a bench, pages through screens on his smart-phone and watches the sun come up. Panama Hat. Thin, summer weight jacket. And then there’s Me. Today 41° F, no wind chill, ears protected with a tuke, adorned with pom-poms, pulled all the way down. Long johns under wool lined sweat pants. T-shirt, long sleeved shirt under a North Face jacket, zipped up to the chin. And there’s still a chill.

This aging thing. I don’t like it. No Sir. Reminds me of Bassey Ikpi: “the truth of this getting older … and being older. And feeling older…It all feels like a long winter (for) a child of summer and sun—born with too much fire.”

I miss the good old days.

The days when Everyone was older than me.


Photo: DK, 6:47 am this morning, Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.

Comments

  1. Good morning, David, I used to walk very early in the morning when I was working (about 4:30am) and yes, I would see a couple of the same people running/walking. Almost an unspoken camaraderie and safety in numbers in the dark. Re: aging – I am in denial and I forget how old I am. A great post and I love your heading photo!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nice morning scene … love your ‘companions’ .. reminds me of early morning quote i received, “Spend time with people .. Not with devices.”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Love these posts of yours BUT you must stop bad-mouthing yourself. It’s not good. It stays with you and does nasty things to you. No slug – you get out EVERY morning. Not old, unless you are being nice about it. And so what if you need more clothes to keep warm? We don’t all have the same tolerance. Had you been born in Quebec instead of BC you’d be less or a wimp but then again… maybe not. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  4. DK,
    You’re over dramatic. This is not the right attitude to start the next 50 years of your life. You haven’t seen anything yet.
    And you better still be around!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Your observations on arm swing made me smile. Altered arm swing can be a sign of some kind of pathology (example: movement disorders such as Parkinson’s) but it sounds to me like the people in your neighbourhood are over swinging intentionally (burn baby burn?). Reminds me of some of the people in my neighbourhood. In particular, a middle-aged runner sporting a Florida tan year round, a red white and blue head band and tighty whities who has no arm swing at all when he runs. Nada. I tried it once in front of the mirror and just about put my back out. 🙃

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Love this post. I also rather wish to congratulate on the WALK subject. You see more, your heart will thank you later, it’s more peaceful. NOBODY thinks you’re behaving sluggish. How do I know? ‘Cause nobody is in the slightest interested. Everybody lives in their own thoughts and ponderations. You’re doing just alright 👍

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hey, I just have a question, Do you ever say hello when they go by?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. but there is also a lot to be said, for being a bit wiser and less worried about unimportant things, same person, different pace

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I miss what the physical aspects of what I could do, I sometimes miss drinking but for the most part, OLDER THAN YOU, 57 is good. I do feel good in my skin. I like who I am and what I accoplished in my career. I’m a good person and feel wiser, less anxious now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    I share your thoughts … “I miss the good old days. The days when Everyone was older than me.”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Being a slug ain’t so bad. I’ve gotten used to it. You will too.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m in bed every morning while you strap on that camera and leave the house….who’s the slug? BTW, this photo of yours is one of my all time favorites!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I’m laughing at the arm swing conversations here. Year’s ago, a boyfriend at the time, spoiled, or is that soiled my self image by pointing out to me that I only swing my left arm while walking. I guess that makes me either halfway carefree, or halfway upright. Ready for everything? Who knows!! Once you know about these things, it’s hard to go back to ignorance or innocence. Now I am both self-conscious and other conscious of such stylings and habits and continually wonder, what difference do they make really…? These days, at 62, I’m happy to still be mobile and grateful for these arms, no matter what they do or don’t do while walking!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Tiffany Mendonca says:

    You’re writing is amazing! I felt like I was right there and experiencing it. I’m a very physical person, especially when I read. Each word I hear I picture myself there, and with your writing it’s very easy to do this. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thanks for the introductions to your fellow early risers and younger people. That’s life. I keep away from those kind of peeps. I’m more into avoidance than denial.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Lol @ the piece and at many comments. 🙂
    Avoidance is self-care when denial fails!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Beautifully expressed. Your writing is outstanding. You must write a book. I insist!! Slug or not 😎👏👏

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Ahhhh, pal, you are as old (or as young) as you feel. You are out there every morning before dawn, doing your thing, making your way, seeing the sights, having your epiphanies. Can’t find fault with that, whatever the hell your arms are doing….

    Liked by 2 people

  19. “I miss the good old days.
    The days when Everyone was older than me” I love this ..Such distinct visuals of the morning .I was there, walking (smiling).I am getting to the milestone next year (50) this journey had been tough. I love how you observe every small details and more than that how beautifully you have expressed.Thank you for haring .

    Liked by 1 person

  20. By the way, your chosen photo is art. Just amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I love your observations of those you recognize, how your descriptions propel me into creating little stories about each. I relate to the disquiet that seems to overtake much of my thought when I look in the mirror and not necessarily with pleasure. Getting old and staying health are profound blessings; knowing that we’re now the older generation at family gatherings -far more aware than most everyone else about the acceleration of time.
    We silently nod our heads with understanding and hope you never stop posting your remarkable photos and commentary. Awesome

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beautiful Mimi. And I couldn’t agree more with you on the recognition of the acceleration of time and need to make the best of each moment. I was watching a documentation on David Foster yesterday and he said I’ve likely got 15 summers left, and I have to make the most of them. Bam. That was eye opening. Thank you Mimi.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am not at all sure I agree with David Foster – I hold onto the childish notions of infallibility (despite my own realities which laugh at such whimsy) – we have many seasons to go, pal – I can’t believe anything other than that…

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Your photo and some of your words, an example: “This aging thing”… “I miss the good old days.The days when Everyone was older than me”. so reminds me of a previous share, back in May of 2015
    https://davidkanigan.com/2015/05/17/we-seldom-long-for-a-future-where-our-bodies-are-less-but-our-spirits-and-insight-are-more-yet-that-future-is-there/
    Kent Nerbern words of Observation & Wisdom are telling and such golden nuggets in the comments of that post as well…

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Loved this~ I have a camaraderie with all the other ‘regular’ walkers in the neighborhood – seeing the same people, some that wave or nod, others that barely give a glance, and then there’s me who waves, smiles, nods AND pets the dog .. in my Tocque! and yes long johns, too, lately 😉 MJ

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Beautiful writing… First of all this is beautiful style in your hand… I love reading you, always. Is this dramatic, too dramatic…? Actually when I read I thought of myself… and I remember this, “Do you know what is to be old? Thank you dear Dave, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Wow, David! Such great writing, descriptive, poignant. Aging isn’t so bad-just think of the alternative! Age well, stay healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Thank you for sharing your true responses to life…am thinking that before dawn all is quieter, fewer distractions and you can be so present. The “old” man and the beautiful swan in rose glow visit the man layered in black comfort…so wonderful to be included in this world. Have read several days of posts just before…one called forth another. What a lovely world you’ve given us!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I love this. Got us right out there with you, walking through the dark and cold with the faithful. Feels like a metaphor for this last year, and for the aging process in general. Keep moving David! Let the layers do their work until it’s Spring again!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. VitalityKitchen says:

    Love the photo – lets the imagination run

    Liked by 1 person

  29. It cracked me up the way you described the 70 year old as “way, way older”… lol We do want to create as much distance in years as we can from those who are older, and yet, we are traveling that same road and we are going to be way, way older, but only if we’re lucky. There was a time when I would go out very early to photograph the sunrise every single day, and then go out later in the evening to photograph the sunset every single day. I miss those days and I remember how there were always a few others just like me, especially in the early morning. You’ve become a sunrise chaser and that is such a wonderful thing. Your photos are beautiful. Oh, and about the arm thing, I always wondered about people I’ve seen who walk and raise their arms up so high with each step. The exercise I get these days is on the treadmill in the garage, with the back door open that looks out into the back yard so that I can see the birds. I was thinking about the arm thing one day and realized that most of us no longer use our arms much. We sit at the computer with our arms down by our sides, we don’t do much lifting or reaching really…so I started doing arm exercises while I’m on the treadmill…kind of like what you say the woman in the lime green coat does. And my reason? It’s because I’m getting older (but oh no, not WAY, WAY older, lol) and I don’t want to lose the mobility of my arms in any way. At least there’s no one else to see me doing such goofy things. Anyway, I love your early morning posts with your walks. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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