Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking" - Friedrich Nietzsche. Let's hope, eh?

Of all the different exercises that I have tried in the last 5 weeks, it's entirely ironic that the one that I am most challenged with is...wait for it...walking.  

Me and my ankularly challenged friends in NOLA.
Having said that, I did sprain my ankle this past autumn while in New Orleans simply by walking to breakfast down a cobbled street.  And, on Stéphane and my 5th anniversary I suffered a wobble on a deceptively flat section of flooring which turned me ass-over-teakettle in the middle of the restaurant.  Instead of my shoe breaking, my bone did.  Not only do I regard walking with a certain degree of skepticism, but it is obviously downright dangerous for me!

Five weeks ago, I could hardly stomp out 20 minutes on the treadmill at zero incline...yesterday, I walked the continuous runway for 50 minutes at a 5% gradient.  This is due in part to my joining the Crystal Fools...the Crystal Pool & Fitness Centre's Run/Walk Clinic for the Times Colonist 10K.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I was invited by Douglas Anderson to participate, and 3 weeks ago I went to my first session.  Eventually, I will run...for now, I'm walking.

They had already been training for 3 weeks when I arrived one Wednesday night, Doug welcomed me into the fray by introducing me and getting me to talk about the Health Challenge a little bit.  Why am I here?  Everybody looks like a runner, from the technical shirts and spandex to the fancy sneakers and clip lights.  I am dressed in some stretchy pants and a cotton sweatshirt.  I look like I'm off to an early class at uni having put on the freshman 15 x 8.  Before we head outside, a running physiotherapist gives us a quick talk about proper running technique.  I had no idea it was such a science.  I appreciated the efficiency component to the lecture, apparently I swing my everything a bit too much.

The walking group is the smallest of the running tiers...just 3 including me plus our group leader.  Everyone warms up on the basketball courts outside and then we're on our way.  Our 45 minute walk will take us from the Crystal Pool to just across the Blue Bridge and back.  Hang on a tick, it takes me about 30 minutes to get home from the gym...how fast will we be walking?  Fast.  Very fast, for me anyway.  We head out at quite the clip and I am informed that this is the easy pace - there's easy, moderate, and fast.  I, obviously, need to do some homework on the treadmill.

If I don't have "truly great thoughts" my new glasses will make me look smarter.
I am definitely slow compared to these ladies, they are a-motoring!  We reach Store Street and they are on to fast intervals, they walk on ahead and then switchback.  I am just trying to keep up, no doubling back for me.  We head to the bridge and it's up, so we don't get to cross, but we do get to take a stroll down Government Street.  This is fun.  I'm not so out of breath that I can't talk, but I can feel it in my legs and lungs.  Deep breaths, keep your arms moving at your sides...thumbs up.  

It's just that the rest is uphill.  I was fine on Government Street and past Chinatown, but I had no idea how much I would feel Caledonia to Quadra in my calves.  But, I did it.  I finished the walk, and I was rewarded with orange slices - how Grade 11 Field Hockey half time is that?  I love it, exercise with a dash of nostalgia.  Everyone in the 10K clinic signed a programme for me with words of encouragement and sent me on my way.  

Am I coming back next week?  
You betcha.



steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

1 comment:

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