Saturday, August 24, 2019

from Yeouido to Daecheong: 30,000 steps

Did my walk with JW today, from Yeouido Station all the way back to Daecheong Tower. It's a route I've done many times since 2017, so the following photos concentrate on some lovely flowers seen along the way, and there are two tantalizing pics of JW himself at the very end.

Not being much of a plant guy, I don't know the names of any of these flowers, and if someone among my tiny readership is a botany expert, I'd love to know what berries those are in the fifth photo. JW plucked them as we were walking by some bushes, and he assured me that they wouldn't kill me. He handed me a berry, and when I bit into it, I discovered it had the consistency and overpowering, pinch-your-face tanginess of a way-underripe apple. As JW said, the berry didn't kill me or make me sick, but I chose to eat only the one: JW plucked and ate a whole handful while I ineffectually told him to be careful.

Flowers, berries, and JW:

I tested out my size-12 shoes today; this was their first long walk. I'd call the test a success, overall, but the shoes didn't completely counteract the ache in my feet, especially my right foot. Still, having achy feet is a hell of a lot better than getting blisters and/or abrasions, so I count today's walk as a win. We managed almost exactly 30,000 steps in almost exactly four hours, over a distance of almost exactly 20 kilometers.

That's at my pace, of course. JW is far more athletic than I am, so he was tempted to walk fast, and he did often break away to walk twenty meters ahead of me for long periods. Not succumbing to the ego-driven need to keep up with JW, I hung back at my own pace, which is why I didn't end up with blisters.

JW confessed that this was his first time walking such a long distance since his long-ago military service, and he performed very well. Being a much lighter guy than I am, he didn't have any blister-related issues to deal with. He did, however, have achy feet, even if he didn't admit to it. He was the one who requested, twice, that we stop and take a break, and I know it's not because he was tired: his pace proved he had plenty of energy. His achy feet, meanwhile, proved a long-held suspicion, to wit: athletic people who haven't engaged in this particular form of exertion will have problems. We might charitably attribute his aches to his slightly inappropriate golfing shoes instead of to a lack of conditioning, but I think the same thing would have happened had he worn actual walking shoes.

My only complaint was that JW suddenly decided, like one of those annoying ajeossis whom I routinely encounter on the local bike paths, to break out some recorded music during the latter part of our walk; I could have done without that as I prefer to let the sounds of the world accompany me on my treks. But because he also tended to pull ahead of me, the music faded as JW became more distant, which was a good thing.

JW now has wild plans in his head to do more walking and some camping trips—probably during the summer. He of course wants me to accompany him and his family on these trips; we'll see. I love JW's family, I really do, but my inner introvert cringes at the idea of sacrificing a whole weekend to a social activity.

I'll probably be heading down south to Yeosu next weekend to celebrate my birthday by myself. JW works four days a week on nearby Geojae Island; he thinks I ought to give him a visit while he's down there for his job. I might take him up on that. Again, we'll see.


John Mac said...

30,000 steps in four hours is a great pace, good job. The thing that stood out to me right away was: I didn't see a drop of sweat on JW's shirt. Maybe that's a Korean thing?

I enjoy music while I walk, especially when I'm street walking. (Hmm, that makes it sound like I have a part time job. I don't!). I always use my bluetooth headphones though.

Anyway, re: the shoes. Have you considered cushioned insoles to wear inside?

Kevin Kim said...

It's faster than my usual pace; it could be that JW's haste motivated me to walk a bit more quickly. However, I neglected to mention that I had already racked up 2000 steps while waiting for JW to arrive at Yeouido Station, our meeting spot. (JW ran about 20 minutes late.) So really, the walk was closer to 28,000 steps and took a bit more than four hours, which means, when you do the math, that I wasn't walking that much faster than normal—about 6300 steps per hour instead of my usual 6000 on the nose.

Yeah, JW doesn't sweat unless he's nervous. He was a sweaty, awful mess the first time he and I met: he was a student in my English class in 1994, and after class one day, he made the impertinent move of suggesting better ways for me to conduct my lessons. He knew he was stepping over the line in criticizing a teacher, hence the sweat. But we've been good friends ever since. Now, he's a happily married dad with two wonderful kids, and he just got promoted at his POSCO job, where he was already raking in the big bucks.

Annie C. said...

Zinnia, zinnia, some sort of encela or heleanthela false sunflower hybrid, hibiscus, and the unripened fruit is a crabapple.

I learned to make a crabapple pie in girl scouts.

Kevin Kim said...

Thanks for the education!