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11/23/07 7:55AM By David Moats
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David Moats, commentator
(HOST) Now that we're thinking about running off some of those calories we consumed yesterday, commentator David Moats has some food for thought about exercise...and magazines...and maps.

(MOATS) I'm afraid my generation may be getting dumber.

This first occurred to me when I saw some of the magazines showing up at the newsstands. There was, for example, a magazine called Running.

Running has always been something I thought I knew how to do.

When I was very small, I used to pretend I was a horse, and I ran with a kind of gallop.

Then when I was older, I ran with wild abandon across grassy fields, I ran along hillsides and down mountain slopes.

I know, I know - a magazine about running is for all those people who are serious runners and like to read about hitting the wall and about sneakers and hydration.

But then I came across a magazine called Walking.

Sometimes I see people walking down the road, swinging their arms in such a way it seems they just learned to walk.

But I thought I already knew how to walk, and I thought if I developed a problem walking - a sore knee, a blister - I could figure out what to do about it.

I'm afraid to open up the magazine about walking for fear of finding out how complicated it's become.

It used to be one of the simplest things.

Now, as I get older, I'm waiting for a magazine called Sitting.

It'll be all about the subtleties, the complexities, and what the experts say.

Really, there's more to it than you think.

I was reminded of this the other day, by a column written for The New York Times by David Brooks about how it seemed that with the purchase of a GPS system for his car, he was outsourcing his brain.

No longer would he have to consult a map to find directions.

But what's the fun of traveling if you aren't in danger of getting lost?

One of the great gifts my father gave me was to appoint me navigator when we went on trips.

I was the one with the maps, and it was my job to tell him where to turn left and right.

It's a cliché that men don't like to ask directions because it's important that they find their way on their own.

Well, why not?

Hasn't challenge been sufficiently wrung from life without eliminating the challenge of finding your way?

I am a total enemy of MapQuest.

I am a total fan of getting lost, and I've done it on the streets of Boston, New York, Montreal, and the back roads of Addison County.

How else are you going to find your way?

David Moats is an author and Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer at the Rutland Herald.

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