I am not an athletic person. I don't find great enjoyment in moving my limbs for the sake of moving my limbs. Scaling rocks to get a better look at the ocean? I am all over that. There's an immediate payoff there. But I have trouble seeing far enough into the future to think "All I have to do is swing my arms around this way for this length of time everyday and eventually I will have greater stamina and my upper arms will look less like uncooked pork loin." I may know that it's true, but my brain has trouble believing it. Also? I get bored. Easily.
However, while I was hauling my pork loin arms up a mountain in Montana, I realized that something had to change. What if there was a zombie attack and I had to run for my life? I would be the first to perish. The trouble is, I cannot afford to join a gym. My brother suggested running. I hate running. Hate it with a fury that no amount of peppy pump-up-the-volume movie montage music can tame.
So I mused on it all the way back across the country, and I came to a conclusion. I have two things going for me: this critter (who has the stamina of Captain America and never, ever tires), and a 3-mile trail conveniently located across the street from my house.
And, I mean, it's no Montana, but it's not a bad-looking trail. It looks a lot prettier on the map because you can't see the 12-foot-tall deer exclusion fence that surrounds the park, but the trail parts are tree-lined and sheltered, and the neighborhood parts are pretty and generally free of traffic. Also, it's very hilly, which, I think while sitting on my big ol' butt in my parents' comfortable house, is even better. That opinion changes once I've dragged said butt out and am attempting to move it up what my mother so aptly calls "Heartbreak Hill." By then, I'm miserable, and every step I take serves as a rhythm to back my internal refrain of "Never doing this again. Never doing this again."
And yet, for some reason, the next morning I hit my snooze button three times, wash my face, feed the dog, and then head out for the same dang walk. I'm not sure what that says about me, but I hope it's good.