Saturday, April 18, 2009
I get it, really. I understand why people run on a cold day in the middle of a New England winter, or why some folks go to the gym every day. There is true satisfaction achieved when your body is working harder and giving you all that you ask from it. A few years ago I had a well-rounded exercise routine. I would work out at the gym 2 or 3 times per week, bike at least twice a week, walk or jog at the school track, push a lawn mower and rake leaves. It felt good to have a strong body.
These past four years, however, I have been in a slump. I am glued to a computer at work so I’ve developed what they used to call “secretarial spread”. I am mentally exhausted when I leave work and have a serious lack of energy. Besides that, my meals have been shameful.
So lately I’ve started eating lighter and cutting back on fats. I stay away from processed foods, preferring to prepare a quick stir-fry for dinner. No junk food is allowed in the house, so I have to really want something before going out to get it.
But the best part came yesterday. There’s a bike path about 20 miles from me, paved, with some small hills. To greet the first 70+ degree day of spring, I brought my bike to the path and took a 15 mile trip. How good it felt to push myself again.
My day job may pay the bills but this nourishes the soul. When I stopped to listen to a babbling stream, I saw a small woodpecker on a tree trunk barely 15 feet from me. He flew over my head before I could take his picture. There were cardinals, robins, sparrows, squirrels, and some frogs who were making a serious amount of noise. The wild greens and flowers were opening, adding sparks of color to the undergrowth.