My name is Dan Rubinstein. I like to walk. And I like to write. So I decided to combine my two passions. The result was my first book, Born to Walk: The Transformative Power of a Pedestrian Act, published in April 2015 by ECW Press, and available for purchase at bookstores (bricks-and-mortar and online) throughout Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Australia and New Zealand, with French and Portuguese editions coming soon. Here’s how the publisher describes it:
“The humble act of putting one foot in front of the other transcends age, geography, culture, and class, and is one of the most economical and environmentally responsible modes of transit. Yet with our modern fixation on speed, this healthy pedestrian activity has been largely left behind. At a personal and professional crossroads, writer, editor, and obsessive walker Dan Rubinstein travelled throughout the U.S., U.K., and Canada to walk with people who saw the act not only as a form of transportation and recreation, but also as a path to a better world. There are no magic-bullet solutions to modern epidemics like obesity, anxiety, alienation, and climate change. But what if there is a simple way to take a step in the right direction? Combining fascinating reportage, eye-opening research, and Rubinstein’s own discoveries, Born to Walk explores how far this ancient habit can take us, how much repair is within range, and guarantees that you’ll never again take walking for granted.”
My articles about walking have appeared in publications such as The Walrus, The Economist, the Globe and Mail, enRoute, Spacing, Cottage Life, Canadian Business, Ottawa Magazine, explore and Canadian Geographic, where I worked as the managing editor/acting editor. As part of the Born to Walk project, I’m also pursuing collaborations with storytellers who work in other fields, including film, visual art, music, radio and digital design. Because everybody walks … sometimes.
But I don’t have a one-track mind. Over the past couple years, I’ve become increasingly obsessed with standup paddleboarding — which is kind of like walking on water. Paddleboarding, on rivers, lakes and oceans, is a unique way to interact with both natural and human aquatic ecosystems; it can help connect us to this vital natural resource that we often ignore or neglect. Standing upright on the water, moving with or against the flow, you see yourself and your surroundings in a new way. Paddleboarding is taking up a lot of my free time these days, and it has become a focus for my journalistic and literary pursuits, with several magazine stories completed, others under way, and a non-fiction book project in the early stages of development.
I currently work as a writer at Carleton University — my office overlooks a gorgeous set of rapids on Ottawa’s Rideau River — and my past includes stints at the helm of several magazines (unlimited, Alberta Views), rabble-rousing in the alternative press (Vue Weekly, alternet.org), daily newspaper reporting in Atlantic Canada, and about a decade as a wire service sports writer, covering the Toronto Blue Jays and Edmonton Oilers for Associated Press and Canadian Press. Today, my freelance writing and editing takes me throughout North America, Europe and beyond, and when I’m not walking or paddling, I follow my generalist’s curiosity: luxury airplanes, trendy neighbourhoods, media criticism, adventure travel and more.
danrubin at sympatico.ca
For additional rights inquiries about Born to Walk, please contact Martha Magor Webb at Anne McDermid & Associates: martha at mcdermidagency.com.