Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Walk A Mile In My Shoes

Make that more than 700 miles. That’s how far Princess and I have traveled on our daily walks over the past two years. On July 12, 2004, I started on a Lifestyle Improvement Plan that included healthy eating and walking one mile a day. I’ve really gotten used to my modified diet of fresh, non-processed food and as a result I have plenty of energy to enjoy my life. And each day, rain or shine, snow or triple digits, I’ve gone for my exercise walk. Except for the few trips (Reunion, Alaska, and Colorado) when I was away, Princess has gone with me.

Together we have walked over 700 miles. That’s an impressive figure and only the day before yesterday did my sneakers come unglued. Literally. One sole flapping as I headed down the hill to the house. A trip to the Shoe Repair Shop has put it to rights and tonight we will be back in business. Summertime I go in the evening after the sun goes down.

That brings me to the heat wave which is not happening here. Only 58 degrees this morning when I went out for the paper. The news last night had reports of very hot temps everywhere else and we will likely not escape. It is just delayed a bit and won’t hit till the weekend. In anticipation, I cleaned the house. A lesson I learned in Missouri…it is easier to feel cool in a dust-free, uncluttered space.

My Midwest experience stands me in good stead for a heat wave, but Portlanders are in a dither. I shake my head at how many people think they need to get out in it, wearing skimpy clothes and taking risks in the local waters. There have been TWENTY-NINE water deaths in this area since May 1st. People just don’t get it.

According to the local paper, many of the people flocking to the rivers are young people or blue collar folks or immigrants, many of whom do not have Anglo last names. These are people who live on the “East Side” (wrong side of the river), who don’t have air-conditioning. And may not have English language reading skills to understand the posted warnings. Or in the case of teens, are looking for a cool (in both ways) place to party. Many of these fatalities have been in the Sandy River where, in the off season, I hike with Princess and where she likes to swim. We stay away during these high use months and won’t return until October or November.

My way of coping with hot days involves staying inside with minimal moving about and plenty of fluids. I take my walk early in the morning or late in the evening before/after the sun beats down. Light meals or smoothies, no cooking to heat up the kitchen. All the fans are in place and I still have the books I bought for my vacation trips waiting to be read. Plenty of my raspberry iced tea on hand. The yard is under control so not too much outside work except watering. Plus, there will be great golf on TV (the British Open described in Musings in “The Claret Jug”).

So bring it on. Just the excuse I need to kick back and be lazy.


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