Posts Tagged ‘walk’

I’m an Addict!

I never thought it was possible, but I have become addicted to walking my favorite trail!

Not that anyone who has walked my favorite trail would blame me, because it is a spectacular trail. But the part about … me … addicted … to walking … that is what is hard to believe.

Now, my beast … she has always been addicted to walking! When she doesn’t go for a walk, she looks depressed, and gives us guilt-laden looks that no human can duplicate! And when she does go for a walk, she is the picture of contentment!

Life has become simply too busy this week to walk my trail … the trail I have been walking at least three times a week … for months! It has now been six days since I last walked it, and there is no available time in the foreseeable three days! And I think I am gonna lose it!

Tonight hubby and I were supposed to be removing sod on a piece of land that we planned to build our brick patio (hubby got an amazing deal on landscape bricks, from a neighbor … weeks … months … hum, years ago. So, we decided that indeed we could do this task … ourselves. And the time was now. But, I digress). But, the sod remover was very heavy, and we live on top of a hill, so getting it to the upper backyard … not so easy peasie. Then the sod remover was not too easy to figure out how to get it to actually cut the sod.

All that to say, words were said, (under our breath), looks were exchanged, frustrations were elevated, declarations of wanting to sell this massive property (in exchange for a brand new, comes with a property management company, condo) by me were made, tears burned in my eyes … and a quiet evening was had by all! And really, all because I haven’t (WE haven’t) been going for regular walks.

All I really had wanted to do was walk my favorite trail … (and it probably would have been better for all around me!).

This walk on the trail has become my leavening agent … like yeast or baking powder. If I mix it into my week in a well-proportioned way, the rest of my week rises and falls in balance. If, on the other hand, I do not take the time to add the leavening power of my walks to my week, the week ends up with the qualities of a hockey puck … hard, flat, and dangerous.

Truly, it could be said that I have turned a corner in my philosophy of life and living. For me, on this voyage of attaining better health, better living is finally becoming part of my daily fiber. Now, I miss my walks, like I once would have missed chocolate (oh, chocolate, I remember you. Dark, creamy, mouth-watering, satisfying, chocolate … chocolate bars, chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream, and oh, my personal favorite, homemade chocolate sauce …  I  a m  s o  w e a k  …, and, I digress … again).

Walking now feels, not just good, but right. And that is a core change in how I think. I now recognize that going for those walks is not so much about how burning all those calories enables me to then eat more (a girl has to have her ‘rewards’ 🙂 ), but that going for those walks makes me feel better, think better, choose better, LIVE better (and squeeze into some of those clothes that have been gather dust in my closet for years).

So, today, I think something else is just gonna have to go. Now, what could go? Dusting, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms … hum, if I don’t do those three things, I would have enough time to walk! AND, I have three kids … so if they each ‘get’ to do one of those jobs, I can walk, AND come home to a clean house! And they get a more mentally stable mother (they have no idea just how this could benefit them).

Seriously, just thinking about walking makes my thinking so much more clear!

Now, where are those walking shoes? And my beast? And yes, even my hubby (who I am talking to, and is talking to me again … thanks to a couple of great guys who came over to the rescue of our sod, our marriage, and our sanity).

Time for a walk … it does a body, mind and soul good!


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A beautiful, sunny and warm Saturday … life just couldn’t get much better! Except maybe, if it included a long walk on my favorite trail …

So, before 9am, while fully enjoying my morning brew, I did a life-on the edge thing … I attempted to engage hubby in morning conversation (I am a morning person … Hubby … not so much). And, it went something like this …

“It’s a great day for a walk.”

“Um, hum.” (still staring at laptop screen) “When do you want to go?”

“Well, I’ll give you two options, and you choose the one that works best for you. We could go, say in an hour (I was pretty certain this would not be his choice … but it would have been mine). Or, if we went at four, we could do the two hour walk, and you would only miss the first hour of the game (okay, I did make this suggestion hoping his love of hockey would triumph over his not being a morning person, and he would choose door number one. After all it was game two of the NHL finals! What self-respecting Canadian would CHOOSE to miss the first half of that game? And, I digress …).

“Well, I honestly don’t want to go in an hour, so 4:00 sounds good for me.”

… there just are no words …

So, I spent the morning working 😦  in my PJ’s (wondering what I was thinking when I said I’d be willing to work on a big project with another lady … ), and hubby spent the morning doing odd jobs (did I mention that the sun was shining, as though it was summer, while we were working?). As the afternoon was wearing on, I was seeing that hubby was not happy with his progress on his ‘to do’ list. This caused me to fear that our walk was in danger of cancellation. So, I kindly, gently, pleasantly reminded hubby that it was 2:00. Then I asked, “are you still in for a walk?” His response was affirmative … I was doubtful.

His disappointingly slow progress continued … as the minutes ticked by.

Until almost 4:00, when I was sure that my highlight of the day, was doomed. This time I sat hubby down, and assured him that I would not be offended if he chose to not go for a walk with me, but that I wasn’t so keen on waiting much longer to go. And he said, he just needed fifteen minutes more …

So we drove, with our beast, to hit the trail! We walked for about 38 minutes, then turned around to head back. Just after turning back, (definitely after the hockey game began), my hubby did the unspeakable …

He turned the game on …on his phone … so he could hear it!

I love our walks …

I love the peacefulness of them …

I love the escape they provide from noises …

I love the wonder they bring to my day …

And he was playing the game … loudly …

… there just are no words …

Wonder …. LOST!

As the volcano within me was building to a near-cataclysmic point, I decided to just be forthright and tell it like I saw it …

“Um, how about you walk ahead … way ahead.”

“Are you in pain?” Says ‘sensitive, new age hubby.’

“Only my ears … ”

Silence …

(PS: I made him aware that he would pay for his faux pas, publicly … debt now paid, hubby )

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The Walking Stripper

Hello, my name is Carole, and I am a stripper.

(now you say, ‘hello Carole’)

But, it is true. And the stage I strip on? It’s the pathway I walk. Now, don’t head to my local trail to see if it is true? (if you know what I look like, this will make you NEVER walk that trail again). I am a seasonal stripper … winter, spring and fall. And I am only a stripper under certain cool weather conditions (the monsoons of the Wet West Coast).

So, here is my repertoire …

I hate to be cold when I walk, and, as I’ve been aging I feel cold whenever I start a walk. So, I wear layers. There’s the under layer (the ‘unmentionables’), followed by a long sleeved breathable shirt, followed by a hoody, followed by a water-proof jacket, followed by a toque, followed by mitts or gloves. And that pretty much covers it … or me.

When I start walking I am cold. It doesn’t seem to matter what the temperature is, when I start out, I am cold. So, I am wearing all my duds, and am zippered up as high as the zipper will zip. And, I usually tuck my hands up, into the sleeves of my jacket.

After about 10-15 minutes, I am feeling my blood flowing! So my hands emerge from my sleeves, and my zipper get unzipped, but only a respectable amount … I don’t want to be thought of a some kind of loose, hussy, walking stripper.

Now, if it is raining I am limited to how much I can strip. After all the water-proof jacket is my only protection against the dreaded wet. But, if it is simply cool out, my whole attire has the possibility of being eliminated.

So the mitts get pocketed … as cold as my hands can be, they also warm up to toasty at a pretty quick speed. The toque gets pocketed at the same time … I do admit to rarely wearing the toque (as I am a ‘head sweater’), but thought it added to the story 🙂

After about 20-30 minutes of walking I am fully warmed up! My muscles have given up and started to work (without stiffness, pain, and crying out for mercy). It is now time to remove the jacket, and tie it firmly around my waist. Then the zipper on the hoody falls to that respectable place (just above my cleavage, well that’s what is was before I got old … now it’s more like the great divide … but I digress).

It doesn’t take long before I am over-heating again (this phase usually makes me think of mid-life hot flashes … and hope that a cure is discovered before they actually affect me). So, feeling less respectable, the hoody zipper gets lowered below ‘the girls’ (the ‘great divide’ is experiencing flooding with all this increase in body temperature).

By now, I am at the halfway point of my walk, and am sure I am leaving the sweat equivalent of a trail of breadcrumbs. So, as my beast is squatting to release her excess fluids, off goes the hoody! And, along with my water-proof jacket, it gets tied around my waste.

Now, despite all my stripping, I am a sweaty mess! And, I now look like a pack mule!

Definitely not what you think of when you hear the word stripper!

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Ya gotta play this song while reading this one … mood is so important!

No, seriously, play the video … it will put you into my brain … (and what an adventure that could be).

Everything was perfect! The sun was shining (a May miracle, after something like 26 days of rain in April), the temperature was just right, my beast was eager to go (she’s always eager to ‘go’), and not one bone or muscle in my body was turning on me. This was the day that I was going to conquer the Fort to Fort Trail … all of it … alone (despite the bear signs).

I smiled for the entire event (except when slow walking dog owners wanted to lollygag and let our dogs sniff and lick … they slowed me down), even at people who didn’t want to smile or exchange sunny pleasantries (seriously people, if the sun is shining in the Lower Mainland, we have something to smile about ).

There is something positively WRONG, with gray haired folks whose faces look like the prunes they ate for breakfast … wait! Maybe that is it … they forgot to eat their prunes! Anyway, there is no excuse for wearing your grumpy pants when you are old … heck, the way I feel at my semi-archaic age, if I can even get out of my bed, when my head is gray, I’ll be smiling. Wait, thanks to advances in hair color … I will never be gray … I love this reality! But I digress ….

So, it was a glorious day, and it was full of wonder (beyond my not having to call for an ambulance or a UHaul to carry my sorry butt home).When my walk began I simply marveled at the beauty of the sun, the sky, the beautiful houses along the Bedford Channel, the chirping birds, the rapidly blossoming trees and bushes.

Then at one point, a smile crossed my face, as I saw a trail of dandelions along the path, as a child might leave them as a reminder of which way to go when returning from a adventure … pure WONDER! Who has not, as a child, done that? Or watched, as your own child leaves such a trail? And it is not something that the child has to be taught to do, they just do it because it comes natural to their lovely little minds. It is beautiful, it is imagination, it is wonder … personified! Really it is amazing the delight I was taking in that trail of dandelions, considering how I seek their demise on my (moss covered) lawn.

Not long after that … another little wonder … a cute, fluffy, little brown bunny sitting on the side of the path … not for long though, as my beast noticed it too, and the only wonder going through her mind was which part to eat first! (at this point I was regretting that the girls and I had been teaching her tricks with … marshmallow … bunnies … she LOVES marshmallows, and the bunny ones were on sale, post Easter … now I felt the only trick she had really learned was that bunnies taste good). Again, I digress!

There were other moments of wonder too. The birds singing … I think they were the ones from Cinderella, definitely not the ones from Shrek, although, if I were to sing TO them … (this, my singing, could be a future blog entry) I also saw one robin, so heavy with the weight of her babies, she could barely fly over me.

Spring and wonder … they just go together!

And all of these beauties, all of the ‘awe’ in God’s creation ushered me through the trails, as I sweat, heart-racing, lungs pumping to my goal. After two hours, and (according to my pedometer ‘app’) about 7km, I had done it! I conquered the Fort to Fort, all alone.

Well alone, minus the beast, the nice people along the way (and the grumpy ones), the bunny, the birds, the dandelions … okay, not so alone.

I did my Rocky Balboa dance (thus the music I forced you to play in the beginning … you could … play it again, Sam). I grinned even bigger than before. And I REALLY needed a shower!

So, creation full of wonder, next stop, the Grouse Grind … and, again, my prayer will be … ‘please no bears’.

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It wasn’t my fault … really!

Like a good girl (can I still call myself a girl, while hiding gray hairs under regular highlighting treatments?), I packed a poo bag into my hoody pocket, before heading out on a walk on the trail with my beast. But, something so unexpected, so terrible happened …

The day started out so perfectly! The sun was shining (a miracle really, as the monsoons and cooler April weather, had gone on for over a week straight), there was fresh snow on the mountains (cooler weather and monsoons down here equal fresh snow up there), it was cool (but not so cool that I needed my toque), the beast was excited (she’s a dog, she’s always excited to walk … well, except during the monsoons … we are kindred spirits!), and I was ready for a brisk exercise (so I could burn calories, and, therefore, eat more later).

And off we went. I walked the regular distance in record time! (probably had something to do with the fact that my beast, literally, pulls me up the hills … I love her!)

Then, about three quarters of the walk done, she starts pulling to the side (where the grass was). So, I loosen the leash so as to allow her the freedom to find her perfect ‘port-a-potty’ site.

She squats.

I put my hand in my pocket to retrieve ‘poo bag’.

I frowned.

I put my hand, further into my pocket (there was no ‘further’).


Panic set in.

Dog is still squatting.

I hear voices, in the distance, coming closer.

I break into a cold sweat.

What will I do … with the poo?!

I yank the leash attached to squatting beast.

No poo on the ground.

I sigh, relief!

We walk for almost twenty minutes more. The beast in distress with each step (remember she had been in squatting position, so, she is now spending 20mins. ‘turtling’ … you know how a turtle’s head moves in and out … enough said).

We reach the van. I grab another poo bag out of the glove compartment (I think of it more as a catch all compartment). I take beast to fresh, green, lush grass.

Beast sniffs grass.

Beast looks up at me.

I say, “poo beast”.

Beast looks up at me.

Beast sits on fresh, green, lush grass.

Crises averted!

20 Hours Later …

Beast finally poos, in our backyard …

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I said I wouldn’t do it, but I did.

I thought I would hate it, but I didn’t.

What a great walk in the sun I had with the beast yesterday, AND I didn’t get eaten by a bear! (see my previous blog if this makes no sense to you). The sun was bright and warm, the path was littered with friendly people, and I could walk at my own pace.

At my own pace … walking alone.

Walking alone I was able to set my own pace 🙂 . I didn’t have to deal with my hubby’s excessive speed …

Oh boy, I suppose I need to fess up about the excessive speed issue. This is where I could use a 12 Step program, because, you see, I am innately, wholly, aggressively competitive. When we walk together hubby does start the walk at speeds that could be clocked at Nascar. But, once my joints are loosened up (numb enough that I feel nothing anymore) the monster within me takes over. This monster cannot be led anywhere! It is a strong-willed, arrogant, Type A personality within me that has, not a need for speed, but a need to be in the lead!

Sometimes, while hubby and I are a-walkin’ and a-talkin’ I even hear voices from the monster within! ‘Carole, he’s gaining on you; Carole, don’t let him pass you; Carole, you are stronger, move your keester.’ It is very distressing! But, alas, I have digressed yet again.

Walking alone, there was an absence of the monster within, there was no competition. I could try to compete with my beast, but, lets face it, she’s got the endurance of a race horse. Even my monster within knows better than to try to out-walk a 55lb., 6-year old canine. So, without hubby, I didn’t get as far down the trail, as when he is there.

Walking alone, my joints didn’t cry out to Jesus for relief in the first 15 minutes of the walk.

Walking alone, I had the opportunity to see and drank in the beauty around me. When you are walking like a race car, there is no journey, only destination.

Walking alone, I had to buy my own blended ‘Naked Juice’ drink after the walk!

Walking alone, I had to ‘scoop the poop’ … wait a minute, nothing has changed here!

And that is where this two-part entry began … walking alone. It was a day of contrasts. There were good differences and bad, walking alone. But, with hubby or alone, the path remains the same. The bends are still there, the hills are still there, the shady trees are still there (the stinky outhouse is still there). What changes is my experience of the path.

I hope that the experience of walking alone will help me to see afresh how wonder-filled this path is.

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For weeks my husband’s been on a big ‘get and live healthier’ kick, I’ve been on more of a ‘get and live healthier’ … foot tap. He’s had stupendous success with weight loss, and I … I can now button my pants without first laying on the bed. He celebrated his success by increasing the minutes of walking he was doing, daily. I celebrated my success by going to a movie … not because of the movie, but because I wanted theater popcorn with REAL BUTTER, but, I digress.

After over 21 years of marriage, my significant other (who is getting less ‘significant’ with each walk) has walked with me more in the past three months than in the over twenty-one years before! And, it is now me who is walking with him! AND I often am trying to catch up! We have experienced true role-reversal in the area of walking, and, I don’t know if I like it. But, again, I digress.

When going for a walk, our usual P. O. A. (Plan Of Action) is to park, saddle up the beast, start the stopwatch app. on hubby’s phone, and head out. There is NEVER any stretching, and our warm-up only occurs when my knee is sore and I ‘suggest’ that we have a slow start. When this happens I can read hubby’s O. C. P. (Obsessive Compulsive Personality) non-verbal thoughts … “man, that means we won’t get as far on the path; could I ‘fudge’ what the stopwatch says?; this will seriously affect my results; the dog is so much easier to manage than ‘she’ is.” Okay, anyone who knows my husband (and his disdain for the dog) knows he would definitely not think the last thought! So we head out, at Mario Andretti speed, ready to plow over anyone, and anything in our way, because the goal is to get it done, and get it done fast!

So, we walk together quite often, and there is a particular trail that we love. It is safe, populated and beautiful. But it is a little … wilderness-y. And, although I love the great outdoors, I have a problem with places where there are ‘bear alert’ signs. I do not like wilderness-y that is fast enough, big enough and hungry enough to eat me! So, I have been content to only walk this trail with hubby.

The problem is, he left town. So I was left with a dilemma, I am now a ‘habitual’ walker, and can’t just stop because he’s not here, but … my fear of being eaten is huge! So, my plan was that I would walk a local track (knee pain keeps me off of concrete and asphalt). It too is safe, populated and, if you look beyond the track, beautiful! Problem solved! Until this morning, when my beast, Shiloh, looked up at me with her puppy dog eyes, non-verbally communicating that she NEEDED to go for a walk, in the sun, today! What’s a non-wilderness-y girl to do?

I’ll update you later 😉 … if the bears don’t get me!



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