The only consistent exercise that I have gotten throughout my weight loss and fitness journey has been walking. Currently, I average 5 miles a day and my route is generally the same, give or take.
I walk in my local park and the scenery changes with the seasons. Right now, it looks like this:
The path I take winds around this small fishing pond to an area where furry critters used to make their home in a dam of some sort. Unfortunately, when the town obtained a large grant a while back, they used it to improve the fishing ponds, which destroyed the habitat that the critters lived in. It used to look like this...
For the record, the critters were not beavers. I prefer to believe that they are otters but must grudgingly admit that they were probably muskrats; I know, ewww.
But, the scenery was pretty, and it is a shame that the habitat is now gone.
This is still the first area where I am dive-bombed by mud swallows who are protective of their nest, however, so; not all the natural habitats were affected. I have yet to actually see the nest, however, because I hustle my ass through this section; mud swallows are mean mutha-fuckers and they will cut you.
Anyway, assuming I emerge from this area with my head intact, I start up the first of two hills.
It might not look like much but it is more than adequate to get my heart pumping, my thighs and hamstrings screaming and my nose running (always in this area, must be something I'm allergic to there). Once I climb the hill, the ground levels out for a brief time before leading up to the second hill...
Which used to make me want to puke. You know, before I got tough. Then, since what goes up must come down; I make the decent.
But, not before checking out the view...
Once I get to the bottom of the hill, I follow the trail around the park, where I am able to see both hills that I have just climbed..
They seem larger when I am climbing them. The rest of the walk around the park takes me into a nicely shaded area...
Before depositing me back at the small pond where I started.
This is also the second location in which mud swallows attempt to decapitate me.
I make this loop three times. Sometimes I get crazy and do it backwards, which is just as challenging, given the way the hills are laid out. When I combine the park section of my walk with the walk to and from my house, I get a really good workout and, after doing it consistently for a period of time, my thighs jiggle slightly less.
I also get the added bonus of getting to listen to junk music on my iPod and of having a quiet hour to myself, during which I usually over-think the minor problems in my life. Happily, by the time I get home, I am too tired to think anymore, so, walking has lots of hidden benefits.
And that's it. Thanks for taking a walk with me.