Walk This Way

Do you like the way you walk? I only ask because I recently noticed that my boots are more worn on the outside and therefore I may have a strange, tilting gait – like a car that needs a wheel alignment. Or maybe I’m striding along with such purpose that my boots can’t keep up? 

It’s more likely that I just need new boots. But it got me thinking about how I take up space in the world. For a while now I’ve been carrying out an experiment when I walk along pavements, especially in the city centre. When others approach in the opposite direction I used to get out of the way (often even toppling into the road to avoid bumping into them, usually while apologising) but now I’m standing my ground. I make a conscious decision to hold the line and even tilt my head up slightly and give a polite smile as I approach. And you know what? It works. It might take a while but generally the others (sometimes two or three in a line) notice that I’m there and step out of the way to allow me to carry on. There have been one or two shoulder bumps but it’s a price worth paying.

This sounds like a small thing but it’s been kind of profound. It’s as if I’ve suddenly decided that I’m allowed to be here too. And now I walk with a spring in my step. Move aside people, I’m on my way!