I’m on my almost daily jaunt.
I walk to warm up then jog a little and then speed up for thirty yards or so and then rest by walking then jogging and running again. I race up a special hill a time or two or three over my 30-minute walk and run.
I do this because moments of going all out for the last ten to fifteen yards of running build stronger and healthier lungs and heart. Alternating one’s exertion is called interval training and is based on regular occasions of forced deep breathing (after sprinting for example) which build strength and can keep one in better health. This paragraph is based on science and tested by experience.
We all know the outdoors is a wonderful pleasure: a place which better enables us to sense our place in and our connection to the universe. I think of the hugeness of the space above my head, and for all practical purposes, the space goes on for an eternity of forevers. Making me invisible in comparison. I feel my invisibleness to the rest of the universe. It makes me feel safe as a bacteria might feel. I feel my extreme smallness makes a tiny blink of time for the universe into a lifetime for me.
The grass is brown this time of year and the green and brown of the pines make a splendid sight. I sense the DNA all around me is just another version my own. I shiver sometimes when I think about it. It’s a wonder I can even know about DNA. What an age we are living in. In the length of one lifetime, we have moved from a semi-darkness into the freedom electricity brings.
There’s usually trash on the sides of the heavily traveled connecting road I live on. About once a week I take a plastic grocery bag with me to haul in the trash on the way home.
Here comes another “CAUTION Children at Play” sign. I wave to folks raking pine straw and they wave back. The folks on this street are used to me and I start jogging.
I come to the area most distant from home. It’s a choice street because coming into it, there’s a sign that warns “No Outlet.” So usually it’s only people who live in the twenty-or-so homes who drive on the street, so it works out there’s rarely any fumes.
I head down the steep hill. At the bottom I go around a manhole cover and I walk quickly up half of the fifty-five-yard hill then, on the balls of my feet, I jog and then run trying not to stop until I reach another manhole cover that’s a few yards past the hill’s crest. I slow down to a walk and I’m puffing. I feel pretty good for a seventy-seven year old.
I recover for about fifty more yards and turn around and down to the bottom of the hill I go again and then one more time to the bottom and I pull out my plastic bag and I keep running and walking up and out of the community on my way home. I’m already anticipating my next outing.
If we treasure our health, we exercise our animal part. It’s the best thing we can do to keep our transport in good working condition.
We all know what the doc says:
The best prescription is regular exercise.
Then healthy food.