Weekly is a bit ambitious, but I’ll aim to do something like this once a month.
Ok I’m trying something right now. Based on Tools of Titans I’m going to take a walk. I’m aiming for 4 hours. With breaks. So I should be out the door at 9:15 and will be done at, let’s say 1:30.
Some quick thoughts before starting.
- Bringing my camera
- Trying to take a break on the hour to write one page and add one photo
- Coffee, then water throughout
- Have a few things on the way to stop at. Aka foot locker.
- Wearing Metcons instead of Vans—hoping it’s just as good for foot mobility
I was thinking there could be like one hour of photography (I brought my camera), one hour of audiobooks (I bought Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime, one hour of phone calls (I’ve got a friend in mind), and one of hour silence () if possible.
I’m realizing this is basically an urban hike
This is where I search for my digital watch and sit on my bed scratching my head trying to figure out how to turn on the hourly beep.
Ok I’m actually out the door at 9:35.
I’m trying to stop on the hour. I stopped in Cascade Cafe on 8th ave. Got some water and used the restroom.
Here’s the description straight from a chapter about ketogenic diets and fasting in Tools of Titans.
On Friday (and Saturday if needed), drink some caffeine and prepare to WALK. Be out the door no later than 30 minutes after waking. I grab a cold liter of water or Smartwater out of my fridge, add a dash of pure, unsweetened lemon juice to attenuate boredom, add a few pinches of salt to prevent misery/headaches/cramping, and head out. I sip this as I walk and make phone calls.
Ferriss does this during a 3-day fast. I’m not doing this as part of a fast, but I’m doing this as part of a half-hearted ketogenic diet. Let’s just go ahead and say I’m following it to a T.
I didn’t really have a destination in mind. My current plan is to walk to Central Park and do a lap. Then maybe I can go to The Museum of Natural History to draw a little bit. Another chance to be the guy drawing on an iPad in the museum. Then Ineed to return something at Foot Locker.
I can end the walk at Gong Cha and get a coffee with milk foam. We’ll see how this goes. Oh yeah, so far Trevor Noah has jumped out of a moving van. (A van that’s moving not a van that movers use.)
Ok that’s the bottom of this iPhone page. Let’s keep it popping.
Needed to use the restroom again and my wandering took me to the east side of Central Park. Instead of the Museum of Natural History I went to The Met. Took me forever to find the restroom in this place. The a lot of the bathroom doors are hidden flush against the walls.
While I’m here it’s probably a good idea to try and draw something. I’ve glanced at other people’s sketches. Without fail, they’re better at drawing than I am. Young, old, doesn’t matter.
Meanwhile, people will think I’m one of those people making beautiful sketches of the statues. Before I start, I’ll leave you with something I overheard:
“We went to… armies and armor… medieval .. Oceania—remember it had the thing with the big penis? (the group nods in acknowledgement and not even a hint of a chuckle)—now we’re in the Greek stuff… next we can do Egyptian.”
I like drawing at The Met.
Ok that was like 40 minutes of drawing. How’s that for flow? How’s that for cutting into walking time? Adjusting the walking goal to walk until 2:30 since I just sat for 40 minutes.
Let’s keep it popping. Time to get out of the museum.
Oh yah the drawings. I tried drawing this guy over and over. I really should’ve set a timer to make sure I was giving myself the same amount of time for each attempt. Otherwise I can’t really build on something I already knew: the better sketches are the ones I take more time on. I also should’ve tried overlaying a photo over the sketches to see what I’m getting wrong.
During these sessions, people stopped to look at the statue and I started thinking it’d be good to try doing quick motion sketches of them. One woman covered her mouth and looked shocked.
I realized that I hadn’t read the caption myself and never stopped to think about who this guy was. I guessed right: it was his children around him. What I didn’t guess is that he’s contemplating starving or eating them.
I switched from Born a Crime to Wired to Create by Carolyn Gregoire and Scott Barry Kaufman. Within half an hour, there was a Mihály Csíkszentmihályi mention and I was reminded of the echo chamber I stay in. I really need to work on a bingo card for this: Csíkszentmihályi, 10,000 hours, growth mindset, kids eating marshmallows, etc. If I hit bingo, then I should switch to another book.
I’m somewhere in Central Park. My feet are feeling it. I wonder what the balance is. Should I stop? Keep going? I think I’ll walk to the subway then take it to Gong Cha and then return these shoes. I like this walk. I heard something recently in Declutter Your Mind by Barrie Davenport and S.J. Scott:
“The walk is the destination.”
An update on the attempt to do one hour of photography, one hour of audiobooks, one hour of calls, and one hour of silence. I’ve been taking pictures intermittently the entire time. I listened to a good portion of Born a Crime and was able to give it enough attention to follow along. I called a friend. I learned that Foot Locker won’t accept returns from other stores if they don’t sell the product. I’ve even burned probably like… 47 calories.
I’ve had days started by reading Twitter, opening a bunch of links, seeing a few hours go by just lying down reading on my phone. Then I head to a couch and check some stuff out on my laptop. A video here, a video there. An hour here, three hours there. It’s the bad kind of flow. Then the day is gone. Some people call these days zero days and there are online communities for avoiding them.
This walk made time feel similar: it accelerates slowly at first then it seems to disappear. However, the time doesn’t feel wasted at all. My legs and feet are feeling it but my mind is really clear.
I can get used to this. I’m getting hungry though. Time for the last stretch then I’ll return these shoes and eat. I’ll get my coffee with the foamed cream and grass jelly. Can’t wait.
I’ll call this the end of it. Went to Gong Cha and the line was too long. Went to Kung Fu Tea instead. Still gotta drop by Foot Locker and eat a snack. Then I have dinner with a friend. It’s a good day so far. My legs hurt.
Home now. Next time I’ll aim for 3 hours and hopefully it’ll be a 4 hour outing. This time was aiming for 4 hours and somehow it’s been 6.5 hours.
Here are my steps.
I like the idea of aiming to live an unrushed life. How can I measure that? One measure is counting walks where the walk is the destination. Here’s the first one.
Later that night I ate kalbi. I went to an all you can eat place and ate all I could.