Go take a walk!

Susan Johnson is a local mom of three teens who enjoys dabbling in writing, cooking, and gardening.

We all know the benefits of walking. It can help you lose or at least maintain weight, lift your spirits, and even pep up those energy levels. Those are all fine things, but I’m here to tell you about a bonus benefit: Entertainment. No, not the podcast you listen to as you stride down the path. I’m talking about all the things you see, hear, smell, touch, and possibly taste. Perhaps your path leads you past an eating establishment, or you accidentally ingest a bug. Another reason to bring water! Let me give you some examples of entertainment I’ve experienced over years of walking through my neighborhood.
The best thing about my walks is I get to enjoy wildlife. The birds alone are entertaining. I recently witnessed a red-tailed hawk take down a squirrel. The first thing I heard was a shrill squeal. Seconds later the hawk swooped across my path from about a foot away with a grey squirrel in its massive talons. The bird landed in the grass between some trees a few feet away. Naturally, I stopped to take a picture. With one eye on me, the hawk proceeded to get a better grip on the squirrel. Even with my morbid curiosity, I didn’t care to actually witness the hawk enjoying its meal. I guess it didn’t want my attention either as it quickly took flight to sup in private.
Walking also gives me the opportunity to enjoy dogs without having to own one. Not everyone will allow you to pet their dog but most are amenable to it. In most cases this is great. All that fluffy, happy giddiness – most dogs are just balls of furry energy. Try patting a dog and see if you don’t come away with a huge grin. Yep, definitely lifts the spirits. There are times when it’s not so great. Last year, a ridiculously tiny dog ran up to me all barking fury and bit me on the ankle. It was barely a scratch and didn’t hurt, but what if one of those huge dogs did the same? Lets not forget about those smelly dogs. There’s one I occasionally see on my walks, and I give it a wide berth. He’s the sweetest dog but he really needs a bath. You can’t tell by looking but that odor will creep up on you unsuspectingly. Then the offending scent has now attached itself to you. Where’s that water?
The last “entertainment” I’d like to mention is humanity. I’ve met so many interesting people while getting in my daily walks and seen and overheard so many humorous things. I’ve seen a man walking with an empty stroller, heard one woman tell her friend that she couldn’t make her way out of a paper bag and witnessed someone attempting to back out of their driveway and running up on the curb. Entertaining indeed!
So, what are you waiting for?  Get out there – and take out those earbuds!

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