Tag Archives: walking

Don’t try this at home

Last week, on one of my regular walking routes, I noticed that a row of houses under construction was very close to being finished – on the outside, at least. Sod had been laid, a few bushes had been planted, and the house exteriors looked good.

Except for the front doors. They didn’t look very good. They obviously needed painting.

Then, the next time I took a walk on that particular route, I saw a painting company van parked in front of those houses. Ah, I thought. They are going to paint the front doors. I wonder what colours they’ll use?

As I got closer, I suddenly understood HOW they were planning to paint the doors. They were planning to spray paint them. On the newly laid grass in front of each house. There were several sets of two large pails placed upside down on the grass, and a door had been laid on top of each set of two pails. The sides of each door, the handles, the locks, the windows and everything else that didn’t need to be painted were carefully masked.

Now, note what I haven’t mentioned here: no covering for the new grass. Apparently, these yahoo painters were going to spray paint the doors right on the grass, with absolutely no protection for the grass. Yes, I know that grass is pretty hardy stuff and although it looks awful when it’s got overspray all over it, grass is generally none for the worse and does come back quite healthily. Still … why would anyone do this??

Today I walked past those houses again. The newly painted doors of dark red, dark blue and dark green have been installed and look quite fabulous. But the grass? At this point, not so fabulous.

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And these guys got paid to do this??

Let’s get physical …

I’m not spending a whole lot of my time exercising lately. Okay, I gave up on running, but there’s still power walking, the machine circuit at the gym and Pilates. And there are seven days each week to fit those activities in.

Last week? I went to Pilates once. I went for two serious walks. That’s three sessions of exercise in seven days. Not good enough, not at my age and with my – uh – particular eating and drinking habits. No, I’m not a big fat lush who lays on the couch watching reality TV and stuffing my face with Cheezies and washing them down with the cheapest red wine in the liquor store. But I do have a wonky back that requires regular care and strengthening, and I do have a genetic predisposition to get a little chunky. Also, I’m not 25 any more, so I can’t get away with abusing my body like I used to.

Thing is, I was SOOOO good at building exercise into my daily life not that long ago. I packed my exercise clothes in my car most mornings and stopped at the gym for a workout before heading home at the end of the day. If I didn’t do that, as soon as my dinner digested in the evening, I threw my runners on my feet and headed out for a walk of at least 45 minutes, either solo or with DD. Some days I had the energy for both. Some evenings at home, I attempted real push-ups. I got a little better at them, but I never really got as good as I wanted to be. When I joined the Pilates class, I was thrilled to have more variety in my exercise regime, and looked forward to it every week. I worked very hard at the Pilates moves, and I’m pleased to say that I could tell that my body was getting stronger.

So what’s happened?

I still love Pilates and I still work hard at it. The problem there is the long layoff between sessions. We had five weeks off between the previous session and the one that started two weeks ago. That’s an awful long time. I lost a lot of the ability and strength that I had gained since starting Pilates classes back in September. And I don’t really know it well enough to feel competent doing some of the movements at home on my own. So I didn’t. So I’m back, not quite to square one, but maybe square three. Discouraging. But I’ll build myself up again – and lose everything again during the lengthy summer layoff, no doubt.

I haven’t tried doing push-ups for months now. I kinda forgot about them, to tell you the truth. I would still like to be able to do a couple of man push-ups. But I never will if I never try. I’ve got to get back on that. Tonight, maybe?

Walking is still something I enjoy, but life just seems to get in the way. It’s been a difficult year in some ways, what with work-related things like the BC teachers fight against the government and personal things like my mom’s recent stroke. More often than not, I simply don’t have the energy to do some power walking after a long day. Maybe now that the weather is getting warmer and it’s not dark out so early?

I don’t know how to deal with my gym, though. Doing the various machines is fine, once I actually get to the gym. The problem for me is that they’ve started offering more and more classes, like Zumba or “Tush and Tummy”. My gym is small, so whenever there is a class on, the machines are unavailable because the class is right in the middle of the room where the machines are. They seem to be scheduling the classes mostly at 4 or 4:30 in the afternoon, which is right about when I want to be there, working out. On the machines. At my own pace. I do not WANT to do Zumba or “Tush and Tummy”. I want to do the MACHINES. That is why I joined this gym: for the MACHINES. I can do an exercise class in a thousand different locations, and I do just that, in fact, once a week when I attend my Pilates class. My gym also has rather absurd hours: something like 7 am to 6 pm five days a week. Open till about noon on Saturdays. Closed on Sundays. Because I work, there are only certain times that I can actually get to the gym, and they are making it rather difficult for me now, with all these stupid classes. Added to this is the fact that I really do LIKE this gym. It’s small, the people who work there are friendly and funny, it’s conveniently located, it’s not terribly expensive. I don’t want to change gyms, but I may have to.

Or I can just turn into a big fat lush laying on the couch watching reality TV, stuffing my face with Cheezies and washing them down with the cheapest red wine in the liquor store.

Well, not tonight. I’m going out for a power walk now. See you in a hour!

Early much?

DD and I went for a walk last night just after 10 pm. It was actually a very nice night, despite being all November-ish. It had rained like a fury during the day – during the Remembrance Day ceremonies, of course – which had tapered off to wild winds in the afternoon, but the evening was calm. Warmish, even, for November.

There were lots of leaves to kick around as we walked. I love kicking leaves. I like the swishy, sometimes crunchy sound they make. I like watching them swirl up into the air. I even like that about-to-decay leafy smell that emanates from disturbed piles of leaves.

There wasn’t a lot of traffic, even as we approached our local shopping area. We were quite daring and didn’t push the walk buttons to cross the streets. Once, we crossed completely against a red light. I tell ya, my daughter and I live right on the ragged edge!

We walked around the shopping area. And there were Christmas lights everywhere. EVERYWHERE! Yes, they were pretty and sparkly and tasteful. But they were Christmas lights! And everywhere! On November 11! A full seven weeks and two days ahead of Christmas Day (yes, I counted)!

Lest we forget, indeed. But at least we made it past Halloween this year.