The Old Coot finds his stride

If you sit around on a bench, doing your part (as a male), on a couple’s shopping trip, or any of the perches where old coots people watch; you can’t help but notice that no two people walk alike. Every person has a unique stride pattern, just like they have a unique set of fingerprints. It’s how they swing their arms, tilt their heads, and plant their feet and more. The combination of variations is endless.          

Some walk on their toes, others on their heels. Some swing both arms, others, one arm; a few don’t swing them at all, marching at attention. Big steps, small steps, an occasional hop step or hip slap, a duck waddle, knee catch and head bob make up some of the variations that create a stride pattern. 

If the police asked me to describe someone I witnessed robbing a liquor store, I’d tell them I didn’t know what he looked like because he was wearing a hoodie; but when he walked I noticed he tilted his head to the left, swung his right arm, put his left hand on his hip, and did an ankle jiggle when he put his right foot down. If an APB were broadcast using my description, they’d nail the guy. Criminals can wear gloves to prevent their prints from giving them away; they can wear disguises to throw off video recordings or witness descriptions, but they can’t fake how they walk. 

Another thing I notice about walking styles is the way couples walk. Some move along in perfect sync with each other. Left right, left right, like a marching band. Others stay parallel with each other, yet do it with different stride lengths; it must be some sort of subconscious mechanism that keeps them in line, like birds have when flying in a flock. Other couples walk with one of them five feet ahead. Acting as a scout? Maybe? Their pace is the same and the distance between them never changes. 

In other pairings one of them actually is a scout, looking to the left and the right, pointing out oddities as they go. Other couples hold hands. It begs a question, at least for old coots, who always wonder what’s going on – Are they newly in love? Reconciling? Steadying one another? Or, just like to hold hands? 

It’s hard to know, but fun to speculate. How do you walk? By yourself, and as a couple? Someone out there is watching! (Not just me.)  

Comments, corrections? Send to –

Be the first to comment on "The Old Coot finds his stride"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.