Walking to work this morning actually went quite well. I was actually not embarrassed by all the stares and was confident in the fact that “yeah i’m being different but you don’t know what your missing out on!”. This activity is definitely becoming one of observing and overcoming self consciousness. I was only able to take a video of my entrance into work as I didnt want to take the video myself as I learned it was a “cheat” on my walk to my car at uni.
1. Did you observe something new in your surroundings?
Walking backwards to work was quite intriguing. I work at least three times a day as a barista at Frangipani Gelato Bar in Cronulla Mall. I park near the boat docks and as I was walking backwards up the hill I actually got to look at the water with all the boats, as opposed to walking forwards towards other parked cars at the top of the hill. I became aware of the sun settling on the water and shining off the boats, the seagulls flying in the sky and watched the patterns of an exercise group who are there every Sunday. I also see them but never take notice as my back is always to them. I also became aware of the sea salt smell in the air. Crossing the road I again I turned forwards as it was too dangerous as there is no crossing. And then when I got to the mall I noticed the buzz of people, being a hot day and all, and the looks of confusion as I zipped through the people.
2. Do you feel any health benefits?
Actually yes, as I walked from my car backwards up the small hill I noticed I was using different muscles in my legs and it was actually alot easier than walking forwards, less tiring.
3. Were there any social/physical challenges?
Socially I had to deal with alot of looks but I think after the walk down uni stairs and the exercise walk along the esplanade I have actually progressed and it really didn’t bother me. I began to notice that whilst I was observing the environment around me, people were actually observing me. Physically my walk wasn’t strenuous, however I did notice it took about 1.5 minutes longer than walking forwards, which isn’t too bad when I get to experience scenic views. On that note, being conscious of the time it took reminded me of the Mount Kiera walking activity in Week 2 how we were conscious of the time.
4. Was this too easy and comfortable for you?
It wasnt easy but it wasn’t hard. I think I have found a happy medium of completing my backwards walk on a flat surface and whether it’s in public or not is not an issue anymore.
5. What’s the next plan to scale it up?
The walking backwards to work and walking with my friend have really made me think about the other person’s experience. Again focusing on Kaprow’s idea of a unique happening coming from one’s personal experience, I think I want to observe another person’s experience of walking backwards.