Walking, Running, Flying And Falling

I think there are only two interesting things I know about walking and running.  There may be more, I just can’t think of them at the moment.

The first is from the Paul E. Richardson book “Running is Flying”.

When you walk, one foot is always on the ground. When you run, most of the time you are actually airborne. For example: a 6-foot-tall runner with feet about 1 foot long was found to take 1,250 steps while running 8-minute miles. Thus, while covering 1 mile—5,280 feet—he was in touch with the ground for 1,250 feet and airborne for 4,030 feet.

Put another way, he was in the air for 76% of the time. So don’t think of it as a 10-mile run. Think of it as 7 miles of flying.

The other phrase I remember from somewhere is “walking is graceful stumbling”.  I can’t remember who told me that one, and in trying to source it I found an article by Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D.  The basic premise is an interesting one – every step we take has a result that we don’t really know but assume will be OK because we trust in our joints, in the terrain under foot and that the worst thing that can happen is that we fall.

Using a theory similar to Richardson, if we’re at least partially airborne with every step, walking is actually all about graceful recovery from falling.  It’s obviously then simple to say that progress can only be made by falling.

In one sense it’s all very cliché about taking risks.  Given my lack of grace when it comes to locomotion, though, I may use it as another excuse not to go on a run just for the sake of it!

We got too big for the cage you locked us up in
Let’s mark this down as the day that we start something
So open the gate, open the gate cause when we
Finally escape, finally escape we’ll be
Tearin’ through the streets
Running with the wild things

Running With The Wild Things by Against The Current

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