I have a gym membership, but it’s basically a waste of money. If I have to get up in the morning, don attractive workout clothes, do my hair and get in the car to go work out, it doesn’t happen. What I can do is this. Fall out of bed, crawl into my sweats, brush my teeth and stumble out to the sidewalk where my neighbors are waiting for me to go walking. I don’t have to look cute, because it’s usually dark, and even if it isn’t they don’t notice me because they’re in too much of a daze from having just fallen out of their own beds.
Our motto is, walk to eat. Translation – if we walk in the morning, we can eat donuts in the afternoon. We’re all chocolate fiends, and have oft lamented the fact that the Dunford Donut factory which makes melt in your mouth Chocolate Chocolate – not a typo – donuts, doesn’t open earlier in the morning. We could make that our destination. I have it from a reliable source (Chocoholics Anonymous) that donut calories don’t count if you walk to the bakery and back.
All joking aside, we walk to stay in shape, both physically and mentally. My doctor was pleasantly surprised by my low heart rate last visit. Let me guess, she said, you must be a walker. My therapist on the other hand . . . doesn’t exist. Our walking hour is basically a free space, where anyone can talk, or vent about anything they want.
In the past 20 years we’ve discussed everything from the Middle East crises, to the problems in our own back yards. We’ve promised to tell each other if we are becoming old and cranky, and to stick up for each other in the event of scandal.
Have you ever noticed how the news media always finds the most dilapidated area of a home to stand in front of when reporting a juicy bit of humiliation. My walking buddies have promised to direct Maury Povich away from any shredded window screens, dead trees or hanging gates. “She’s always been such a nice person,” they’re instructed to say, “I can’t believe she robbed the donut truck.”
If I went to the gym, these are the things I’d miss out on: the great stories, the laughter, the tears – joyful and otherwise. I’d miss the shared dreams, and heartfelt hugs on difficult days. And I’d definitely miss out on the exercise, because I’m far too lazy to walk by myself.
Now that I think about it, even if discovered that walking wasn’t doing me an ounce of good physically, I’d still be out there. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Thanks ladies.