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Take a walk on the wild side, or just outside

The time has come (I hope) to make a big change.

I have spent a fair bit of the winter walking when I can on the concourse at CN Centre. You have to reserve, but I’ve never run into a situation where the time I was looking at was full.

It sometimes gets a bit tight when the Cougars are playing at home on a weeknight, because then there is only one session for walking, instead of the usual three.

I enjoy the walks at CN Centre for a few reasons. You don’t have to worry about the weather because you’re inside. You see some of the same people, and while you may not hold lengthy conversations, you say “Hi” as you pass. There is a sign at the entrance that tells you walking down the middle of the concourse on the way around is 280 metres, which means four laps is a little more than a kilometre. (I like to pretend if I walk close to the outside wall all the way, it makes it closer to 500 metres, which means every two laps is a kilometre, but I know that’s not quite right.)

Also, everybody walks the same way (usually), and most people are also pretty good at staying to the right so there’s room for people to pass if they’re walking faster than you. That happens to me quite frequently, because most of the time when I go there, I’m just looking to get some exercise and get some steps in, so I’m not concerned about speed.

Add in that having a mask on makes it hard to breathe when you try walking fast, and I have plenty of excuses not to walk fast.

Now, however, I am kind of hoping the time has come to say goodbye to the concourse, and hello to the streets around my apartment building.

There are advantages and disadvantages, I have found. One of the disadvantages, obviously, is the number of times I find myself at the furthest point of my walk when the weather turns nasty. I have started a walk in bright sunshine, gotten to the halfway point and suddenly found myself in a downpour.

It also doesn’t help that the wind changes direction every time I do. I will be walking up a street with a brisk breeze blowing in my face, turn a corner and find that same breeze still blowing in my face.

Of course, when the weather doesn’t change while I’m out on a walk, it’s a beautiful thing. The sun shining, a slight breeze, the colours of the season – these are things you obviously don’t get walking inside.

I do have to get a pedometer or maybe a smart watch so I can keep track of how long some of my favoured routes are.

But other than that, I’m ready to take my walking (for the most part) outside. That’s not to say I won’t be checking the weather forecast each day to see whether I might want to book some time indoors the next day instead.

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