Thursday, September 20, 2012
Missing Skills, Tired Bones and Morning Walks
My wife, myself and Stubeechka, the three-legged wonder dog, have taken up walking every morning over to Mary's Park across the road from our dooryard. Stubeechka was recuperating from cancer surgery, my wife was trying to find muscles gone missing for several years, and me, well I was just along for the company.
When we started back in mid July, our pace was just barely faster than stopped. My wife could not complete the 1/2 mile loop without stopping to catch her breath. Being numb-er than a hammer, Stubby would dash back and forth. She was so weak she would collapse after one loop like she had been runnin deer all day. Now over 50 walks later, my wife moves at a good clip and even after two laps , she's barely breathing hard. Stubby is back to her old self - bouncing around and happy as if she had a brain.
Besides the obvious health benefits of at least bringing some tone to the muscles, what really matters is we are hooked. My wife is already agonizing over where we will walk once the expected blanket of snow covers up the trails. For that matter so am I. Stubby, well, I am sure she is not contemplating what is going to happen in the next five minutes, never mind what might be going on two months down the road. Regardless, I am sure she will miss our walks over to Mary's Park.
Minimal conversation passed between my wife and I those first few walks. The only sounds, two geezers wheezing and the occasional twig snapping to pass the time. Once our bodies had worked through the trauma of switching from Off mode to On, we might actually talk. This morning my wife said, "When I started this walking thing I had hopes of losing weight."
I grunted in a way that told her I was listening but if the conversation was going to continue, she had to provide a follow up.
"But ya know, I feel way better and that's more important than the weight."
To which I replied, "Uh Huh." Some silence followed and then I said, "Yeah, I lost another ten pounds this summer, but seemed to have plateaued again. But yeah, I feel way better also. Guess I need to ride more if I want to lose any more."
Her reply, "Uh Huh..........It'sdedicating more time that gets in the way. I'm too damn busy to give up more time."
Me, well, I could scrape together some more time to exercise, but my wife definitely would have to search harder. That woman puts in 16 hours a day for her accounting business. Hardest working person I know.
This conversation stuck with me. I considered the annual punishment I put myself through every Spring to aquaint my body with the notion of exercise. Losing the winter layers runs a distant second to dealing with the discomfort of kicking aging muscles and bones back into gear. But every Spring I remember my mother and how she caved and gave up. That becomes my stimulus to push through the pain. By May, I am usually very pleased I did it one more time.
While I sometimes regret not pushing harder, I realize that at least I am still pushing and I can live with that.