Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oh, Sweet Lord, there are hills!

Ok, so yesterday, in an effort to be a little more healthful, I decided to begin the only sunny day this week with a walk.  Last Thursday, my husband and I discovered a new walking trail downtown that follows the river.  It's beautiful as well as useful, the perfect place for a little exercise.  We'd originally gone to check it out to see if our polka-dot of a dog could handle it, so we didn't walk very far; just enough to see what the deal was.  Looked like the deal was pretty sweet so we left, promising to go back another day.

So here I go, at 9 am, in 35 degree weather, heading out to trek through the woods.  I was a bit ambitious, telling my hubby that I was going to walk all 5 miles.  He laughed, which I found a little insulting, but that only served to give me a belly full of steel resolve.  I had every intention of making him eat his words.  Crow makes for a filling breakfast.

At this point, I feel I must point out that being a paranormal / murder mystery writer can be hazardous to one's life in several ways, not the least of which is the ability to imagine horror around every corner or, in this case, around every tree.  It only took me about 2 minutes of the 6 minute drive to imagine all the horrible things that could happen to a woman, walking through the woods on a winding, deserted trail all by herself.  So, in an effort to cover all my bases, I called my husband from the parking lot at the river walk and gave him the make, model and license plate of every other car in the lot.  I also reminded him that if I went missing not to forget he could track me via my cell phone's GPS.  Again, he laughed.  After such a rocky start, it's a wonder I even got out of the car, but I did.  I don't quit that easily.  Besides, I only quit on Mondays and Thursdays.  Lucky for me, yesterday was a Tuesday. 

After the first half mile, when I realized that I might not get hit over the head and dragged into the woods, I relaxed into the walk a bit more.  It was beautiful, energizing and I felt skinnier within five minutes.  But then I came upon this hill.  Not a big hill, but enough to intimidate my thighs and make me winded.  Still, I didn't turn back.  I'm not a total wuss.  I mean, it's not like it was a mountain or anything.  I just kept walking, albeit a bit more skeptically than when I'd begun.

A few short minutes later, I came upon another hill, this one a little steeper.  Now, after walking briskly for about 3/4 of a mile, anything more than a 30 degree incline had become a challenge.  I marched on, though.  A little less vigorously, I'll admit, but I still kept going.  What I didn't know is that apparently the 3/4 mile mark is when the landscapers had begun feeding the hills steroids.

By the time I made it to the 1.5 mile marker sign, I nearly cried.  If I'd had the energy, I'd have turned tail and run, but as walking was becoming a chore, I knew that running was not an option.  So, with my husband's laughter ringing in my ears, I headed back the way I'd come, dreading each hill that loomed between me and the salvation of my car.

By the time I got back to the lot, some 50 minutes after I'd left, I was pretty sure I was limping, though I can't be sure since I couldn't feel my legs.  When I sat down behind the steering wheel of my car, I hesitated before starting the engine, wondering exactly how much control one had to have over one's muscles in order to be able to hit the brakes.

Throwing caution to the wind, I started the car and backed out.  I knew of only one cure for such torturous athleticism, something sure to put a spring back in my step:  fast food.  I could only hope that a shocking amount of buttery biscuit and deep fried pork flesh could undo to my heart and blood vessels what that traipse through nature had managed to accomplish.

On the way out, I called my husband to let him know I was alive (though not entirely sure I was in one piece).  His laughter at my measly 3 miles was all it took to convince me that I didn't need to stop for a bag full of greasy goodies.  Somehow, his amusement triggered a moment of bizarrely unreasonable rationale, during which I thought I'd show him . . . by not eating fast food.  I don't know what kind of sickness had invaded my brain at that moment --probably that nasty fresh air-- but I ended up going home to nurse my wounds in private, fast food-less.

Later, I was concerned that my body, deprived of the one thing it had always found comfort in (fast food), would not be able to adequately rebound the next day, so it is with great pride that I report that I got out of bed this morning, under my own steam.  I didn't require any outside intervention to move my legs. 

So, folks, that's how I started my Hump Day, screaming, "Hallelujah!  I can walk!"  And then I had waffles:)
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