I am in serious pain. In the pursuit of fitness, weight loss and all things unattainable, I have been doing a lot of exercising lately. Oh, but not just any old exercising. I'm not just doing jumping jacks in the living room. No, I'm doing walking. And bike riding. I'm out with nature.
I'm an idiot.
I've known for sometime that weight loss and fitness were not within my reach unless I had help. And since I refuse to audition for Biggest Loser or Survivor, I had to find help close to home. So I asked a friend to help me. This friend is a doctor, so she should know what she's doing, and she does. She's also a fit person who takes exercise seriously. She suggested I start out with walking, so we've been walking together.
Now I have to say, she doesn't get her exercise with me. She goes running at other times during the day. When she's with me, I walk as fast as I can. To keep up with me, she saunters. I'm drenched in sweat when we're through. She looks fresh as anything. It's really not fair. But she does keep me walking.
Because of our schedules, we only get to walk together two or three times a week. The other days I'm supposed to do some sort of exercise on my own. That doesn't always happen.
Until this week.
My problem started because I'm married to Indiana Jones. If you think that's fun, imagine what it feels like to be the child of Indiana Jones. He takes our boys snorkeling and diving, shooting, fishing, shrimping, tubing. You name it, they've done it. So think like my children for a moment--when they're with Dad, they're doing fun stuff. When they're with Mom, they're usually grocery shopping or cleaning house. It's not much of a comparison. I don't mean to imply that I'm always working and he's always playing. My husband works harder than almost any person I know. But when he plays, he plays big.
So I wanted to do something fun with the boys. The path that my friend and I walk is also used for bikes, and it occurred to me that I could take the boys bike riding. How fun would that be on a great path through the woods!! So Tuesday after I got off work, we loaded all five bikes into the van and headed off. When we got to the hiking/biking trail, we hauled all the bikes out and took off. It was a lot of fun! Following that trail on a bike didn't take nearly as long as walking it did.
But there was a problem.
The day before, we had walked a little over four miles. Halfway through our bike ride, my legs started protesting this unusual abuse. I was a little concerned about making it back to the van, and I knew I needed a rest. So we stopped at Big Tree State Park and walked our bikes to the point where we could see America's largest cypress tree. (The reason for the name of the park, obviously.) The boys were properly impressed, and while they were examining the tree, I got to sit and give my legs a rest on a bench nearby. Then we hopped on our bikes and headed back to the van. We biked about five miles on Tuesday, and the boys absolutely loved it. For once I was the fun parent!
I didn't have time to exercise on Wednesday between work and church, but yesterday my friend and I went walking again. I didn't think anything of it because I wasn't sore or anything. I could handle this. Except for a couple of problems. We're having record heat these days in Florida. Yesterday it was 94 degrees. Plus, we went to a different part of the trail. My friend wanted to show me a longer area I might want to use the next time the boys and I go bike riding. That area wasn't as shady. We hadn't been walking long when the abused muscles in my legs started screaming. I ignored them because I figured "walk it off". Isn't that where that phrase came from?
I did start walking slower and slower. I couldn't help it. I felt like I was walking on two very tightly wound rubber bands. There was a spring in my step, all right, but it wasn't natural and it wasn't pretty. When I explained my problem, my friend showed me some stretches to do to help the tightness. They did help some, and I was able to walk our four miles.
And now I'm dead. I woke up in pain during the night. Every muscle below my waist is permanently and unnaturally wound tight and will not let go. I walk like a spring loaded toy and again, it is not a pretty sight.
There better be a skinner and healthier me at the other end of this torture, or someone's going to die.
The boys are asking when we can do something again. I wonder if I can interest them in a shopping trip for our quality time.