Hoofin’

How are those 2010 diets coming? Anybody slip up yet? Eat something you weren’t suppose to? A piece of chocolate, a slice of pie, a buffalo?

Part of my regiment to lose weight includes jogging 3 to 4 days a week. Not all that much, just a couple of miles at a pop, every stride taken in the carefully controlled environment offered by the local health club. I didn’t always run on a treadmill, preferring the winding roads of my neighborhood and the open sky above. That was until… the incident.

The last time I ran outdoors was maybe 18 months ago. On that day I prepared to run right after work like I always do. If I sit down to watch television, or check e-mail, I can never get myself re-motivated to get back up and exercise. So I immediately slipped out of my work clothes and into a pair of shorts, socks, running shoes, sleeveless T-shirt and a rolled up bandanna tied around my forehead to keep the sweat out of my eyes. I strapped on my iPod shuffle loaded with a 67 song play list I appropriately entitled NITRO, and I was ready to go. On the way out the door, like I did every time I ran, I yelled to my wife “I’m going hoofin.” Her dead-pan reply would always be, “Don’t die!”

On that particular day I was feeling inspired. I’d been recently admiring the way another blogger observed the world around them, noticing the littlest things, however insignificant. So I made a mental note to open my eyes during my run and really take in what goes on in our neighborhood. Typically I’d just run with my head down, listen to the music and focus on the next few feet in front of me. Not that day. That day I was going to be alert!

So I’m starting my pre-run stretching and the first thing I notice is that my MP3 player is repeating the same song over and over. And it wasn’t one that was supposed to be on my play list. I tried to fidget with the controls to get a different song to play, to no avail. I had just recharged it that afternoon and must have screwed something up when I connected it to iTunes. I was faced with running for 30 minutes listening to the Eagles “Desperado”, or no tunes at all. Not exactly music to get your heart pumping, but I started the timer on my wristwatch and hit the road.

I had run for approximately 10 minutes and seen………absolutely nothing! I mean nothing that I would consider interesting. There was sprinklers watering lawns, dogs running along fences, some kids bouncing on a trampoline, but that’s it. I’m not sure what I expected to see, but I was starting to doubt my powers of perception. I was just about to give up and revert to concentrating on my running when I saw something just ahead of me. On the opposite side of the road in the driveway of a corner house was a couple having what appeared to be a heated argument. There were two cars parked in the driveway, a dark colored SUV and a little RX6, and the couple was situated between the two cars. They appeared young (high school junior/senior) and the girl was very animated. She was dressed in a cream color summer dress and her arms flailed around wildly, except when she was jabbing her finger in the boys face. The boy wore only a pair of bright orange swim trunks, and a sour look. As I approached I tried to hear their conversation, but with the Eagles blaring in my headphones I couldn’t make out what they were saying. The boy noticed me running by and gave me a sheepish look that said “Want to trade places?” The girl was too focused on vocally battering the young man to pay me any attention. I was reaching to pause my iPod, when I went down.

I had failed to notice the bags of grass that had been placed by the curb. My foot caught the first black bag, causing me to stumble and I did my best to keep myself upright, but the second and third bags did me in. I sprawled out in the street like a four year old girl learning to cartwheel for the first time. Luckily my fall was cushioned by the other half dozen bags piled there. I sat unmoving for a moment…taking in what had just happened…feeling the heat from the sun warmed pavement on my bottom…sweat running in my eyes because my bandana had come loose and was now cock-eyed on my head…listening to music in my headphones telling me “Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?” I looked up and the couple had stopped their arguing and was now staring at me. Not only were they staring at me, but it seemed like every resident on that block had suddenly appeared on their front lawn to see what the commotion was about. I gave the boy a sheepish look that said “Want to trade places?” Before you could say Glad Bag, I was up and running again.

When I returned home I went straight inside and into the shower, ignoring my wife’s questions about why I had apparently started raking leaves. Screw the post-stretch cool down!

Nowadays I do my running at an electronically determined pace while staring at ESPN sports highlights on the overhead television. It may not be “real” jogging, but at least it’s safe!

20 comments

  1. I have no regiment to lose weight, just keep off what I had lost already. Of course, if I manage to lose more weight in the process, all the better!

    I'd love to exercise outside (like take long, brisk walks), and it's during the winter that I wish I was living back in California. The weather in Dayton is a bit cold this time of year and I don't care to trudge through snow!

    I have been trying to get back into my routine at the gym. Mon & Wed I went to Step Aerobics class and on Tues & Thurs I worked out on the weights. I've been sorely lacking in all aspects and was resolved to start it back up again this week. So what happens - I get sick. I think they'd shoot me if I showed up at the gym with sniffles and sneezing. Plus, it just isn't smart to exercise while your body is trying to fix what's broken.

    So maybe next week I can get back into the swing of things. I kind of miss the routine I had before (before the holidays). Good luck on your running (that is something I just never could get the hang of).

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  2. I haven't started back with the weights yet. I'm building up my cardio first, then in a couple weeks I'll start pushing metal around.

    No pain...no gain!

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  3. I have to laugh, but I can understand. I prefer the safe environment, too. I have a quarter mile long driveway (on a hill no less) that I could run up and down, but being gravel, I don't think so. No turned ankles for me. So I just dance around the living room where no one can see me instead.

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  5. Great little story - good thing you didn't get hurt! Sometimes while observing what's going on around us, we miss what's under our feet :)

    Confession time from my side: I ate a shwarma last night while out with friends - defying many of my 2010 resolution diet rules!!

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  6. Jaleh~
    Dancing in my living room would be like running an obstacle course. LOL.

    Observer~
    Tsk...tsk...tsk. But that's okay, is there a road in the world without a bump in it?

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  7. Okay, that sucks. I wonder what the arguement was about. I would have rather been you though in that scenario. Really, I would have rather been the garbage bags...

    I'm glad you're okay and back in the safety of your home. It could have been disaterous.

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  8. Excellent story! (In hindsight, of course.)

    And I start my exercise next week. I'm not looking forward to it. Like, at all.

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  9. G~
    *Grinning* I know what you meant.

    Elana~
    For me, dieting and exercise go hand in hand. I can't successfully do one without the other. And as we grow older our bodies become stubborn, so you have to be stubborn right back. There will be good days and bad days, but in the end its always worth it. Good luck!

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  10. disastrous.

    That's my final correction.
    I had a little brain fart...

    And I call myself a writer?

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  11. That's why I only walk outside and never ever jog!

    Today was the first day in the 50's and it was great to get outdoors for a stroll. Riding the bike indoors has been good, but it's nice to have a change of pace. My diet has been doing well, but I seem to be stuck on 10 pound loss.

    Tonight I'm treating myself to dinner out...one sake can't hurt, can it? Well, how about two???

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  12. Treating yourself every now and then is actually a good thing. Dieting is all about tricking your body, so if it's all hunkered down expecting to recieve a minimal amount of food and you spring a decent size meal on it, your body will actually give up weight easier. Just don't treat yourself every other day!

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  13. I am doing rather well, thanks. :) Great story, you really are a story teller - and the heart of the party!

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  14. Did somebody say PARTY??!!

    Thank you Suzette.

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  15. Laughing.
    You need to get back outside, think about all the hilarious stories you're missing out on!

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  16. Yeah...but all those stories seem to happen to me.

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  17. Oh my! I also run on a treadmill, but that's just so I can run in the winter. You won the Happy award over on my blog: http://www.tianalei.com/ Sorry that it's so pink, since you're a guy :)

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  18. WOW...Thank you Tiana! An actual award. A HAPPY one at that. I'm all about the HAPPY. I love HAPPY! Even if it is pink.

    *Proud Smile*

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