Started writing this one on Dark Meadow and realized it totally belongs here instead.
So I’m participating in a workshop that is partly sponsored by my doctor’s office. With the simple name of “Living Healthy,” it’s a 6-week course started at Stanford that shows how by creating action plans for yourself, and tackling projects one piece at a time, you can accomplish more and improve your health in the process. It’s actually designed more for old farts, folks like my mom who live with chronic pain, aren’t aging as gracefully as the magazines make it look, and need ways to cope with the daily trials of life. But as a person with depression, cyclothymia, and arthritis, for starters, I quickly realized I could adapt what I was learning to fit my life and help me cope with those around me in similar situations.
After texting with a fellow classmate last night and recognizing that this week’s action plan was off to a slow start for both of us, I determined this morning to get my ass up and moving. The plan this week for me is simple: 30 minutes of walking, 3 days. Ridiculously doable. But after blowing it off 2 days in a row, I woke this morning after a bit of a lie-in and knew I had to move. Didn’t want to do the track, so I’d just walk 15 minutes up the road, turn around, walk back. First thing.
The good news is the heavy equipment noise I’ve been hearing in the background outside the last 2 days was likely the county, clearing both sides of the road as a winter prep. The bad news is I still really have no business walking much on our road, because it’s just too sketchy, safety-wise; it’s a main thoroughfare (which is funny to say, because we are definitely rural, but it is a main road) with a speed limit of 45 mph at least, no sidewalks, and choppy terrain on the sides. It’s a good workout, if you can keep from being clipped by a car.
I started out and the first stretch is fine, the air cool, high 40s. Trash isn’t bad on this road, but I really should carry a plastic bag with me when I walk it. I think about finding a side road to turn off on, but the closest one is one I’m familiar with and I’m not in the mood for a heavy climb. I pass a rental development of mobile homes and soon after, spot a dirty needle on the side of the road. A sad reminder to keep an eye peeled on your neighbors…they’re down the road quite a ways, but still, there’s a lot of meth heads in these backwoods. I amuse myself thinking about whether or not those folks choose rental developments based on their proximity to fire houses, just to hedge their bets. Reems Creek Fire Station is only another mile down the road.
I find a side road that doesn’t have no trespassing signs and turn off. A lot of the rental developments around here have them, mainly for solicitors, I’m sure, though given the possibility of what I was just discussing last paragraph….anyway, the way seems friendly, no “keep out” signage, so I wend my way up a gradual hill, where it turns to a newer development of damn nice houses. I realize it’s a development on the edges of the local golf club, trying to make money on its proximity. The houses are huge, prob start at $250K on less than an acre, catering to single-family folks making a decent living. The hill gets much steeper, but I try to hoof it and get about 2/3rds up before my timer goes off, signaling the end of 15 minutes.
My gratitude at being able to turn around and go down is quickly squelched by the fact that downhill is actually harder for my knees. I have iliotibial band syndrome on my left knee; the pain is sharp and causes me to limp. I take it slow, and figure out that straightening my leg is better than moving the joint. I make it down the hill. Lesson learned. That hill will be an awesome workout, once I’ve done some strength work on my knees. Not before.
I make my way toward home, thinking about not much of anything, how fresh and beautiful it is outside, wondering what they’re building on the Brigman property area, wondering what they’re building on the wildlife club property. I can hear and see heavy equipment through the trees. Hope it’s not residential development. More likely just private folks doing improvements.
I reach home feeling fantastic. Grab a shower, plow through the dishes, make myself breakfast. All that movement has my knees screaming by the time I sit down to eat, so I slather both with Arnicare (call it a homeopathic version of Ben Gay). It does the trick and I get to work, heh, well, except for writing this blog post.
Would I have walked this morning if Kristin hadn’t texted me the night before? Not sure….and that bugs me, because I know how much better I feel when I get exercise and eat right, so what the heck causes such bad behavior? I mean, I REALLY know now….the best thing I could have done for myself was the Whole 30 back in June, because it taught me how very much better I could feel if I took the proper steps. I’ve been plateaued in a weird place ever since. My portion control has gotten better, with Chipotle being the exception mostly, but my knees have been back to angry for months and that’s ridiculous.
These past couple of weeks have been sketchy food-wise. I went through a phase of baking sweets, and more recently breads, until I realized the sugar and white flour ain’t helping me one bit. We’re so tapped for cash right now though, that I’m making whatever I can from scratch to keep us from feeling too deprived. But it’s also had me figuring out how to adjust certain areas of my diet, experiment a bit. Most of these experiments have been bleak failures, but my mindset is definitely adapting. Ran out of potatoes, add brown rice instead. Found a decent roll recipe for sandwiches. Eating a lot of eggs. Starting to crave vegetables, now that the crispers are completely empty. Damn good things to be craving.