Where the Sidewalk Ends

When I was a kid, I remember having this really cool book of poems by Shel Silverstein called Where the Sidewalk Ends. I loved this book because it addressed things that kids care about: boogers, & daydreaming, & annoying brothers & sisters, just to name a few.

I grew up in a suburb just West of Chicago. Every street had a sidewalk on both sides.

I remember looking at the drawing on the cover of the book, thinking, "That’s silly. Sidewalks don’t end. There are sidewalks EVERYWHERE." And to me, there were.

Now I live in Austin, Texas. I moved here about 7.5 years ago. I run on the streets in my neighborhood & surrounding areas. I wear a Road ID because I’m afraid of getting clipped by some distracted driver, and since I run from my home, I don’t carry ID or keys with me.

So, you might ask, if I’m afraid of getting hit by a car, why not just run on the sidewalk? Let me show you what I see when I run on the sidewalk in Austin, Texas:

Yep – it just ends. I’d like to say that This is where the Sidewalk Ends, but this happens over and over and over again. Sometimes there is a sidewalk on the other side of the street, but not always.

Texas is the 15th fattest state in the US with 66% of residents being overweight or obese. One HUGE (pardon the pun) reason for that is that we don’t get enough activity. We don’t get enough activity because we use our cars waaaay too much! We use our cars too often because the streets aren’t activity friendly. See where this is going?

Anyway, my rant really isn’t about the obesity epidemic. It’s just really frustrating when I’m walking along & all of a sudden, there’s no more sidewalk. I think I need to start becoming a thorn in someone’s side. Hmmm… I wonder who the lucky winner will be?