I’ve never been athletic. I’m not being modest; it’s God’s own truth. In elementary school, when we played baseball at recess, I was always the last one picked, and the team that was stuck with me tried their very best not to look too disappointed. It was a Catholic school, after all, and we were taught that we are all God’s precious children. Some can just get a bat to meet the ball better than others.
As I moved through my school years, I never (ever) got a ball over the volleyball net in a serve in high school PE class. I was unsuccessful at dodging the dodgeball. I barely passed the golf class I chose as my mandatory PE selection in college, and I can thank my dad for my C- grade because he helped me fudge my scorecard in the final exam (which was a game of golf). I hope he didn’t get a few more years in purgatory as a result.
As an adult, for a while, I ran three miles a day, five days a week. I actually did that for a few years; however, I think it’s safe to say that I didn’t enjoy one single minute of one single run. I remember getting through the run by counting the steps by 50, knowing that each step I took was one step closer to being finished with that day’s run. I’m pretty sure I never felt that rush of adrenaline that everyone talks about getting about a mile or so into the run. For me, a mile or so into the run just had me sucking air.
I guess it’s safe to say that I just don’t like exercise.
And yet, I’m well aware that exercise is as important now as it was when I was 30 years old and pounding the pavement. I no longer exercise with any thought that it will help me lose weight. Since one’s metabolism slows down as one ages, I would have to run from Denver to Fort Collins to burn even a few calories. There are donut shops a lot closer than Fort Collins.
Yesterday morning, I gave myself a pep talk and managed to put on some yoga pants (that have never seen one yoga move), reached for my Nordic sticks, stuck my ear buds into my ears, cranked up Keith Urban, and walked two full miles. Woo-hoo. Still, it’s a start.
There is a trail in Denver that runs some 70 miles, meandering back and forth, winding around the metro area from Aurora to the north, down to somewhere in the neighborhoods of Highlands Ranch to the south. Parts of the trail are asphalt, parts of the trail are concrete, and parts of the trail are dirt. That’s where I walked this morning. The part of the trail on which I trod is dirt because, among its many uses, the rich people who live in Cherry Hills Village (the community through which this part of the trail winds) own horses. I’ve spent plenty of time on that part of the trail in my life, and I’ve never seen a single horse or even a single horse dropping, but it’s there just in case someone has the urge to trot Zorro to a polo match.
Every time I walk that trail, I am struck by how I can be literally in the middle of a major urban city, and yet it feels like I’m in the country. I took time from my rhythmic walking to John Cougar John Deere John 3:16 to shoot this photo…..
Not another soul — and certainly not a single horse — to be found on that beautiful spring morning.
Maybe that beautiful scenery will convince me to walk more regularly. But I assure you I still won’t like it.