Train in Vein

Walk With Me

For the most part, I am an extremely forgiving and understanding person. When I am not, I try to be forgiving and understanding. This is why I ask: Slow walking… Why?

Try as I might, I cannot understand slow walking. I will admit – I am a relentlessly fast walker. I may actually have a problem, as I even want to fast walk in museums. I understand that some situations call for a leisurely gait; I get it. I try to keep down the pace. But seriously, slow walking in areas of communal pedestrian transit? What gives? I fully embrace that everyone has a right to walk at their own pace, I just long to understand.

It’s not that I have a problem with all slow walkers, it’s just when they are oblivious to how it is affecting others. There are some people who sense you coming from behind at a rapid clip and they move aside. Fine. Great. We are walking brethren. It’s the slow walkers who push their slow walking agenda (or lack of an agenda at all) on everyone in their wake that baffle me. Oh, and I should note obviously I am not talking about children, old people, injured people, etc. Again, I am a kind and understanding person.

…But to the oblivious slow walkers:

Why do you need to take up more room than faster walkers?

Why do you make a weaving path?

How do you not hear people slow behind them and then awkwardly shuffle, stop and start, struggling to find a window to pass?

Why can’t you stick to a slow lane and let others by?

Why can’t you just stop to text or sort through your bag or put your hair in a ponytail or whatever? Actually, don’t even get me started on the sudden stoppers.

Please, please help me to understand!

Am I missing something by walking quickly?

Am I too uptight?

Am I passing by the beauty of this world?

Are you thinking things I would never dream of while I just focus on the clock?

Do you just hate me?

Are you just being 100% you, with no apology, slow walking and all?

Am I a quiet walker?

Do you think fast walking is dangerous?

Do you hate where you are going?

Are you sad?

Are you afraid of falling?

Are you afraid of being on time?

Are you tired?

Can you walk faster but you are choosing not to?

Do you like having someone RIGHT behind you?

Is this a power thing?

Do I need to say something? Would it be cool if I played the Run DMC version of “Walk This Way” on my iPhone as I pass you? Who doesn’t love early rap rock?

With much love and a desire to ambulate amicably with all,

Someone who was trapped for about 4 minutes this morning behind a woman with a rolling suitcase walking slowly, texting and fixing her hair.

Image via Shutterstock

  • Sarah H

    hahahaha OMG! This article feels like I wrote it. I generally walk at a fair pace and I get SO annoyed when slow people block my way. Especially if I have somewhere to be. What’s even worse is that in my city, people slow walk side by side and block the whole footpath so no one can get by! What’s with that? Not everyone has 15 minutes to walk one block you know? 😉

  • Liz Haebe

    I cannot STAND people who mosey! I live in Portland, and I like to yell: NO ONE MOSEYS IN PORTLAND! Especially to my friends who visit. LORDY. Sister, you’re singin’ my song!

  • Laura Haas

    Seriously! Is there something wrong with you? Do you think you are having a heart attack? No? Then move over!

  • Ashton Roberts

    hahaha this is funny. i walk pretty slow, but i always try to be aware of people around me. my father, on the other hand, is the type of person who is totally oblivious. he walks slow, doesn’t let people pass, stops and stares at something, and walks through the middle of people trying to take pictures. we’ve all tried to talk to him about it, but he denies it. so maybe they’re all just in denial.

  • Melissa Martin

    The worst is people who walk slow in the office. They can sense you behind them but they don’t care that you have obviously been holding it in for much longer than is comfortable and really need to get to the washroom, or that it’s an hour past lunch and you just want to get to the fridge to heat up your soup and get back to business, or that you are already two minutes late for an important meeting with the management team, but they just simply don’t care.

  • Trish Rollins

    I am SO right there with you! I am New Yorker. We walk with a purpose! Even during my strolls on lunch I walk with a purpose. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with us. Life moves and we move with it.

  • Caroline Jeffery

    as a medium-slow walker, i have no defense for my occasional slow-walker sins, but i try to be considerate. as long as there’s a lane for slow walking, i will do my best to stay in it. i will say, however, that fast walkers need to be considerate as well. it’s just as annoying to incessantly pass people while breathing down their necks as it is when someone tries to budge 8 cars in a lane merge. “oh, you’re tailgating me, you want me to move out of the way? ok, that’s fine.” … “oh so now someone ELSE is being slow and you’re trying to cut in front of me? cut me off? uhhh, no. i’m going to block you in until it’s unreasonable to continue.” as with a lot of things i life, it goes both ways.

  • Becky Lippert

    I’m a super fast walker and slow walkers are one of my biggest pet peeves. My boyfriend is a medium walker and I literally have to drag him everywhere. I don’t get it. The faster you get someplace, the more time you can spend doing awesome things at that place! Live life purposefully! Walking has a purpose! Speed up people!

  • Kelly Callahan

    Okay, I’ve been struggling with this for a while. I have a class with my roommate and she walks SO FAST. I can’t stand it. I’m a slow walker. It’s a 9 am class and the sky is BEAUTIFUL that time of morning here. The temperature is always perfect and we are always like 10 minutes early because she walks so fast! I try and come up with excuses to leave before her so I don’t have to deal with the pacing issue, but she just always comes with me! I just really like to appreciate where I’m going, especially if I’m not late.

  • Michelle Glauser

    Ack! I have the same problem all the time. In Germany, my friends would want to go for walks just to go for walks, and I couldn’t keep walking so slowly, even without a destination.

  • Jessica Roux

    I am a slow walker because I have a few serious back problems, but because I look healthy and don’t walk with a limp, no one can tell. I’ve been shouted at before from people driving cars as to why I take so long to cross the street, have people push past me and nearly knock me over, and plenty of other nasty occurrences. While I understand that you aren’t trying to offend anyone, there are a lot of people out there like myself that look perfectly fine but cannot walk any faster! This article and the responses really frustrate me. Please try to put yourself in my shoes next time you are frustrated with a slow walker. In the long run, does it really matter if you are a minute late?

    • Alexandra Anderson Conrad

      I didn’t want to offend anyone! Honestly this is meant to be light hearted, and not malicious in any way. That is awful that people yell at you. I would like to give THEM a piece of my mind. I don’t really get that frustrated when people are walking slowly, and I understand my fast walking is annoying too. Sorry that I upset you :)

  • Pim Robert

    The stoppers are the WORST. Imagine you are on the road; tis a major life-threatening faux pas to slam the brakes without cause, particularly if there is someone behind you. While not as dire on foot, when I’m legging it behind someone and they stop dead to look for their bus pass/look at an attractive cornice/try to remember if they turned the stove off, I totally pull a Wile E. Coyote stop behind them (including windmilling arms to counteract the sudden inertia). It’s been close, no collisions yet. But Abrupt Stoppers, please, rules of the road and sidewalk, pull to the shoulder if you need to stop (short of children and injured pigeons in your path, NOT LUCKY PENNIES).

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