I love walking at night. My earliest memories of my first apartment here in West Des Moines are of streetlamps and occasional cars and my old walking stick, which had the nickname "Haldeman." If there's been a persistent ritual of my life, walking is it. It's what I did when I divorced Jamie. The three kids and I would walk nightly, taking turns at being the leader and at following the leader. Later, Jacob and I would refer to this as exploring. We would go where we would and just wander and explore.
Spring's coming. Cub asked me the other day if we would go exploring again soon. "Exploring" is what he answered his teacher when she asked him what he most loved doing with his dad. Nick and I, beyond his youth, continued our walks, although today it has morphed into bike riding. I love both, but walking has been stronger. It's something about feeling my body move of its own accord and power, in the direction I choose, confident strides and wind in my face. It's perfect, really.
Each day, I zig zag through the six floors of the building in which I work, from the sixth down to the first and up to the sixth. One mile.
And if you've followed my web site at all, you know that this regimen of walking and biking and an abstinence from refined sugar has helped to lose a bunch of weight. As of today, 54 pounds. I'll drop permanently to below 300 pounds in the next two weeks. My bike, which has been in the shop, gets out tomorrow. Me and the steed, to work and back every day, will propel me to lose more. Health. More wind in my face. Freedom.
There was a time when I wore suits and craved a nice car - and was miserable. The most poetic moment of my life came in a lunchtime bike ride in a $400 suit. Giddy with the air and the speed, I completely lost control and skidded into gravel and tore the suit to shreds. Aside from some killer road rash, I gained a permanent black hole in my right hand from it for the rock that pierced me bone deep. In fact, Cub's first sentence was, "Doctor fix hole in your hand." The hole is a reminder that I am who I am and that corporate ladders aren't for me. My days of suit were over not long after that. I've never looked back - though I do get tempted occasionally. But I'm too independent.
I took Aaron to the stylist tonight to turn a sheepdog back into my son. While he waited for his name to be called, I went walking through and around the mall. Me, in my shorts and short-sleeved shirt, thrilling at the cool night air. I remembered all of the times that I had crossed Valley West Mall's parking lots at night back then. Lovely... and I'm very thankful that my body treats me well and moves much as it did twenty years ago.
I came back in and went to the Hallmark store. I cruised their cards and noted that my line of cards will be unique. Almost nothing in Hallmark looks like what I plan to offer. That's a good thing.
I've had trouble with this recent work, "Friends." But it's getting there, thin-lipped editor lady be damned. Just gotta keep going, one foot in front of the other...