I walk a lot.
Usually along Brighton seafront but sometimes other bits of the country where gigs have flung me, but I walk every day. Usually at least two solid hours. And I recommend this act for a number of reasons, but sweet crispy-bingo PLEASE do NOT venture out of the house unprepared.
Please read this following helpful load of cobblers to maximise your walking fun. (This advice applies to those of you using wheelchairs and any other forms of mobility aid but not, repeat NOT cyclists. Fuck you all cyclists. Fuck. You. All.)
This is the bedrock of a first-rate walk and more important than good shoes, calories to burn, and even clothes. The “headphones, a device to listen to stuff on, and being outside” holy trinity of walking is sacrosanct.
If you are stupid enough to venture out of your safety-zone without good noise-cancelling headphones then you deserve all of the inherent emotional trauma and shock that your poor earholes will take from being exposed to the acrid toxicity that is “other people talking”.
But David, I hear nobody cry, what about the glorious sounds of nature I’ll be missing out on, or even road safety concerns?
Really and truly you will hear the most violent assault on your nervous system since David Walliams’ hilarious speaking voice (can you imagine that shrieking-tit achieving climax? It surely must sound like a self-regarding parrot being unapologetically bum-burgled by a muscular porcupine’s head). Thankfully most folks seem content to verbalise their mithering with spittle-flecked guttural grunts and live their “lives” through the screen they have clamped into their cadaverous-fist, but those who do talk in public will predominantly do so loudly, without any basic grasp of manners, let alone diction, and will be utterly immune to any stare-based censure you care to try and wither them with.
So if you set off for an invigorating constitutional, get a hundred paces from your front door and see yourself surrounded by the slack-jawed inhabitants of the post-Brexit nightmare that is your locale and don’t have headphones, or feel able to justify bursting your own eardrums with your keys, then I suggest you hastily trot back to your digs and wait until you’re old enough to have gone deaf, or there’s been a dirty-bomb that kills 98% of the noisy bastards.
Walking is very good for you, but having a breakdown due to aural ingestion of verbal diarrhoea is counterproductive health-wise.
What you stuff your lugholes with as you perambulate is as important as the dross you’re filtering out, so choose wisely.
Podcasts can be good but if you walk regularly and far you’ll start to think you actually have some kind of skew-whiff relationship with the people being piped into your consciousness, so don’t pick an arsehole to spend your precious time with.
Most BBC stuff is usually good and there’s a hugebungous catalogue of Desert Island Discs alone that could get your from A to B VERY often. Jen Brister, Richard Herring, Adam Buxton, Josie Long and Stuart Goldsmith are also excellent partners in pacing, as is Moth Radio Hour and Serial. Basically you will develop an attachment very quickly so don’t go walking with a twat.
But if you want the best from walking, then music is the puppy.
I will furnish you here with a playlist and you can thank me later, but anything you can swagger to, gesticulatorally perform and basically eat up the miles to with a real pep in your step is a must.
The absolute basics are:
Queen Greatest Hits Vol 1 Appetite For Destruction Bigger and Deffer No1’s Blackstar The Wild The Innocent and the E-Street Shuffle B-Side Babies Get Born Thriller and one of the best walking albums ever, Purple Rain.
Purple Rain is so good because it starts out full of piss and vinegar, settles into its stride, gets slower, hurts around the midpoint and then speeds up too much leading to the emotional crash of the title track.
And it’s this kind of strolling experience that is key to another crucial aspect to sustained and dedicated walking which we will cover in the last section...
It’s important to remember that once you are out walking regularly, listening to the reality-muting sounds of your choice, you will most likely start to enjoy your regular walks and even see a plethora of health benefits.
You may even start to think that walking is too easy and look to the lofty height that is running.
Do not be a prat.
NEVER take up running. You are neither a horse nor someone who has stolen razorblades from Superdrug so you do NOT need to run. Running for health is showy and unnecessary and makes one look like Timmy-Try-Hard. And everyone hates that cunt.
Stick with walking. It’s the best exercise you can do with your clothes on (no, not that, it’s swimming you dirty pigs) and you’ll get many potent endorphin-like boosts to your self esteem.
The most important being...
SHAMELESS (and easily achievable) GLORY
Walking for health reasons come rain or shine makes you feel like a bloody hero. A fire-breathing, baby-saving, civil-rights activist walking on water and curing the sick while developing an app to make stupid people mute while moonwalking and snogging an angel HERO.
The smug fucker you will become when you sneer at your nearest and dearest as they lollop prostrate in the thrall of their own hardening arteries is a creature more loathsome and enjoyable than a life-size Piers Morgan made of bacon and crack.
And returning from a walk where you got caught in a sudden downpour, garnered huge blisters and even have a crucifix of gut and knocker sweat emblazoned on your frontage will make you feel like the living embodiment of triumph, bravery and cool. The exact opposite of how Chris Evans feels every time he now gets in a car.
Imagine that for a second and not have visibly tantalised nip-nops.
So, in summary, walking is not the answer to all life’s questions, but it’s the best way to get far enough away from them for free so you can’t hear them anymore.