I walked home from the car dealer this morning. I had taken my car to them for some maintenance items that would take a few hours. They did not have a courtesy shuttle to take me back home. So I walked the 30 minutes home. It had rained heavily last night and the Central Florida air was thick with humidity. I was pretty drenched in my own sweat by the time I got home but I felt good! I had met the Florida summer humidity head-on which I have been cringing at for the past month. The stiff shoulder that I woke up with was gone. Even tap water felt cold and refreshing.
My point is that I could have called a friend for a ride but I chose the less efficient and less comfortable way to commute home and it was worth it. It was worth it not because of any measure of calories burned or steps gained or whatever other metric we tend to be tracking these days. It just felt good to walk.
I see the argument some hand-tool woodworkers make to promote their superiority over machine tool users. Here is one: you can round over the edge of a board with an No. 4 hand plane before a machine tool user is looking for the extension cord to their router. The focus here becomes entirely on speed and that is misleading. Machine tools have their place and so do hand tools.
I think the slowing down, using your own body, breathing heavy, one foot in front of another, one shaving after another -- these things together connect us to ourselves in a way a ride in a shuttle won't, and a screaming router can't. I rarely find fulfilment in the company of efficiency and comfort.
It is almost time for me to walk back and pick up my car.