Honestly, I don't think I could keep doing my morning hike and exercise if I didn't have little obsessive tricks to keep me going.
Every morning--well at least five days a week--I follow this routine. It gives me a certain sense of accomplishment--or maybe just smugness.
1. I start early. It's essential if I don't want to collapse in the heat and puddle into a little pool of melted ambition. Besides, if I start early I can see doves and hear them--cooing high on steel gray lines against the pinkish sky.
2. I walk to the courthouse--about a mile away. listening to music, and occasionally--by certain houses--slowing down to pray.
3. I always admire the courthouse--especially the clock tower. If you look closely you can see a spiral stairway inside. One day I want to climb it...just to be able to say I've been inside the clock, rather like the Mt. Everest experience of a small town, sedentary soul.
4. I climb these stairs--10 times. Evens are diagonal, odds straight up and down, threes and sevens I climb backward--
using a whole new set of muscles I assure you.
5. When I get to the gym, I head for that circle of dragons
and exercise on each one--usually fifty times--
sixty if I'm ambitious, forty if I'm exhausted already.
Then I weigh, drink a glass of water and leave.
(yes, in that order. Why jeopardize my hopes and dreams by weighing that extra glass of water?)
6. If I have gained weight, I punish myself
by climbing these ghetto-looking stairs.
7. If I have lost weight, I reward myself by
strolling around this fountain.
(Every little psychological trick helps, ok?)
8. As I pass by the other side of the courthouse,
I run stairs again. Of course there had to be a
matching set on the East side. These are sunnier.
Lively music helps.
9. I walk home quickly. Sometimes Carina calls
and we talk on the phone.
It's the next best thing to walking with someone.
10. Slapping mosquitoes: There are several deadly passages through mosquito ambush points like this one. I've found that while speaking softly doesn't do anything to remedy the situation, carrying a stick helps. Originally, I started carrying one to ward off annoying dogs, but it works well as a swisher.
11. Saying hi to Melvin and his dog, Pistol Pete.
Melvin is 84 years old, and has lived in this
county all his life, so, really, he's a fixture,
like the courthouse. I encounter him at the
end of the walk just as I return home to
drink a cup of coffee and catch up on facebook.