Ambling invention

Carter Block
3 min readApr 29, 2021

The ambling invention walk really got me thinking about how much I miss walking between classes back when on campus classes were actually a thing. I’ve talked about running daily before, but running at least for me has always been a different experience than running. When running I become much more “in the zone” and out of sync with what is around me, but walking keeps both the thinking part and staying in sync with the now. It was pretty quiet when I went and ran for the ambling invention like it always has been since coming back to my house, it’s not just because of the pandemic but it’s also cause my city is pretty small when compared to LA, 30,000 people compared to LA’s 4ish million. Walking for me has always been a more productive thinking tool than running since running tends me to begin thinking about non-immediate things instead of pressing matters. At USC I always had these 10~20ish minute walks back and forth from either the dorms/apartments to classes and I feel like I was both more creative because of that, but also just more motivated to get things done because I would think about the bigger picture. The funny thing is that I don’t actually like to run for the sake of running, I run because I know I have to to stay healthy and that same logic applies to walking. Even though I know that I usually think better while walking rather than sitting at my desk, I really don’t like walking just to walk. I always like having a goal when doing something and being within walking distance of so much let me set “fake” goals that would get me to walk. There were many times I’d walk to Target telling myself I was going to get a drink or something but in reality it was cause I needed to think and had to trick myself into doing so. Currently the nearest place that I could trick myself into going to is a gas station that’s about 30 minutes away by foot so it’s been much harder for me to trick myself into think walking.

But I’m entirely worse off for it. Walking used to be a kind of escape mechanism for me. If I was ever stuck or needed to think about a problem, off I’d go walking towards some random part of USC for an arbitrary reason to get me to move. A lot of times it really helped, but just as many times I achieved whatever I thought I needed but still had a lot of the journey to go and wasted time. The funny thing about it, was that even if hadn’t arrived at my destination yet but had achieved my thinking goal, I wouldn’t turn around because of whatever goal I had set. So walking was a double edged sword. But now that getting myself to walk is a lot harder, I’ve had to force myself to achieve that thinking state I get during walking while at my desk. Sometimes it’s successful and sometimes it isn’t, but I’ve been doing my best to make it work.

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