Week 21 of 'The Great Wake Up!'
Last week's experiment was to walk five times slower than I normally do.
Excellent, I thought. This was just what I needed. And easy too - a bonus!
But what sounded so simple when I heard Chris describing it in his video, turned out to be incredibly difficult in reality.
My plan was to take one of the walks that I do everyday - those that get me from home to the bus stop, from the bus stop to the office, to and from work meetings - and slow them right down. I wanted to take in the journey and my surroundings and see what came up.
I was really looking forward to this as I'm normally rushing around everywhere. It's usually me with my head down, protecting myself against the wind, rain and commuters, making my way to wherever I'm going. I walk everywhere as fast as I can, and get impatient when others don't do the same. Time is always so crucial and it feels like every moment is precious.
When it actually came to doing the experiment, I realised that walking five times slower than I normally do, is REALLY slow. It felt awkward and unnatural. So much so, that on one occasion my mum looked at me with a puzzled look on her face and asked 'Why are you walking in that funny way?'
I mumbled something to her about trying a new walk and quickly changed the subject. Trying a new walk!! What was I thinking?!
I discovered that my habit of being unorganised and leaving things to the last minute didn't help either. Rushing around trying to find things just as I'm leaving to go to work or go to a meeting meant that I was constantly running late and couldn't carry out the experiment because I simply hadn't left myself enough time.
On the rare occasions I was on time, I realised that London during the rush hour probably wasn't the best place or time to be walking fives times slower than I normally do. I found myself swept up in the crowds of other commuters and being moved (forced) along. I could just picture the scene of angry commuters if I were to try and walk slowly in the middle of that. I don't think I would have been very popular.
At other times I simply forgot. I'm so used to walking at a certain speed that it has become a habit, and it was only when I reached my destination that I realised I'd lost an opportunity to do the experiment.
Therefore what I learned from this experiment was that I should plan it in. I had to be organised and leave myself enough time when going somewhere to try it out. But better still, I needed to go out at the weekend or in the evening, maybe somewhere local, with the specific purpose of carrying out the experiment. This would mean that I wouldn't be constrained by time and could really get the benefits from it.
Over the summer I want to give myself the opportunity to try this out again and to see what happens.