In my once and future life, I am a runner. Not quite a marathoner, mind you (marathoners go a little beyond even my special strain of crazy), but a long-distance runner nonetheless.
In my present delicate condition, however, I am not a runner.
If I had been running faithfully — daily — vigorously — before the conception of my newest little darling, I could no doubt have kept it up safely throughout at least the early months of my pregnancy.
But alas, I took most of this past [long, cold, icy] winter off. (It seemed like the prudent thing to do, given my recent ankle trauma.) As a result, my fitness level at the beginning of this nine-month odyssey was not quite where it needed to be for me to feel comfortable hitting the pavement in a major way.
According to BabyCenter.com, though, what I should be doing (instead of sitting around drinking vanilla malts and moping about the fact that I’m not running) is walking:
Walking is one of the best cardiovascular exercises for pregnant women because it keeps you fit without jarring your knees and ankles. It’s also a safe activity to continue throughout all nine months of pregnancy and one of the easier ways to start exercising if you haven’t previously been active.
Okay then, you boring pregnancy experts: rather than running my heart out during these gorgeous early summer days, I’ll be walking.
It seems simple enough: pick up one leg, then the other; repeat. It’s even a little like running, except that I can do it in a sundress and sandals. BONUS!
What’s more, it fits extremely well with my old fashioned aesthetic.
After all, the Bible tells me (or at least implies) that Abram and Sarai walked from Ur to Canaan. Moses walked to Sinai. Jesus and his disciples got their feet dirty walking all over Palestine. Literature tells me that Chaucer’s pilgrims walked to Canterbury. Lizzie Bennett famously ended up with her petticoat six inches deep in mud — by walking three miles to Netherfield Park. The four Pevensies made it all the way from Lantern Waste to Cair Paravel to claim their Narnian thrones . . . by walking.
And yet: how often do we fail to walk further in a day than it takes to get from the house to the car to the office and back again? (Or, in my present life, from the chair to the clothesline to the garden to the pool and back to the comfy chair.)
How often are we led to honk at folks who would rather hover indefinitely waiting for a prime parking spot at the supermarket than park in an empty space further out and walk the extra 50 meters?
Just today, in fact, I watched a guy fetch the mail on a four-wheeler as I drove by. (Gotta love that sweet country living!) His driveway could not have been longer than the average tennis court.
Walking, it would seem, is becoming a lost art in contemporary America.
But we can’t let that happen now, can we?
This, then, is my challenge to myself for the next seven days — and to you, too, if you’d care to join me: I will walk two miles each day, one in the morning and one in the evening.
We live on a country road where even the tractors drive faster than they should, so I sadly won’t be leaving the property on most of my jaunts. We do, however, also happen to be in possession of a long, loopy driveway, on which one lap around is nearly exactly a quarter mile. So for me, this adventure will essentially mean walking four laps twice a day.
I (we?) can definitely do this.