Thursday, November 4, 2010

#271: Once Around the Ballpark, Jake

Fat Man Walking!

First lesson: I'm going to need to learn to run with a water bottle in my hand. Jake and I walked a mile today. It took us about 25 minutes, but that includes a pause to poop and a second one to pee. (Both stops were for Jake's comfort, but I appreciated the breather.) I left my teeth at home figuring that looking like an old goober was better than choking on them half way around the block and having to carry them home in my hand. Still, my mouth dried out very fast. I always knew spit was essential for baseball players, but who knew runners would need so much of it? I made a jug of Gatorade when I got home and am enjoying some now, before the teeth go back in.

It is a fantastic day to be outside. Sunny and 52 degrees. We had some rain yesterday, so the air has that sort of cool, autumn damp that can either refresh the spirit or transmit the first bad flu of the season. They insisted I get a flu shot right after my blood counts stabilized, so I'm feeling pretty cocky. There were a couple of spots where the leaves were just amazing. There's a hedge along one parking lot that looks as if someone painted it red. We didn't see many folks on our journey. Bo the old boxer woofed as we passed his yard. There were a couple of people raking, and we encountered one runner, but mostly Jake and I were on our own this afternoon. There is a baseball park very near our home, so we took a loop around the stadium and back to the house. Right now, Jake is passed out on the floor, looking like I dragged him behind a car. I'd say we both need to get more exercise.

My mind goes to such strange places when I walk or run. I almost always have a song in my head. The iPod isn't charged up, so I had to provide my own theme song. It might be a hymn or an old advertising jingle, or as happened today, one of those corny campfire songs that we sang in Boy Scouts. Don't know if you remember "Make America Proud of You" or not. I think my Dad must have taught it to me. He taught me most of the ones I remember. So that was my music. Jake snatched a lot of my attention. He doesn't spend nearly enough time on the leash, and we have done a pretty poor job of training him to walk along. He does a lot of stopping to check the "pee mail" and I do a lot of twitching on the leash to keep him moving. We'll get lots more practice in and maybe we'll both be able to enjoy our workout more in a couple weeks. I just kept reminding myself, "I'm walking to run. I'm running to live."

That's what really got this blog started. Till I started running, I didn't really have much to say. Mostly I pontificated on things I didn't really understand. When I started working out, I wanted to keep a record for myself. I also wanted to be accountable to someone, even if nobody but Mrs P and Mum ever read it. I guess I still write for the same reasons. I want somebody to know I'm not dead. Maybe that's why everybody writes, when you come down to it.

So, we made it home. More importantly, we made it out of the house to begin with. It took me a couple of hours to get up the gumption, but by dogs, we did it. I started the day by making a task list. I have a million things to take care of, and the list was pretty overwhelming. Mrs P was at work, so Jake and I sat down with our calendar and scheduled the next few days to try to spread all those "to do's" out into manageable chunks. Number one on the list was to take my walk. I stalled. I read Facebook. Checked old e-mails. Looked over the news. But somehow I knew that today was going to be the day. I wasn't avoiding it, I was getting revved up. I don't know if that distinction makes sense to anyone else, but it felt very different to me. The trick now is going to be doing it again.

I'm gonna hit the shower now, before Mrs P gets home. Jake and I both smell pretty ripe. Afraid he's on his own though. There isn't room in there for both of us.



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