Sunday, January 04, 2009

Monthly Marathon: Resolve

We began the year with the usual resolve: this year we will exercise, lose weight, improve health, flexibilty, and stamina.

So we walked our three miles or so on New Year's Day, down the levee to the new pedestrian bridge, across to Broad Street, down to Second Avenue then up to third, a block east, up East First Street to Fourth, back to Broad, on to Seventh, back down West First to Fifth Avenue, and the levee and home.

And yesterday, the third day of the year we walked across the bridge to the east side of the Oostanaula, up the Riverwalk past Chieftains and back, pausing at Starbucks to use our Christmas gift cards for cappacino and frappacino, and home again -- probably four miles but the 'cinos cancel that out.

It's fun to walk in winter, despite the lack of color, because of the increased visibility. We can see our own bedroom window from the park.

We can tell when we are opposite Oak Hill Church of Christ and the Martha Berry home. We can see much more of the river.

And we can notice the somber remains of last summer...

Last year's red oak leaves clinging desperately to twigs.

Spikey seed pods dangling from the bare limbs of a sweet gum tree.

The weedy dried skeletons of some spent composite flower.

...and the hopeful intimations of a spring to come...

Buds waiting for a coaxing spring sun to call forth green.

And an over-eager sumac (?) already testing the air.

And in our own yard, pushing through the mulch, brazen jonquils declaring to winter their February plans come what (cold winds, snow, or crusting of ice) may.

Soon after Christmas we visited my niece and her family (two daughters, a son, and a hubby) in their brand spanking new home near the banks of the Etowah River east of town. The kids and adults were fascinated with the latest technological home wonder -- the Wii!! As Arthur C. Clarke has noted, technology can be indistinguishable from magic. It is fascinating and sometimes hilarious to watch my relatives, young and old, hold the Wii's magic wand and utter real grunts as they serve virtual tennis balls, give real follow through to real heaves of virtual gutter balls and occasional strikes in virtual bowling, take gigantic muscle straining Casey-like swings at virtual fastballs in virtual baseball, really huff and puff and punch and parry in virtual boxing, and hunch to putt at a virtual hole in virtual golf.

Lillian was not with us that day, but she heard the tale and soon headed to a big box store with her savings in hand to buy one of the things for herself. Her child-like father has hogged the thing since. Every muscle in his body protests, but ever-stubborn Pop is determined to lower his virtual age...

My first Wii virtual age on New Year's Eve -- I managed to lower it temporarily to 37 for New Year'd Day, but was so sore that by Saturday 63 was the best I could do!

... regardless of the Ibuprofen costs involved. So we have gained some exercise points for our virtual sports exploits the last few days. But we take a long time descending the stairs each morning.

Perhaps our resolve this year will be bolstered by our determination to help the cause of defeating leukemia. We plan to join other supporters of Lily's Garden (Lily is my great niece) in the Country Music Half-Marathon in April. If you'd like to help that cause follow the links above to learn more.

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