Oil Painting final, spring 2013
Oil Painting final, spring 2013
Woman with Braids
Woo! That’s huge.
Consider for a moment, if you will, that during this month 8 years ago I was fundamentally unable to walk. I had just moved from my two bedroom apartment into a one bedroom apartment with my kids and I was sleeping in the living room on the floor on a futon mattress near my piano. A real bed was out of the question. I was a single mom and I couldn’t walk, had to quit my job because I couldn’t sit in a chair, and I couldn’t sleep on a real mattress anyway, due to the pain factor. It took me crazy amounts of time to do simple things like roll over, and tears streamed down my face the whole time. My new bedfellow was chronic and intense pain, and he brought with him the flowers of depression. I gained a whole new respect for anyone who lives with chronic pain, and for people who know exactly how long it really is going to take to get from point A to point B. Point B being the bathroom, about 8 feet away.
Fast forward to 4 years later. When I moved to a new state, I was able to sit upright again and manage grocery shopping and I no longer needed help in order to get out of a car. Well, most of the time. I still had flair ups from time to time with sudden fire-y jet streams of agony tearing through my torso, but in general, I could walk short distances again. I still didn’t dare do things like balance on one foot and my toes might as well been on some other planet for all I could reach them. That sort of bending just didn’t exist. What I could do at that point was walk carefully to the library: 5 minutes there and 5 minutes back again. That was it. I was done for the day. Wiped out. Exhausted. In pain.
Little by little I discovered that the more I walked, the better my back did. When I started school after a year of that, I could walk one way to school in about half an hour. Both ways was too much, but I could go that far. (Just for reference: I can do that one mile walk today in 15 or 20 minutes.)
So……my long and rambling point is this. Do not look at the first 50 miles of this journey as something impossible to do. Look at the 5 minutes you can do right now and add that up with the next 5 minutes. THAT my friend, is how you get to Mordor.
So, it’s the beginning of the new fall term at school and today I walked:
30 minutes in the dark at 6:30 am
walk to school 1 mile
walk home for lunch 1 mile
walk back to school in a torrent of rain and of course I have no umbrella so I’m soaked – 1 mile
walk home again after class 1 mile
total: 5.76 miles
grand total: Just under 50 miles total
My boots are looking rough and I’ve only had them two weeks. I can see little squares on the bottoms from wear. Very soon I’m going to have to invest in tougher footwear. Fashion boots from Fred Meyer are losing ground very quickly.
One of the many things I do regularly is read like a fiend. I can’t help myself. I have more general curiosity than your average tabby and the library is one of my favorite things on earth. Free books, all you can read. Nuff Said. Here’s what’s on the top of the stack at the moment:
The New American Bible
The 4 hour work week by Timothy Ferris
Ignore Everybody and 39 other keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod
I’m not letting myself open another book, no matter how tempting, until I finish these last two. The first is on constant rotation and never leaves the stack.
So, rather than post every single time I set foot out the door, I figured I’d just give you a quick update. So far this week I have gone:
Friday: 1.88 miles
Saturday: 2.44 miles in the morning and 3.95 in the afternoon
Sunday: 5.04 miles in one swell foop before heading off to Mass
Monday: 5.51 miles this morning.
Pounds lost since the 13th: 3.8
Total Miles Covered So Far: 18.81
I think that puts me pretty close to the Buckleberry Ferry. The Hobbits obviously lost weight on this journey. I am sure as heck not cutting calories.
This morning’s adventure found me in a nature area. I decided to see how far I could go in one hour, then no matter where I ended up, it would be time to turn back. I was beebopping along through the woods when I came across an interesting feature in the trail. It was a 6 inch board that ran across a small ravine. That’s the road, man. I looked around. No one else has been going around this thing. That’s all foresty over there. Um. Ok. I crossed it and kept on going.
The next obstacle was a pretty steep rocky and depressive incline that I had to go down. Did I mention it rained this morning? And that fallen leaves are really a whole lot like mini surfboards for your feet? Oh yes. I sat down and scooted on my bottom rather than hurt myself by falling.
Obstacle number three involved a stream and a fallen tree-bridge. Yes. I walked carefully over it…….all 900 feet. Ok maybe it was only about 12. But still……
And then, it was time to turn around and head back. Neat. I haven a fallen tree bridge exactly an hour’s walk away from my front door.
Yesterday I was reading a post by one of my favorite writers, Steve Kamb. In case you do not know who this is, he’s the guy who runs an excellent resource for those of us looking to move forward in our constant quest of leveling up in life, also known as NerdFitness.com
Yesterday in my inbox, I found a beautiful link, one that both interested and challenged my imagination. I am easily entertained. I soon found real merit in the idea of Walking Like A Hobbit. Wait, what?
The idea is that I’m going to spend a lot of quality time using my feet for the task they were made to do. I downloaded a useful little app for my phone called Runkeeper to help me track my mileage, weight, goals and successes, and then I hit the bricks.
I figure anything that injects a little fun into a workout is worth at least a little consideration. This gave me amusement as well as a specific and measurable goal. I don’t care if LOTR is fictional. I’m going to walk to Mordor. I’ll keep you updated on my progress. On your mark…… get set…… GO!
Miles from Hobbiton to Mt. Doom: 1779
Miles I walked yesterday: 1.88
Miles I walked today: 6.39
Grand total of my adventure to destroy the ring: 8.27 miles walked
“……BTW, I’m walking to Mordor. The goal is 1779 miles. I figured that should destroy the evil ring around my middle…..” (a text to a friend)