A walk and a smile

In the second chapter of Born to Walk, which focuses on how walking can address mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety, research conducted by University of Glasgow epidemiologist Richard Mitchell provides the scientific basis for many of my arguments. I spent some time walking around Glasgow with Rich, whose work explores the roles urban environments can…

Safe schools

Two years ago, while doing research and reporting for my book, I joined an Active & Safe Routes to School walkabout at an elementary school in Ottawa. The intervention, part of a program led by a national non-profit called Green Communities Canada, is part of a process that involves collecting travel behaviour data, traffic observation…

Spring walk

“Tired of winter and can’t wait to get out and smell the fresh earth and hear the first sounds of spring? There couldn’t be a better way to experience spring’s emergence than a walk in the woods.” So say the good folks at the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust, who have invited me to do a walk…

Treadmill residency wrap-up

Now that February’s snow is turning into March puddles, it’s time to start booking walking meetings outside on the Rideau Canal pathways and end the official portion of my treadmill desk writer-in-residence post in the Discovery Centre at Carleton University. Throughout February, I met with students and staff — including Samantha Munro, the university’s Healthy Workplace Coordinator, pictured…

Treadmill writer-in-residence

Next month, I’m taking another step in my campaign to fuse the worlds of walking and writing. I am becoming the world’s first treadmill desk writer-in-residence! How does one become a treadmill desk writer-in-residence, you might ask? And: what on earth does it mean? Well, read on and I’ll attempt to answer those questions. But the…

Go north

I have written about Innu surgeon Dr. Stanley Vollant’s inspiring six-year 6,000-kilometre walking project several times on this site, and in publications such as The Walrus, The Globe and Mail and Windspeaker. Now, add the Nunatsiaq News — a paper that serves Nunavut — to the list. At the end of the month, Vollant and about 20 other…

Born to Walk: advance copies!

Advance copies of my book have landed. The publishing date is April 1, 2015. (It should be called “Born to Wait,” one friend said.) Here’s what my publisher, ECW Press, has to say: “The humble act of putting one foot in front of the other transcends age, geography, culture, and class, and is one of…

Two days, two walks, one with fire

I had an interesting weekend…. On Saturday, Innu surgeon Dr. Stanley Vollant (that’s him on the left with Justin Trudeau and Liberal aboriginal affairs critic Carolyn Bennett) came to Ottawa on the latest leg of his Innu Meshkenu walking project, a five-year 6,000-kilometre series of walks between every First Nations community in eastern and central…