Frozen Day 9: When The Streets Run Out

Temperature: -11.2 degrees Celsius

Feels Like: -19 degrees Celsius

Wind: N 17 km/hr

It feels like I’m going in circles. Oh wait. I am. There are a few things out there that feel unproductive – like washing your car in the rain or, you know, just generally being on facebook – but one thing that feels unproductive to me is backtracking. Why not see more than you already have? Go farther, see new things, explore? Sure, the distance and time will add up to the same thing, but the experience will be far different.

Unfortunately, in a small city, those loops are about to become redundant. I’ve already walked all over downtown with a few routes crossing into other parts of the city. Given that my starting points are always either home or the office, I’m taking some fairly regular routes already even without backtracking. The familiarity is lessening the initial excitement of spending so much time with the streets of Yellowknife.

This challenge isn’t about walking though. The walking is just something to do to pass the time and, already, boredom is seeping in. Not because there isn’t an abundance of outdoor activities, but because I am trying to snatch an hour here and an hour there each day as opposed to an afternoon of skiing or playing hockey.

This all leads me to this question: what is it like for the homeless?

When I spend time outside it’s usually because of an event or an activity – even if that activity is just going for a walk. For the homeless it’s because they have to. So when you take away the purpose of being outside, what are you left with?

As I’ve said before, I am not an authority on homelessness, so rather than offering up paltry explanations or attempts to answer these questions, I’m going to leave them open-ended for you to think about. Try going outside with no activity or event or even a book or anything and staying out there for a long while. That still isn’t comparable, but perhaps it will offer a new perspective.

When the streets run out and it is just you and all you have is time, can you imagine what that feels like?

Time: 1 pm – 2 pm and 5:16 pm – 6:15 pm

Today’s Minutes: 119

Total Challenge Minutes: 1038/3720

Ahead/Behind: -42 minutes

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