I have the powa!

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Watch out for me. I am potent. I have powers even I don’t understand.

The power of mah mind.

Oh yes.

See, on Monday, I went for a walk over at the Stanford Dish, a pretty grueling up and down hilly walk that knocks the wind out of me and makes me sweat. Generally The Dish humbles me very much.

It’s hard for me to complete the Dish. It takes effort. A lot of effort.

On Monday, I had to stop five times during the journey to catch my breath. It’s embarrassing.

Exercising at The Dish is rather popular with the beautiful and healthy people of the surrounding Palo Alto area (home to Stanford University, rich AND smart people), so as I go schlumping along, I often encounter blond, beautiful and much more attractive than me-type people.

So, there I was on Monday, a nice day, walking along in my old faded yoga pants, a loose shirt and a grimace. I’d already wheezed up the first hill and made my first stop as my lungs were burning.

But damnit man, I was *doing* it.

As I continued to walk at an ok pace, I was passed by a young man wearing one of those shiny new tight, moisture wicking, Nike logo emblazoned shirts. He’d paired this with fancy running shorts, sparkling white shoes, fresh iPod strapped to his arm and the perfect runners stance. Hell, he didn’t even have the rictus you see on the face of most joggers.

No. He was a blond chiseled sample of running perfection. Elbows bent at the perfect angle, strides the right distance. All perfect. He passed me (wide, middle aged, out of shape) with a snotty air and as he cruised past me, he gave two dye job blondes with store bought boobies a long, meaningful look.

Ok, I’m not too proud to admit it. I got snarky. In my head.

“Loser! I hope you trip and fall! I hope you get a cramp in your leg! I hope you gas out on the next hill!” I thought to myself.

Then he was gone over the next rise and it was me and the Bee Gees on my iPod shuffle. And another hill to climb.

So I trudged along.

Fifteen minutes later, I caught up to the guy.

He’d gassed out. He was walking. Slowly. I passed him. I didn’t even look his way. I just kept walking. Smugly.

Later, I encountered a woman who was really pert and fit. She was walking ahead of me on a hill where I had to stop twice. She stopped not at all.

“Well aren’t YOU so fit!” I thought in my tacky brain. “Bite me! Just….oooh, I hope you get tired! Oh no, you are soooo healthy!”

And when I finally got to the top of the hill, guess who I found standing there, breathing hard?

She’d made it all the way up the hill, but then had to stop.

I passed her too.

Oh the mind power of a snarky out of shape girl with determination on her mind!

I smited them down!

Or…maybe…The Dish is just a really challenging route.

You know, I always thought that whole tortoise and the hare story was a bunch of bollocks. A story told to slow pokes like me to engender some sort of hope.

But maybe…just maybe, there is some truth to that fable?

Did you know…

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…that today is National Health and Fitness Day?

I didn’t either, but it is.

So my own company decided to celebrate by hosting a lunchtime walk along a really pretty bayside trail near our offices.

When I told my favorite coworker about the planned event, he reminded me that employees of our company get *plenty* of exercise jumping to conclusions, walking away from responsibility, and running to line up first for the buffets.

While I couldn’t argue his point, I decided to take a walk anyway. Feeling cranky and amped up, a walk seemed like a nice idea.

It was walker’s choice, a one mile or two mile jaunt. I went ahead and chose two miles, strapped on my trainers and got to it.

Can’t say it was the nicest day for a walk. After being hotter than the hinges of hell for the past several days, the Bay Area Inversion (description here) has kicked in and today we get windy and cold.

Whatever.

Look, while most of my coworkers sat at their desks and ate hearty lunches in the cafeteria, I actually *did* something useful today.

I feel *so* smug too. I even took the company provided shuttle over to the start point in an effort to conserve fuel.

And I recycled the bottle from the water they gave me.

When the walk was done, I ate a salad.

If I keep this up, I’m going to be driving a Prius soon.

What?

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Ok, to offset all this goodness I’ll have red meat and whiskey for dinner.

That ought to restore balance to the universe.

Liar, liar, pants on fire

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I have this friend. One of my best friends, actually, who is this little tiny bit of nuthin’. 90lbs soaking wet. She’s the sort of golden retrieverish person that will get up in the morning and go to spin class before breakfast, take an intense yoga lesson at lunch, and then go wind surfing for dinner.

She fancies ten hours bike rides. Yeah. That kind of gal.

But recently, at age 43, she’s found herself (happily) pregnant for the first time, and is very superstitious about this baby, so is, in her words, taking it easy.

Over dinner a few weeks back, my friend told me about this place she has been going hiking. “Oh, it’s great. They have a paved walking path, and it only has a few rolling hills. It’s great! I’ve been walking it a few times a week!”

Well, hey! To me, her elephantine friend who has been hitting the treadmill with vigor lately, “a few rolling hills” didn’t sound so bad!

Sunday I set out for The Dish, the landmark walking path on the campus of Stanford University.

Ok, fabulous. I got a much coveted parking spot, strapped on my shoes and off I went. The Good Man was up in SF with friends, so I was alone in this 3.7 mile mission.

I stopped by the ranger’s shack and he gave me a map, talked me through the path and off I went. Just to get to the trail, you have to walk up a large hill. Neato.

And so I get to the top of that first hill. Once there, you have to choose if you want to go clockwise or counterclockwise.

I looked to my left (to go clockwise). There was another steep hill. I looked to the right (to go counterclockwise) and there was a gradual decline. Hmm. So I decided I wanted to take the big hill at the first part of the walk while I still had energy, so I turned to the left and started walking.

And began gasping, sweating, became good friends with my heart beating out of my chest. I had to stop and put hands on knees multiple times (an elderly hunched backed woman strolled past me) and my lungs burned. Oh how they burned.

This was not a rolling hill. Neither was the next one. Or the next. Or the next several, actually.

Ok, fair enough, it was a beautiful walk. I saw deer, many ground squirrels, and a red tail hawk.

I did manage to actually complete the walk. I scaled the last uphill before leaving and had worked myself into quite a sweaty, panting froth.

So, of course, I rewarded myself for a job well done by eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

Oh well. I’m less golden retriever and more couch hound.

____________________

Isn’t that a pretty flower? I took a photo of it while lying on the ground crying out for dear mercy and sweet mother oxygen.