I am a slow walker. And I do not apologize.
There are many more of us out there. But you probably sped right by us and didn’t notice.
Or… it’s the opposite:
We “got in your way,” and you certainly noticed us by letting out a disgruntled “Could you walk any slower?” Or if we’re in the crosswalk, a hand-planted-into-car-horn Hooooonk. You made your turn and hurled an expletive through your window.
Unfazed, the proud slow walker keeps walking. Maybe they let out a casual “Where’s the fire?”
Well there was that time an actual fire truck came barreling down the street, sirens blaring. In which case I hauled ass from mid-crosswalk.
Besides that, or unless I see a baby crowning in your car on the way to the delivery room, I shall take my own sweet time.
I used to be very self-conscious about my slow walking.
Especially after hearing people so irritated and inconvenienced. And I’ve had a heavier brick-like build since I was a kid, so there was that to be self-conscious about. (Albeit a brick with a bulging mid section and wherever thunder thighs would be located on a brick.)
But I’ve come to accept it — that’s just how I move by nature.
And in nature, a slow-walking tiger doesn’t change his stripes. (I’m more of a plaid shirt guy but you get the idea.)
Now, I feel less shame around how I move.
It’s just how I am. And that’s me. You DON’T have to be for everyone. When you’re comfortable with that acceptance, it sets you free.
I’d like to reframe slow walking as “intentional,” the same way a realtor calls a small kitchen “cozy.” Except not as deceptive.
I take my time because I enjoy my time. That’s what living in the present moment does. It slows things down. You can’t absorb this amazing world around you when you’re speeding through it. Stop and smell the flowers, you know?
Yes when I visit New York City, I’m that slow-walking tourist they all hate. That’s a challenging environment for a slow walker. They test your resolve out there. If you can slow-pace it there, you can slow-pace it anywhere. If there was a Slow Walkers Union, we’d negotiate some kind of contract with New Yorkers: maybe “no slow walking during commute times”? Open to suggestions.
In the meantime: here I am. There I will be. Strolling leisurely. Taking my time on the sidewalk. In the park. In the crosswalk. Ready to let any insults wick off me like water off a duck.
If I’m in your way, just go around.
And save your breath. You’re going to need it for all that fast walking you’re doing.