Some days my walk is a pleasant thing, although I never saunter and always walk hard and fast. But when I have the energy, when I feel good, it's an excellent thing to find my strength, to enjoy the fact that I still have the muscles, the heart, to do this thing I do.
And then there are days like today when there is no pleasure in it at all. It is an effort composed of mixed and perhaps equal parts of determination, perspiration, and pain. Nothing more, nothing less. Not one damn step is a mindless one, each one instead, an exercise in an of itself in nothing more than sheer will.
I have said many times that the reason I walk for exercise is because I can't decide to quit in the middle of it. There is no cab to call in the woods in Lloyd and I never think to bring my cell phone with me anyway. I walk alone, listening to my books on tape and I can't bear the thought of walking with anyone else. I would have to match my pace to theirs and this cannot be done the way I walk. I try to start out reasonably slowly, move on and end strong.
Today I started out slowly and moved on and picked up the pace but every shady part called me to want to stop but there is no stopping because if I did, there might be a toppling over. Momentum must be maintained at all costs.
The last two blocks were the worst, even though they were shady, and my goal, the post office, was in sight. I don't even remember passing the yard where the dogs are kept and the smell of dog shit is overpowering. I believe I may have experienced an out-of-body situation in order to keep on going.
Really. It was that hard. And I have no idea why.
Oh. Who knows? And what does it matter? I am no athlete who tracks and records diet and sleep and minutes and miles. I just do what I do and it either goes easily or it goes with difficulty but the important part is that it goes. That I do it. Because exercising the will is as important, I think, as exercising the body. I am not looking for the perfect body and I am in no competition with anyone but I know truly and surely that in order to be able to keep up with this life I have, I have to maintain a certain level of fitness. To work in my yard and garden and more importantly, to be able to keep up with my grandson now and with a new baby coming later.
Of course, that's the theory. In reality if I had to take care of a child right now in the state I'm in after my walk this morning, I'd probably die.
I have this fantasy of being 89 years old or so, and tending Owen's children. I will sit in a rocking chair with my feet up and I will scream at the children in my trembley old lady voice.
"You kids get off those stairs! Don't make your great-granny get out of this rocking chair! If I have to get out of this chair I'm going to show you my titties! Don't make me unbutton this shirt!"
That will horrify them into submission, I'm sure.
And then I'll make them go cut switches so I can switch their little butts but of course I won't switch their butts. I'll grab them up and hug them to my withered old bosom and smother them with love and kisses and then tell them to go fix me another gin and tonic after which I'll hobble outside with them and let them chase the chickens with their switches and I'll cackle. Yes! I will cackle!
Who knows? Not me.
Here's all I really know right now at this second:
I am so glad that walk is over.
And I may not move again all day long.
Now be good, y'all. Or I might show you my titties.
And you really don't want to see them.
Love...Your Aging Friend, Ms. Moon