Monday, September 17, 2007
Crisp Morning Air, Fresh Cow Manure and Chest Pain
Since the start of school this year, I've had big plans. After being on Weight Watchers for several weeks now and having a total loss so far of approximately 20 pounds, I decided I should start to... you know... exercise. Or something. I knew that I should start with a new pair of sneakers because, well, I didn't have any. Oh, ok, I had some, but they are the "lawn mowing" sneakers and they are an eternal shade of poopy green and they smell. So, I took my birthday gift card for Target (thank you E & K!) and grabbed some sporty new kicks. Step 1 was complete. Today was the kick off of "walking after the bus leaves exercise routine". Miles is always up for a complimentary ride in his stroller; he likes to point and shout out instructions while snacking on various foods and putting his feet up on his cup holder tray. It was a brisk (ok, fricken cold) New England morning so I actually had to scrounge up a real had for Miles to wear that would cover his ears, and grabbed myself a sweatshirt and hit the pavement. In an effort for a fresh, new version of a regular old walk, I decided to go UP the hill that winds into rural cow country at an alarmingly steep rate. I had big ideas that Miles and I would stroll past the farms, cows and horses would come to the fence and greet us, giving Miles a fantastic childhood memory, while affording me a good bout of calorie-burning. I headed up the hill and immediately knew that I had underestimated the work it would be. I'd gotten about six or seven houses up and felt my breath labor and sweat broke out on my brow. Wow, I knew that I was not in peak physical condition, but this hill was STEEP. I am really huffing and puffing now, determined not to look too ridiculous pushing the carriage up a hill at 90 degrees (because, it really looks silly!) and hoping I'd be able to catch my breath soon. Five minutes later, my glasses are useless as they have fogged over with cold sweat, my breathing is still labored, and my little Miles is yelling at me to go faster. Alas, I make it to the first cow farm. I use this as an excuse to halt the stroller to a quick stop, rip my sweatshirt off and wipe my face with it and start mopping the fog off my glasses, all while panting to Miles to "look, honey, see the cute cows having their breakfast?" Then, the smell hit me. Fresh, pungent, awful cow manure. It curled into my nostrils, making my nose hairs singe and I swear I was puffing away so hard, I could actually TASTE it. Forcing down the urge to vomit, I put myself together and we continue on our walk. Next we saw a horse. Or, was it a pony? Perhaps a mule? I swear to goodness, I could not tell. You say, it's obvious which is which, but this must've been some crossbreed or something, because it was just indistinguishable. We left it at saying goodbye to "pony-horsey". Next, more cows, but in a dewy field several yards back, so no over-powering stink here. At this point I'm starting to feel under control now and thinking it's not so bad and I figured we should turn back now before Miles' nose gets any runnier. Past the cows frolicking in the field (well, not frolicking really), past the pony-horsey, past the stink factory and finally to the newly named "Death Hill". It was *almost* as bad going down as it was going up. I had a frantic, tense feeling that both the stroller and I could go careening down the hill out of control in an alarming painful fashion. My knees strained, my back was aching, and finally, mercifully, we reached our driveway. Miles popped out of the stroller with an urgent need to find dirt to drive his vehicles in, while I plopped down in the hammock and closed my eyes for a moment. Was that the vision I'd had of our walk? Nope. But... did I die on the side of the road? Nope. Did I suffer an asthma attack or heart failure in front of Stinky Farm? Nope. All in all, a success. Here's to more crisp autumn morning walks in the country.