"Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night." -Margo Channing

The Longest Mile

This morning I decided to test “Stage 2” of my 2-month weight loss plan, which is walking two miles a day instead of one. One mile first thing in the morning, one mile before bedtime. Unfortunately, things didn’t go well. I’m still experiencing severe back pain early in the morning. I mistakenly thought by going ahead with the walk that the pain would subside, but instead it became worse. About a third of the way through the lap, my back began spasming every five or so steps. Each time it does that, my knees buckle and I get the sensation that I’m falling. I am always able to catch myself before falling down, but the strain on my knees and hips is immense. Halfway through the lap I deeply regretted not bringing my cell phone, as I would have definitely called Susan and begged for a ride home. With no other alternative but to continue walking, I did so. My average time around the mile the last couple of days has been 27 minutes — this morning, it took over 35. I’d still like to continue with my plan as I think it’s a good way to start the day, but I think tomorrow I’ll get up, take a few pain killers and wait for them to kick in before heading out the door.

That being said, walking early in the morning is much different than walking at night. The first thing I noticed this morning was the birds! They were everywhere, loudly chirping and singing. Another thing I noticed was all the litter in my neighborhood. At night in the dark everything looks pretty clean; in the morning sun, you can see every piece of trash alongside the road. For the first time I also saw other walkers and joggers out and about. Most of them were hot young ladies out jogging, and I kind of chuckled when I thought to myself that to someone who’s into physical fitness, there is no more repulsive being to run into than myself. I’ll bet I inspired them all to burn a few extra calories this morning. The other thing I noticed is people backing out of their driveways. I would never have imagined that many people leave for work at 5:30am. Two or three times I had to wait for people backing out of their driveway. In the future I’ll spend less time watching the other joggers and more time looking for reverse tail lights.

I forgot to mention, the reason I could hear the birds this morning was because I dropped my MP3 player the other day and destroyed it. I paid $100 for it used over a year ago so I wasn’t too torn up about it — after all, I see the death of old hardware as an excuse to upgrade! Over the past couple of days I began looking at iPods, but unfortunately the current generation of MP3 players have added LCD screens and now cost more because they play video. I don’t need a video player. If I’m on the road, I’ll watch videos in the car or on my laptop. The new 30 gig iPod runs $300 and plays both music and videos. After checking around, I went with a Creative Nomad Jukebox Zen Xtra, which has more hard drive space (40 gig vs. 30 gig) and was half the price ($149), but doesn’t play videos (which I’m okay with). My phone plays videos, my GP32 plays videos, I even have software for my Gameboy Advance to play videos. Not once have I ever even sorta kinda wanted to watch a video on any of those devices. Maybe I’m getting old but I’m missing the point of that technology.

And by the way, 40 gig of music (at approximately 1 meg per minute) is 40,000 minutes or 666.67 hours of music.

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