I Hate It
Posted by lostcerebellum, Nov 29, 2008. 2398 views. ID = 2060
This post was written in 2 minutes.
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I hate it. Oh, how I hate it!
Walking for exercise is such a drag.
When I was young, walking was fun. Everything was an adventure back then. Everything was new. There was a world out there to be explored, and it seemed filled with woods and mountains and lakes and streams and animals, and who knew what else. The world is smaller and less mysterious now, and hiking is a lot more like work.
It doesn’t help either that I tramped the woods then, but now trek the asphalt.
The scenery gets boring when you pound the highway. Roads stay pretty much the same day after day. I suppose I could take my MP3 player and headphones along to spice up the walk a bit, but that increases the odds of some speeding vehicle turning me into the subject of a newspaper article.
Staying on the roads is something I have to do. Bad as streets are, the woods are worse. I just didn’t realize that when I was a youngster. I believed the government propaganda about how safe the forest was.
I liked the government and believed that, when it spoke, I was hearing the truth. Talk of being naïve! The specific instance of government-speak I am referring to here came from the government of Maine, otherwise known as Vacationland.
In my youth, we were constantly bombarded with radio spots aimed at city slickers who got lost in the woods. They shouldn’t have been there in the first place, but that’s another story. Apparently, the good folks in Augusta didn’t want these disoriented people to get hysterical and die in a panic, (we much prefer that they die quietly), so there were constant radio ads telling people that, if they got lost, “Remember, nothing in the Maine woods will hurt you”. Now, I know that this probably wasn’t an outright lie, but government doesn’t always straight out lie to us; it also deals in half-lies, which are usually referred to as half-truths. This would probably have to be classified as one of those. If you want the whole truth, talk to my wife. Her rendition is, “Remember, nothing in the Maine woods will hurt you -- as long as you stay out of the woods.” There’s far more truth and wisdom in her version.
Admittedly, it has been some time since I’ve heard that ad. Perhaps it’s because I don’t listen to the radio much anymore. Or maybe the government doesn’t broadcast it, because they’ve gotten more honest. What am I saying? Strike that last thought.
Anyway, now that I've gotten older, I not only don’t believe everything I hear from the government, but have gotten so that I take almost nothing from them at face value. For instance, I now know that there are THINGS out in the woods, and some of those things are hungry. That’s not to mention other hazards, like rabies, and black flies, and mosquitoes with West Nile virus, and ticks with Lime disease, and who knows what other dangers lurking out there.
That isn’t really why I don’t walk in the woods though. When you get to be my age, you realize that exercise is as likely to kill you as it is to make you fit. If you die from a heart attack in the woods, your body may never be found. Or it may be a long time before anyone finds you. So, boring as it is, you walk the roads, so that, if you do drop, at least someone driving by might notice you, and your relatives will get to bury you without spending months worrying about what might have happened to you or your body.
But life needs spice, and variety is the spice of life, so I decided to do something to keep from getting bored to death. I bought a bike. A twenty-one-speed mountain bike. And not just any old bike either. A Raleigh M-30 to be exact. For those of you who don’t know anything about biking, we’re talking about serious machinery here. Top of the line stuff. For those of you who are into bicycling and are up on this subject, just stay out of this. Give me a break and mind your own business. After all, this site is called Fifteen Minutes of FICTION.
I figured that interspersing bike riding with walking should make exercise more interesting. So I got all set up -- lights, speed and mileage computer, helmet, gloves. Ready to go. Not only that, the blue, silver, and black of the helmet were a perfect match for the colors of my bike. My wife got the camera out and took a photo. I must say, it makes a striking picture—the helmet, the bike, my big pot belly.
Good- bye walking! Hello change of scenery and variety in exercise!
But there was a snag in all these plans.
When I decided to take my new bike for a ride, as I backed out of the shed, I forgot to watch where I was going. I fell down the steps, hitting the ground hard with head and backside. It’s a good thing I had already put my helmet on, because I smacked my head with enough force that I lay there stunned for awhile. I really hate to think what would have happened without the helmet, which was split in half from the impact. Not only that, I slipped between the steps as I fell, and came within millimeters (that’s something like inches, just a little smaller and a little less understandable) of snapping my leg, but fortunately just did a good job of skinning my shin. The most damage was done to my posterior. My sacrum took a severe pounding when it hit.
It was a while before I got up. I finally decided that my head seemed okay, but then spent a considerable amount of time getting my leg out from where it was wedged between the steps. It had gotten pretty well wedged in. But eventually I freed myself, staggered to my feet, and hobbled into the house for some recuperation time.
All in all, it could have been worse. Nothing got broken except the helmet. However, due to the severe bruising of my sacrum, I have been unable to ride my bike. So much for the variety in exercise I was looking for. In fact, there goes exercise, period. For two months now I have hardly been able walk at all, so I sure haven’t been walking for exercise.
I hate it. Oh, how I hate it!Copyright 2008 lostcerebellum. All rights reserved. FifteenMinutesOfFiction.com has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.
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