I walked Bresler today with a friend and a labradoodle. One of the three of us was out of breath most of the way. I love that walk, but I haven't done it for a few years.
I treasure the view of farmland below. It brings back an August sunset in a hot air balloon in 1994. I appreciate the fishermen who speak to us as we pass. My dad was a fisherman, and I read hundreds of books as we floated around Indian Lake in the '50s. No fishing for me.
Many of the Bresler fishermen gave the dog a friendly pat. He looks big like a Lab, but friendly like a poodle. Nice blend. He dashed into the reservoir at one point and attempted to intimidate a duck. It definitely did not happen. The duck held its ground (water) as if to say, "You're on my turf, puppy!"
I like walking around water because you have to commit. If you go halfway, you must complete the other half. No choice here. The car is on the other side.
The clouds looked somewhat menacing, but The Weather Channel showed nothing on the radar, so off we went. There are stretches of path where the roads are not visible. Even though they are audible, the sounds are a subtle reminder of the rest of the world that is easily blocked out.
There is a country church off in the distance. It looks inviting. The water treatment building makes a little noise, but it is not intrusive. The walk down those 20 or 30 steps to reach the car are formidable. I required some stretching before I began the descent. Survival is so rewarding.
Here's the plan. I won't be breathless next time. I will do more cardio to prepare. My exercising is notoriously lazy. For example, yoga is my fitness regimen of choice. It is wonderful. It keeps me flexible and serene. It does nothing to prepare me for a just-under-four-mile jaunt around Bresler
Here comes the exercise bike. It's sitting there waiting for a passenger. Look out walkers; the speedster will be ready in a few weeks.
My walking companion (not the dog) is more than a decade younger than I am. We had enough to discuss for the entire circuit and then some. I was her mentor when she began her teaching career, and our lives have been intertwined for nearly three decades.
There have been inseparable stretches and gaps for months. The friendship is easy. It requires very little for sustenance. It just is. I didn't have to get into condition for the conversation part of the walk. At least something was easy.
Tomorrow there will be cardio. It won't just be for the future Bresler walks. It will also be for the desire to decrease the number of inches around the torso. The doctors who discussed Tim Russert's death last Friday emphasized the danger of heart failure for those who have thick middles. As one of those unfortunates, the challenge continues.
Walking is free. No gasoline, no maintenance, no waiting in line, no crazy drivers, we just move. I plan to do a lot of it.