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Prime Time | Jeb Monge: Walking is enjoyable transportation

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columns Bemidji, 56619

Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Growing up in the 1940s and ’50s meant walking. There were not that many cars due to World War II where the metal and oil were needed. So I grew up walking everywhere: school, downtown, church, etc. If the soldiers were called the Greatest Generation, I suppose the rest of us would have been called the walking generation.

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A while ago two of the writers for the Pioneer began walking and writing about their adventures. The thing about walking is that the walker begins to see much more of his or her surroundings. You not only see trees, but you also begin to notice the bark on the different trees along with the branches and leaves. They become particular, individuals. You begin to realize how unique all of creation is.

When I began dating in my sophomore year, the girl and I walked. Of course, this was possible in a city of 3,000. We could walk from one end of town to the other in 20 minutes. We walked down to the movie theater, home from the school dance, and so on.

In the ministry, I used walking therapy for my counselees. On the first session, I told them that there was no charge for the service, but there was one rule: They had to walk for at least 30 minutes a day. This was the case for individuals as well as couples who were seeking marriage counseling.

The thing about walking is that the exercise gets your endorphins moving, and that alone leads to a person feeling better. It also gives a person time to consider his or her life. For a couple, they are not bothered by the TV or radio: No headphones, please. All the counselees have to do is think and talk. In our generation, how little time there is for uninterrupted conversation.

When I joined the U.S. Army, many of the soldiers did not like the hikes, but I loved them. The sergeant led us in singing, e.g., “You’re in the Army Now.” I loved walking and singing, so I was doing two of my favorite things. I didn’t mind the rifle and the backpack.

To this day I still love to get out and walk. I no longer walk the distances I did as a kid, but I get out. Plus I have two dogs who demand their daily exercise. Now if only I could skip the ice cream and cookies!

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