Sunday, July 03, 2011

2011 Streak Day 183/365: Sports walking

2011 Streak Day 183/365: Walk - 4.13 miles, Time - 1hr 22min, Weather - pleasant
Today I hit on the rather brilliant scheme of combining the weekly grocery shop with a walk. The Sainsbury's we use, at Apsley, is next to the canal, so it made perfect sense to park the car, go for a walk, come back and do the shop, especially as, following a cycle and two running days, my legs needed a recovery walk. It is the nearest I will ever get to time efficiency.
whilst out I saw someone in training for athletics walking (if there is technical term for the walking done in track and field events I don't know what it is).  She came towards me at high speed , legs straight, hips swinging, arms pumping and I couldn't help but think how weird it looked.
When you watch top athletes running it looks like the running most of us do, except faster, more economic, and usually much more elegant. Sports walking however is not only disconnected from what we do it lacks grace.
I think it is unnatural. As human animals we are designed to walk up to a certain pace, after which we begin to jog and then run. Trying to keep the walking form beyond that pace is just a distortion. There is, of course, always a sense of wonder that someone can go that fast in that way but fundamental point is: why? 
But who am I to question someones sport? The whole point is the mastery of a particular skill and then competition against others of similar level. it doesn't really matter what that skill is.
Anyway the walk was very pleasant and I took a number of photos but as I was in a fairly whimsical mood I post one of a lump of polystyrene floating downstream. I imagined it as an iceberg gradually disintegrating. I'm sure it is all that remains of a much bigger lump I saw last week.

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