Monday, April 11, 2011

Walking In Sunshine

I'm out of shape.  Dreadfully out of shape.  I know it, and I knew it when I went out for my first power-walk in over a year, this morning.  I have missed my beloved circle;  the circle that normally I can walk in 15 minutes took me 30.  As I was finishing my walk I felt like I was gonna die.   Still, as out of breath as I was, as sweaty as I was, and as sore as I am (and will be more later, I'm sure;  I felt it in my calves and thighs-  FEEL THAT GOOD BURN), it felt fantastic! 

It's embarrassing to admit that you haven't seen your neighborhood in a year.  Really, it is.  As I began walking, I looked around at the familiar landmarks, and noticed that so many of the trees were now either broken in half, victims of last winter's heavy snows, still waiting to be sawed with their bark exposed in sharp, gnarly points.  Or just gone; only ugly, bright stumps remaining. 

Still, some things never change.  Where I live, people are always walking or running.  Always.  Even in the rain.  Today, I was happy to see my fellow walkers out there.  Always a feeling of camaraderie among us.  Always a 'Hello.'  or a 'Good morning!'  Today, I saw a few more than once.  Remember:  this is my first day back out there!  Never a knowing look of  'Oh man, look how out of shape she is,' but instead a 'Hello again!"  or a grin and then a "So, we meet again!" and a high-five.  I didn't realize how much I've missed that!    Years ago, when I was in much better shape, I power-walked twice a day and would pass by the same folks every day.  I had even met one on a rest one day.  We exchanged names and talked about possibly walking together.  Then I became ill.  Maybe I'll see her again.  Or make a new set of walking buddies!  Another good thing about power-walking in my neighborhood is that everyone is doing it, so you don't feel like a total idiot doing it.  Lots of fast, little steps with your arms moving just as fast.  Anyone remember the Carol Burnett Show?  Tim Conway as that old man walking so fast and getting nowhere?  Power-walking! 

The walk itself is a good one:  Only a mile around, but there are many hills, including a steep one.  Depending on the direction you go, it's either an easy walk or an easier one, but if you power your ass up,  it'll get your heart going!  When I was a daily walker, I'd walk it three to four times around; twice a day.  I'm not a runner.  I never have been.  Running for me is simply not a good idea for a few reasons.  One:  I simply don't like to run.  Two:  it has always hurt me to run.  From horrible side pain to knee pain.  Three:  I don't have to tell you that I'm gifted with a large bosom.  That alone is reason enough not to run.  No bra on the planet will help with Runner's Boobs, and it just ain't pretty.  Four:  I can't run, anymore.  My poor body just won't allow it, and neither will my physician.  Too much could 'go wrong.'  I'm done with going wrong.  Did I mention I hate running?

It is a nice walk, too.  There are so many wildflowers!  In Summer, the walk is lined with Honeysuckle.  Taking that needed deep breath must be done through the nose.  The aroma is amazing, and there are so many flowers to look at as you walk.  There are so many birds, too.  I sometimes take my iTouch (face it, good music makes the walk go much faster), but after a good rain, I leave it at home.  The birds sing so loud and proud; almost as if they are cheering me on.  Almost.  The one and only Baltimore Oriole that I have ever seen was while I was on one of my power walks with my then five-year-old son, Alex. Okay, so maybe it wasn't a power-walk... just a walk.  Columbia is famous for its trails and open spaces.  On my walk there are two trails and its so nice to walk on them. Cool and fragrant.

I'm glad I went.  I'm finally feeling good enough to do this, again.  It's time to lose this recovery weight. It's time to get my life back.  I think I'll take a break this evening, but I'll be out early in the morning, tomorrow.  One rep will soon turn into two.  And so on.

Until next time...

Walk like ya mean it.

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