Sunday, May 15, 2011

Aerobic Walking and Kindness

[image: traffic light]

Anyone who tries to do aerobic walking in the city knows the problem: You want to walk non-stop for at least ten minute stretches, but almost no where can you walk ten minutes straight without running into a stop light. Now some traffic lights change quickly and you can walk around a bit while waiting. But… there are those where you wait for what feels like time without end to cross halfway, and then you get stuck in a little pedestrian traffic island for another eternity. [And often I get stuck on these islands with other people, and there is barely room to move, let alone pace around.. Furthermore, I am positive that as they notice me hopping from foot to foot, they assume that I am either VERY hyperactive, or simply absolutely out of my mind.]
To my good luck, the area east of my house is pretty residential, and there are no real traffic light problems there. Thus, I have several areas where I CAN walk aerobically if I so desire. But this morning I felt in the mood for a change, and headed off in another direction. About seven minutes into the walk I hit THE ( big bad - No, I shouldn’t call it that, it saves lives….) stoplight. So I crossed the street, amid pauses and pacing in place, trying to keep my almost-ten-minutes-nonstop-walk intact.
Then I got stopped by an old lady.
“How do I get to ‘Nechemiah’ street?”
Now I can’t pretend I don’t know; I was there 4 minutes ago. So I tell her, explaining exactly how to get there. Then literally ten paces further a second elderly lady stops me.
“How do I get to ‘Vishnitz’?”
Now Vishnitz is a bit further away, and it took a few repetitions of her question before I understood exactly where she was headed to. This time I definitely broke the aerobic stretch.
But I got a mitzvah (good deed). That’s worth a hell-of-a-lot-more than ten aerobic minutes…….

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