March 15th, 2007


Not a Texas Ranger, But a Walker Nonetheless

After a stretch of downright wintry weather, we had our first day of certifiably spring-like temperatures this week. I seized the opportunity to take a nice long walk after work.

Lemme tell ya’ – I’m pretty disgusted with my current state of physical unfitness. As I have reported previously, walking is a form of exercise I actually enjoy doing, but I need to go about it the right way. Toward that end, I believe I made a breakthrough in that regard the other day. Let me lay it out for you –

My general strategy when I walk from my job in the Loop is to proceed more or less straight north, keeping within a few blocks of my bus or train routes, so that I can bail out and ride home if I get tired (or if other assorted physical needs should arise). I know that if I haven’t been walking, as was the case this week, I will probably begin to wilt as I approach North Avenue. Sure enough, as I was crossing Division, I could feel my body REALLY wanting to call it a night. But instead of bailing, I decided to try something to see if I could get a second wind.

Now, I asked myself, what do athletes on TV do when they need a second wind? Well, obviously, they get themselves a Gatorade and soldier on to victory. I hear tell that stuff is supposed to be chock-full of electrolytes, nutrients, and top-secret magic dust. So, taking them at their word, I popped into a corner market, bought a 20 oz. Gatorade and a pack of peanut butter crackers, and downed them as I continued my stroll.

Well, I sure did get a second wind. I walked right on up to Addison, by Wrigley Field, before I called it a night and caught the bus. That’s over halfway home and well past my average stopping point. I suppose I have to allow for the possibility that I might have done the same thing had my snack consisted of wine coolers and caramel corn (though I have no plans of testing that particular theory). Nevertheless, I think I’m going to stick with this Gatorade concept for the time being. I should add that, unless my sense of taste has evolved/devolved, the taste of Gatorade has improved significantly since it was introduced.

Getting up to Addison on my first walk of the season bodes very well, I must say. My goal is always to walk all the way home. I’ve done it 2 or 3 times over the years, and everything has to break just right for it to happen. The weather has to be right; I have to be dressed right; I have to be in good enough shape to pull it off; and the templates of the universe have to be properly aligned. How far is it from where I work to where I live? I couldn’t tell you how many miles, but let me put it this way – if I walked straight through at my relatively brisk pace without taking a break, it would take me about 2-1/2 hours to get home. If I took a few modest breaks along the way, it would take about 3 hours.

And as the season for heightened outdoor activity arrives, I wish you well in your chosen activities!
  • Current Music
    Walking Man - James Taylor