The walk that almost wasn’t….

Is it sad that the pride I feel towards myself for walking today is almost as fulfilling as the pride I felt when my children took their first steps? Let’s get this straight.. I am not an athletics enthusiast. I have several friends who are very committed to their daily/weekly routines, and I have been invited by several of them to join in with their walks/runs/gym cardio blasts/zumbas/etc…

It has never been a challenge for me to find an excuse not to partake. As I have made very clear to several friends… unless there is a man with an axe right behind me, you won’t see me running anywhere. If I really want to be honest.. group activities of any nature are not my thing. I am a reclusive anti-social hermit. I did once agree to a zumba class.. but that is a nightmare that deserves it’s own story, and maybe I will write it someday, but not today. Today I am writing about the walk I went on this morning. To those social butterflies who are both socially and athletically gifted, this may seem like a rather non-story. Hell, to the average normal sane person, this may seem like a non-story. I fall into NONE of the previously listed categories. The idea of going for a walk is great in theory, but in reality.. it is a terrifying event to me. I really don’t know how to explain the reasoning behind it, but I know for a fact that I am not alone in this feeling, so this story is really more for those of you ladies who already understand my feelings, no explanation needed.

As soon as I committed to this walk (yesterday afternoon), I was sure that if nothing else, I would come away from it with plenty of blogging fodder. That was of course assuming I survived said walk. To say that I am out of shape is an understatement. I can become rather winded just from a good game of “Where are my keys?” or “Help, the jar lid is stuck!”

I guess I should explain WHY I even agreed to this walk in the first place. My mother has been suffering a torrent of health issues lately. They just seem to be piling on, one after the other for her. Not thrilled with the outcome of the million and one prescriptions the doctors have her on, I am convinced her health would be better served by a lifestyle change. Last month my mother and I made an agreement. For the entire month of January, I would drive across town every day and she and I would work out together. In addition, she must also follow the strict diet and nutrition plan I have arranged for her. If after one month she is not feeling at least better than when we started, then she can quit and go back to living/eating however she wants. If I am right, and she does feel better after the lifestyle change, then she must maintain the changes after the month is over. To be able to do this, I am having to make several changes in my own life as well. There is a husband and children and 8 (yes 8) dogs at home for me to consider. Then there is also my education. If I am going to be driving 30-45 minutes across town every day for this, it is going to require some changes in my schedules. I am obviously going to have to postpone this next semester of school (save for a few courses I managed to get online) and I will have to make arrangements with regards to the kids school and extracurricular activities, which is going to require some help from my husband and his work schedule being altered. In addition to the time element of this commitment, there is also the physical aspect to consider. How can I possibly expect to coach my mother into a healthy and fit lifestyle, if I am not even living one myself? Enter the invitation to walk….

My friend Sarah and I have agreed to meet at 8:30 this morning for our walk. I set my alarm for 7 am. I don’t know why I do this, because never in recallable history have I been able to sleep in until 7 am, but I guess I still optimistically hold out hope. By 5 am, I am awake and making a pot of coffee. Perhaps it is the anxiety I feel about the walk, perhaps it is the Sonic food from the previous night… but something has got my stomach all twisted up. Of course it would figure that on the morning I am to go walk, my stomach decides this is the day to start what can only be described as a game of dodgeball with my lower intestines. My first thought is to text Sarah and bail on our walk. My second thought is to stop being a little bitch and stick to my commitment. The second thought won out, and coffee was accompanied by a handful of pills. God bless you makers of extra strength Excedrin!

When my alarm finally does go off at 7 am, I am dressed, fed (oatmeal) and drugged up for my walk. I considered pouring some hot coffee into a togo cup, but decide against it, instead opting for a bottle of Vitamin Water. Though I do love my Vitamin Water, this choice was not made out of health consciousness. I drink an insane amount of coffee daily. So much so, that I have had several people comment on it and question, with great concern in their eyes, my addiction to it. It happens so often now, that I have begun to hide my coffee addiction from others the way an alcoholic might hide their flask of whiskey. So Vitamin Water it is.

Despite all my anxiety, fear and apprehension about the walk, I’m afraid the story actually becomes rather non-eventful from this point on. I was sure that within 5 minutes of the walk, I would be panting ridiculously from Sarah’s back as she carried me home, but instead we became so caught up in conversation that the time flew by. When we returned to my house, I actually felt great and almost wanted to continue walking…almost. I’m sure that if I had attempted this walk solo, I would have made it as far as the mailbox before my legs decided to go on strike. I very much expected to endure the usual symptoms that even a quick tour of the grocery store can lead to, such as burning and itching of my calves and thighs, cramps in my sides, a red face and a look of pure terror in my eyes as I am convinced my heart is about to explode. None of that happened. I am actually really glad that I went on that walk this morning and am actually looking forward to doing it again. Maybe we can even make a regular thing of it. Maybe getting into shape, or at least a better shape than I am now, won’t be so hard or agonizing. Am I ready for a 5K run or another round of Zumba? Hells Noes! But could I see myself making a weekly event of this ‘walking’ thing? Maybe I could. 🙂

** Now if only my ATT U-Verse internet would stay up long enough for me to post this!! Seriously ATT… all week with this spotty internet! Get it together! ARGH!!!….. End rant. **

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