Flat Tires Anonymous

I have a confession. I’m a speed walker. If you’ve walked slowly in front of me in the past, you’ve probably heard an impatient sigh in your ear or you’ve suffered a flat tire on account of me. Please accept my apologies, but I really can’t help it. It’s in my genes.




My mom is a speed walker. My grandpa is a speed walker. And I’m sure there were many more speed walkers tucked away in my family tree. It’s how we’re wired. If we’re going to get somewhere, we’re going to get there fast. We don’t have the hip swivel, arm-pumping thing down (which I duly took note of while watching the Olympics this year), but our feet move just as fast.


Growing up, I’d watch my mom sprint from room to room while she cleaned the house and vacuumed, all so she could get it done faster. My grandpa has been known to leave shorter-legged people in the dust, with his mind set on his destination. And me? Well, some of my friends have vowed not to walk in front of me anymore. Their Achilles tendon’s are still recovering from the flat tires I’ve given them.


When we’re in motion, it’s not the slow kind.


I’ve recently become more aware of my walking RPM. When I lived in the suburbs, my patience would often get tested behind the driver’s wheel when slow pokes would drag along in the fast lane. (Don’t these people know that the left lane is for passing and not site-seeing?) Now that I live in the city, this frustration has transferred over to the slow walkers who lag along with seemingly no destination in sight. They meander in zig-zags, oblivious to the world as they talk on their cell phones so I can’t pass them on a narrow sidewalk. Or they walk 3-across with their friends or colleagues, so passing them is virtually impossible, unless, of course, I want to play “Frogger” in the middle of the street. I don’t know if I should carry a horn with me or cry out with fake labor pains so I can eeke my way ahead of these people.


Or, should I just slow down? Now there’s a thought.


But before I sign up for a Flat-Tires Anonymous group to help me in this regard, I first want to thank my grandpa for the speed genes he passed down to me. He’s 92, he just celebrated his 70th wedding anniversary (yes… 70!), and he still plays tennis three times a week. And, he’s as sharp as ever. Come to think of it, my metabolism thanks him too!


What traits have you inherited from your family for which you are thankful for?

And… here they are. My grandparents who have been married for 70 years, and who are 92-years-young.

4 thoughts on “Flat Tires Anonymous

  1. We can surely relate! Got my speed-walking genes from my dad who’s 106! (Heard that fast walkers live longer!) Poor Mark (son-in-love) laments as we have walked through airports on several occasions, “Oh, no, I have to walk “Haas-speed”!

    (Loved being with your folks Sunday!)

  2. Marlene, I must admit that I am speed walker as well. I am always ahead of the pack when we’re on a walk. We certainly inherited that trait from Grandpa.:)

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