Gruntin’, Gaspin’ And Wheezin’


Wednesday March 19th, 2014 – Gurnee, IL/Island Lake, IL

Where did my youthful exuberance go? Instead of lovin’, touchin’ and squeezin’, I’m gruntin’, gaspin’ and wheezin’. The years are catching up with me, and there’s nothing I can do but fight it tooth and nail while I still have teeth and/or nails. Old age is on the way but only if I work for it.

How did all this happen so quickly? I was too busy with crisis management to enjoy my young buck years, and now that I’m finally starting to figure things out a little there are a whole new set of challenges ahead. This life thing is no easy video game, and the levels change dramatically.

Today I got myself up early and forced myself to get some exercise by taking two grueling laps at my favorite walking track the Gurnee Mills Mall. I used to go there regularly, and I could feel the results over time. It’s a huge mall with twists, turns and offshoots that make things interesting for a walker. There are things to look at throughout the route, and it’s not just a boring treadmill.

Unfortunately, I’ve moved farther and farther away in the last few years, and now it’s a 25 mile trip one way. That sucks up way too much time to drive back and forth, not to mention gas at the cut rate price of $4 a gallon these days. If I lived closer I’d go every day, but that’s not an option.

I absolutely need to get back in a steady exercise groove though, and I have been concentrating on it since my birthday. The weather has been a little nicer than the polar vortex conditions we’re used to this winter, and that’s part of the reason I fell out of my groove. Another part is that it’s a big time commitment of time and energy to work out every day when I am on the road working.

The road life and regular exercise is about as good a fit as the Kardashians and long marriages. I do try to make time when I can, but many times I just can’t. I know that wouldn’t be an excuse if my heart pops like a zit, but in the real world that’s how it is. Pick your poison – earn a living by working at what you know how to do, or have zero income at all but stay home and stay fit.

I wish it were an easier fit, but it just isn’t. Most of my morning was shot by the time I drove to the mall, did my two full laps, went to have a healthy breakfast and then drove home to hose off in the shower. Who has that kind of time every day? Right now it isn’t me, but today I forced it.

A good walk like that usually keeps me sore for a couple of days, and I’m tender already. I feel it in my legs and can barely stand up, but it’s good soreness and I know I need to feel this pain as much as I can for the rest of my life. It takes conscious effort now, whereas in my youth it didn’t.

I used to walk all over the place and not even think about it. Now I have to plan it out before I do it, and force it into being part of my day. Is it fun? Unfortunately no, but I don’t think having a heart attack would be party time. This is part of the aging process, and I see that and accept it.

As the weather breaks, I’ll get out and walk a lot more around where I’m living. There aren’t a lot of walking paths like there were at my last place, but I won’t be here that long so hopefully it will only be a temporary hurdle. I did it up right today, but it’s only a day. It has to become habit.

Two laps through the Gurnee Mills Mall, and I was ready to call an ambulance.

Two laps through the Gurnee Mills Mall today, and I was ready to call an ambulance.

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