Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Yankee ingenuity

I’m trying something new. Not, you understand, because it is the New Year. I am an innovation junkie. I just love trying something new.

My friend Mary just returned from a scary surgery in which a golfball size tumor was removed from her brain, just behind the bridge of her nose. Death and blindness averted, she is enjoying the fact that her exceptional fitness has enabled her to bounce back. And to what does she attribute this exceptional fitness? Walking.

Mary walks several miles a day. I wish I could remember exactly how many, because you would be impressed. She walks in the morning, at lunchtime and in the evening. If you are in Montpelier at midday, you may see Mary logging miles. But in the morning she walks at home.

In casual conversation at some Rotary event or another, I asked Mary how she manages to fit in so much walking. I really like to walk, but when I wake up it is dark and by the time I feed dogs, sit under the therapy light, do Pilates, answer e-mail, read horoscopes, blog, make breakfast, wash and get dressed...well, not all of those even get done every morning.

“I walk at home,” says Mary.

Still not getting it, I ask another way, “But isn’t it dark?”

“No, I walk in my house,” she says. “We have TVs in the kitchen and in the living room, so I turn them on and open all the doors and I walk in a circle around and around my house. Then I turn around and walk the other way.”

“Doesn’t it wear out your floors?”

“Silly, I wear sneakers!”

Worth a try, I say. So this morning, after doing Pilates under the therapy lamp (another experiment!) I set the timer for twenty minutes and tried it. If I open the doors to the bathroom and the study (normally shut off for dog control and heat retention), then I can walk in a circle around and around my house, although I suspect that my house is somewhat smaller than Mary’s—one TV covers the territory. I have taken to recording the morning news so that I can fast forward through ads and seemingly incessant coverage of high school hockey, and now I actually feel informed about Vermont events, or as informed as Channel 3 can make me.

But back to the walking. It works great. I go around in one direction five or six times, then when I start to feel it in my hips, I go the other way. I switch the remote from hand to hand. The doggy barriers just add variety. Either I jump them or I shout “Excuse me! Excuse me!” and they comply. I add in a little bending and stretching to pick up yesterday’s dog-shredded items for more variety. Toward the end, I bend to get a pan out of the cabinet, eggs from the fridge, and lifting my knees high, keep walking back and forth, back and forth. By the time breakfast is ready, the timer goes off. Twenty minutes walking, finished!

Minor adjustments are required. I am a little worried about my living room rug, a good Oriental that is a relic of the days when I had more money, so I will put down some runners. Somewhere along the way, the puppy snagged the goats milk soap in the bathroom, from which she is normally shut out. The total schedule needs to be tightened up a bit—it is almost time to walk out the door and I still am in my jammies—but there is promise for this indoor walking.

Thanks, Mary!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

*laugh* But does the puppy get exercise going 'round and 'round with you?