Deception I tell you!

New rule: Walking in a retail district or downtown area does not constitute a genuine walk.

I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked by friends and relatives to join them for a walk, only to realize after it’s too late that I have been taken shopping. Even though we have a perfectly good neighborhood in which to walk, parks in virtually every direction and a reservoir of walking trails and bike paths less than two miles away, I am routinely asked if I would like to go for a walk through the town center.

And for a long, long time, I believed these people.

But I’ve finally come to realize that I am being deliberately deceived. The glacial pace of our stride on these so-called walks, combined with the multitude of stops along the way, hardly constituted walking.

The North American continent drifts faster along its adjacent tectonic plates than these supposed walkers.

I think my heart rate actually decreases during the majority of these walks.

The most common of these walking-turned-shopping traps begin with a meal. After a delightful lunch or dinner at a local restaurant, I am asked if I’d like to go for a little walk.

Actually, I am usually paying my bill, removing the keys from my pocket when someone says, “What?  You don’t want to go for a little walk first before we head home?”

Shortly thereafter, I find myself peering into shop windows, meandering between racks of clothing, and standing outside boutiques, wondering what the hell happened to our walk.

In the future, I’m just looking for a little honesty.

If we’re walk, let's walk.

If we’re going outside to stroll, window shop, say hello to friends, chat with strange old ladies, and cover a distance of less than one city block in more than an hour, just give me a heads up.

I won’t bother changing my shoes.