Do you enjoy exercise? I’ve never liked the idea of it, myself. Which is why, when I was complaining recently that I was having trouble dragging myself to the gym — it’s so far and it takes so long to change, etcetera, my friend Sarah said, “Well, you could just walk.”
So I haven’t been exercising recently. Instead, I’ve been going for a walk. The amazing thing is, I’ve walked more days in the past two weeks than I went to the gym in the previous month. And I’ve actually enjoyed it. I can get down the very steep hill, around the Silver Lake reservoir and back home in about 50 minutes. Once I made it in 45 minutes.
Instead of the dreaded “prancing machine” as we call the elliptical trainer, I’ve been using the hill where I live — or this nearby stairmaster:
One Long Staircase Just Going Down….. and One Even Longer Going UP!
The other great thing about walking is seeing the neighborhood – people, trees, dogs, of course (we live by the dog park) and also cool houses in the hills’ side streets that remind me of Berkeley, some prized migratory herons, an occasional coyote and cool street art.
This was the sign that made my day Wednesday morning, as I rounded the corner just after the sun decided to stay up for the morning:
I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for the dragon and other unexpected sights and characters. The whole enterprise of healthy movement just became a lot more fun. Hope you are able to take a moment to explore your neighborhood on foot. Sometimes, rather than do the reservoir circuit, I just set the timer and walk any direction for 25 minutes and then come back, trying to get home a little quicker. (Which is tough, as it’s uphill from everywhere to get back.)
I’ve finally realized that I will accept exercise if it’s part of something else (dancing, for example, usually works. Or kayaking, which is adventure you can do sitting down!) It’s a little like hiding the broccoli and squash in with a bit of chicken-sausage in the spaghetti sauce. And why not? If I flavor my exercise with local adventure, I’m not only moving my body but my mind. I still miss friends in far away places I consider more “home” than LA. But this city is starting to grow on me.
After all, here there be dragons!