WALK: Slow Down, Wake Up, and Connect at 1-3 Miles per Hour (Paperback)
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A transformative collection of essays on the power of walking to connect with ourselves, each other, and nature itself.
In 2010, Jonathon Stalls and his blue heeler husky mix began their 242-day walk across the United States, relying on each other and the kindness of strangers along the way. In this collection of essays, Stalls explores walking as waking up: how a cross-country journey through the family farms of West Virginia, the deep freedom of Nevada’s High desert, and everywhere in between unlocked connections to his deepest aches and dreams—and opened new avenues for renewal, connection, and change.
While most of us won’t walk or roll across the country, the deep wisdom and insights that Stalls receives from the people, land, and animals he meets on his pilgrimage have profound impacts for each of us. He shares how walking deepened his relationship to himself as a gay man, offering deep and clarifying emotional medicine. He confronts the systemic racism, classism, and ableism that shape and reshape the communities he walks through. And he invites readers to become awakened activists, to begin healing our culture’s profound separation from the natural world.
WALK is for those who crave to feel and embody, not just know and study, their way through complex themes that live in each chapter: vulnerability, human dignity, presence, mystery, and resistance. With dedicated practices—like connecting to Earth stewardship, moving into vulnerability, and walking and rolling with intention—Stalls’ WALK is an urgent and glorious call to slow down, look around, and engage with the world in front of us. It awakens us to what we miss when we’re driving by, flying over, and rushing past what surrounds us. It’s an invitation to move, to connect, to participate deeply in the world—and to dissolve the barriers that disconnect us from each other and the living Earth.
About the Author
In 2010, JONATHON STALLS spent 242 days walking across the United States and has continued to walk alongside thousands of people for thousands of miles through his ongoing organizing, programming, and creative efforts. He is an artist, social entrepreneur, and advocate for social, economic, racial, and LGBTQ+ justice. Stalls is the founder of two organizations, Intrinsic Paths and Walk2Connect.
"With a bold and honest voice, Jonathon Stalls invites us to walk with him across America. It is an important journey through a landscape of gender, equity, and discovery. In each meeting we learn who we are and who we might become. From sea to sea there are mountains with sticky spines, and deserts filled with people … and solitude."
—John Francis, PhD, author of Planetwalker: 22 Years of Walking. 17 Years of Silence.
“WALK is a powerful invitation that shows us not just the gifts of walking, but what it means to be fully alive.... Stalls reminds us what it means to live with a whole heart, even in the midst of our darkest times, and how walking as an individual and community act—as a fundamental human right—can repair our spirits along with our minds, bodies, and communities.”
—Antonia Malchik, author of A Walking Life
“Jonathon and I have been walking and talking together for years. We walk and talk about strategies to create more walkable places, management approaches, dogs, love, relationships—everything.... This book captures what Jonathon has given me over our hundreds of miles together: listen to your inner wisdom, lean into connections, and embrace your failures as a great teaching tool. WALK is not just a book. It’s designed to take its readers on a meditative journey to enable us to open our eyes to ourselves and each other.”
—Lynn Richards, senior VP of policy and implementation at Blue Zones
“Stalls is an important walking activist and his book recounts the adventure of a lifetime.”
—Angie Schmitt, author of Right of Way
“This book is for all of us who are ready to embark on a journey of practice toward walking and rolling to connect, to build relationships with ourselves and our people, and with intention to build trusting, whole, and full lives.... Whether it is a journey to our mailboxes or the entire length of the continent—this book gives us tools to practice walking and movement to heal, grow, love, nurture, explore, adventure, fight, dance, and become our full human selves. Life at 1–3 mph is how we were intended to experience our world. We must move more this way to feel more and more alive.”
—Teresa Martinez, cofounder and executive director of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition
“I’ve spent the last ten years of my life going on walks with Jonathon Stalls, so I am delighted that in WALK more people get to experience his warmth and brilliance too. May you feel what I do after every walk with him: more deeply and uncomplicatedly human.”
—Nadia Bolz-Weber, three-time New York Times bestselling author
“In 2010, on a journey of self healing, Jonathon Stalls set out to walk coast-to-coast across the United States. That defining experience, and years of boot-level community work since, has honed his book into a trail guide to human connectivity—a veritable map of the heart.”
—Paul Salopek, Out of Eden Walk
“Jonathon’s personal journey is the starting point of a robust community journey, accompanied by heaping helpings of warmth, empathy, compassion, and insight.”
—Michael McGinn, executive director of America Walks and former Seattle Mayor