Sunday, April 22, 2007

Can we talk?

Okay, so about this exercise thing. Didja hear about all that snow we got in April? Hmm? And about how April was especially cruel this year -- the coldest April in these parts in recorded memory? Yeah, we'll let's just say, we got about six extra weeks of couch-potato status, and my jeans are feeling the pinch, if ya know what I mean.

So today Starman and I walked to the top of the hill. If you know Harmony at all, it's not unreasonable to ask "which hill?" -- today it was the one with the neighbor's lookout, although we didn't go to the lookout itself this time. Sometimes our walk takes us up "Cat Hill," which is our name for the hill that ends at a T-junction with a house under which several cats live. The walk up Lookout Hill is a good cardio workout for me; I have to pause a couple times on the way up the big hill, and -- because it's near the end of the walk and I'm pooped -- a couple times up the less-steep hill back toward the house. However, this walk has the advantage of being there-and-back, meaning I can make it as long as I feel comfortable with. The Cat Hill walk is a loop -- and once you've done Cat Hill, which is less than halfway round, you might as well do the rest of the walk because it's less grueling to contemplate than turning around. That's the 2.6 mile walk. Lookout Hill is probably a minimum of 1.2 miles, and can go longer; I'm guessing today was 1.8 mile.

Our neighbors, Nina & Rudy, set off this morning bright and early (I don't think Starman & I were even officially "up" yet when we spied them), presumably to do the Cat Hill loop. I am so impressed with Nina & Rudy -- they are in their 70s (she might be a year or two shy, and for all I know, she's "67 and holding") and they are so physically fit and active for their age. They've just returned from Montana, where the rent a house from New Year's to the end of March and ski every weekday. There's a really excellent ski run there -- no frills, just lots of black diamond runs. Or so I'm told -- I don't think I will ever learn to ski downhill. Cross-country, maybe. But controlled falling as an exercise? No thank you!

I know I have to do this exercise, and I like doing it first thing in the morning -- it gets it out of the way, and it also allows me to be as indolent as I like afterwards. That worked in my old life in Philadelphia; I'd drive Stobex to work -- he's lost weight since he lost his convenient ride! -- then go along to FDR Park in South Philly. FDR Park has a nice, relatively level 1.6 mile loop around a lake and a wetland (the latter being the creative solution to a community pool that was leaking groundwater and couldn't easily be salvaged) with shorter and longer walks available. It was easy and quick to get to, and walkable virtually all year long.

Well, you know that bromide about "making it part of your routine"? It's true, damn it! Starman and I don't have a routine here. We don't get up at the same time every morning, for a start, and we tend to futz around with our e-mails and such before getting on to more productive activities. (In Starman's defence, his e-mails frequently are his productive activities; 99% of the orders, inquiries, and correspondence he gets about his software is via e-mail. I have no excuse.) He likes to walk after lunch, which is my least favorite time to walk.

I think the solution may be to do what we did today: walk in the late morning, before lunch and while it's not yet too hot. Of course, that may not work as the weather warms up. We'll see. But I just know one thing to be true for me at least: It's a lot easier to exercise when it's routine and habitual. So that's my goal.

And in other news, I have managed to read -- all the way through! -- several New Yorkers. Of course, on the walk it occurred to me that not only do I still have approximately 100 copies in reserve, but I also have ALL of the published New Yorker articles (about 70 years' worth) on CD-Rom. To I even have to tell you that this happy thought popped into my head as I was slogging up Lookout Hill?

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