Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What is a Walking Warrior?

Drew Brees image by Fansedge

Feature Entry: What is a Walking Warrior?

EtcWarrior is a frequent poster to the MoneyWalker’s blog. A recent post stimulated an idea for three blogs: a speculation of the motive for combining etcetera and warrior as a user name, high-tech walking, and this blog – what is a walking warrior? The first two ideas will be in future blogs.

Don Flanagan borrowing a description of the French soldier Pierre Terrail Le Vieus while writing about one of Anthony Trollope’s characters provided a high standard for one worthy of being described as a “warrior”: “a 'preux chevalier sans peur and sans reproche,' a gallant knight [warrior] without fear and beyond reproach.” As a New Orleans Saints National Football League fan, the Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees comes to mind as a consummate warrior. As a person he is a model of selflessness, but on the field he takes no prisoners. Then when the game is over, he is first to congratulate the players on the opposite team for their great performance.

As a metaphor for excellence, the thinking activity from today’s walk led to the consideration of “warriors” from other disciplines, art forms, and professions. As a politician Winston Churchill came to mind. How could beat down England hold off the German juggernaut? In industry, is there a better example than Andrew Carnegie? Today we have Carnegie Mellon university; the incomparable Carnegie Hall in New York; dozens of city libraries, both building and holdings around the country; and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Carnegie was a warrior in the Drew Brees mold.

For pop music, I like Elton John, Bono, and Billy Joel. Take your pick for the warrior award, the MoneyWalker likes Billy Joel. In religion, most agree that the blessed Pope John XXIII and his Vatican II accomplishment might be the greatest warrior. Then there is Gandy, Martin Luther King, Billy Sunday, Martin Luther, John Wesley, and legions more. The MoneyWalker likes the Reverend Billy Graham. In literature, everyone has a favorite, for serious literature that is as readable today as when it was written in Victorian England, the MoneyWalker reads Joseph Conrad.

So what is a walking warrior? The MoneyWalker’s criteria includes the following categories: He or she is consistent, motivated, is a pedestrian, makes a difference in terms of the culture of walking, is safe, and walks for fitness. Rain or shine, in heat or cold, on vacation or at work, the walking warrior finds time for the walk. The warrior seeks a way to stay motivated over the long term. He or she walks as a lifestyle. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow the walking warrior will find to take a long walk. The walking warrior is a pedestrian walker forsaking the automobile when shopping needs can be met with a walk rather than a ride. He or she is a reflective walker and adds to the culture of walking by encouraging others to be walkers. The warrior not only walks for fitness but he or she finds ways to tell others of the benefits of walking by writing and verbally telling others of the merits of walking. In so doing, the warrior adds to the culture of walking. The walking warrior is a safe and considerate walker. There will be no accident due to careless risk taking by the walker. Drivers of cars, bikes, and trucks as well as other walkers hold the walking warrior in esteem for the walking etiquette followed. And finally the walking warrior walks for physical fitness keeping the body weight low and the self esteem high. My vote for the top walking warrior goes to the great Mark Twain.

Join the MoneyWalker, become a walking warrior.


Weight report: 175.8 lbs.

Money found during the last four walks: $8.31, $.89, $1.01, and $4.10

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A New England Fall Foilage Walk

Feature Entry: A New England Fall Foilage Walk

Vacation is a good time to get away from routine. Earlier this month, the MoneyWalker took a break from money walking and focused on the beauty found during an extended New England fall scenery walk during a trip to visit family. I wanted to see the fall foliage viewed through a walker’s perspective.

The walk gave rise to a new walking strategy – Google Map Walking. From previous experience in the area, several potential walking destinations were determined. Then by placing in the address of the departure point and the destination point, Google provided a walking map complete with number of miles, estimated walking time, and the street names of the route. If the mile count was too great or small, a different destination was considered until a match was found between the desired walk length and the designation.

After considering destinations ( a waterfall in Cannondale, the Allen Meadows Park, or Friends of Ambler Farm,) I selected Weston Township Library. They were having a “Friends of the Library” book sale. The distance was 2.6 miles one-way and produced an amazing walk. Given that my usual walk is about four miles, and because I became lost a few times (next time I will download the map rather than rely upon sketchy notes), the actual walk was about 6.5 miles. A 6.5 mile walk is a great way to use walking as an antidote for vacation overeating.

During the walk, a quote from Richard Schmidt from his book Motor Control and Learning came to mind: “When stimulus contacts memory.” Wilton, Connecticut provides remarkable venues with rambling lanes, streams, waterfalls, craggy outcroppings of rocks, resplendent homes, and of course trees of every size, shape and color. As the multiple varieties of stimuli slowly connected with one memory source after another, what occurred was a smorgasbord of delightful recalls from the best of previous walks and of being in the “now.” Moreover, I cannot overstate the value of walking to enhance the experience of seeing beauty up-close in New England’s fall foliage season.

And once more, Marcel Proust’s involuntary memory theories came to mind. The synaptic connections triggered uncontested “unintentional thoughts.” With no distractions presented by the urgency of others, the mind was free to explore thoughts and ideas of far reaching dimensions. In a guilt free state of mind and in the midst of nature’s beauty, such thoughts produced an incredible sense of happiness.

As for the book sale, four bargains including two Nancy Drew novels for my granddaughter, hardly was a burden during the equally lovely walk home.


Current Weight = 176.2 lbs

Money found on today’s walk = $.86

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Walking in Paris and Walking Socks and Shoes

Walking in Paris and Walking Socks and Shoes

Photo credit to Bing Photographs

This brief blog is a testimonial reported by Pat Coil, of Mentor, Ohio as listed on Travelzine, an on-line travel interest group sponsored by Yahoo. com.

We walked to the Arts bridge and saw all the padlocks on the
fence. We walked, walked, sat and met some people from
Canada and then walked some more and finally got to the RER
stop. Kathie Ann thought that the Dorsey was closer than
going back to the Notre Dame stop. She was wrong and got
blisters on her feet from the long walk.

On the next blog, the MoneyWalker will report the results of his New England vacation six mile walk that turned into an eight mile walk due to a few mistakes in following a Google walking map. Fortunately he was wearing top-of-the-line walking socks and walking shoes, thus no blisters or foot fatigue. When on vacation, be sure to pack and remember to wear walking socks and walking shoes.


Last weigh-in: 175 lbs. The significance of this weigh-in is that the MoneyWalker has just returned from a three-week sojourn with ample temptations for over-eating and avoiding exercise. The 175lbs was a wash, no weight added.

Money Found on Current Walk: $3.18 amplified by a crisp one dollar bill near a diner.