As we started walking along the Silver Comet Trail on yesterday, I failed to notice that we were walking downhill most of the way, which meant that the way back would be all uphill. Before we left home, I made reference to this possibility to my husband, Douglas, the lifelong hiker, and he assured me that I was mistaken. It would be a combination of ups and downs, easily accomplished by two oldsters like us.
After nearly forty-five minutes of walking about two miles, I decided to turn around and return to the car. Walking with a mask on leaves you breathing hard and sweating profusely around the nose and mouth. It is very uncomfortable, but I know the possible alternative to not waering a mask,
We didn’t pass any other walkers, but quite a few bicyclists, the majority of whom didn’t wear a mask and insisted on speaking to us. I was pleased that people kept their distance, but also glad to have the mask.
As I struggled to keep up with Douglas on the more than two miles back to the car, nearly all uphill, I started talking to my heart (Yes, I may have been tired and hallucinating by then!). I said, “Old thing, this is for you! We’ve been through a lot together, and you just keep ticking along. I hope you enjoy beating this fast and that it strengthens you and, subsequenty, me and keeps us fit enough to survive if the virus hits.”
Yes, as much as I fear the coronavirus, I had to get out of the house for my heart’s sake. Medical journalists inform us that exercise keeps hearts strong, so I need to do all that I can to help mine, especially as I have the dreaded defibrillator and don’t want it going off.
In Georgia, people over age 65 are under a shelter-in-place order, only to leave home to get food. But, I need to exercise, and very few people are on the trail during the day.
I will admit that I worry about contracting the disease and have become afraid to leave the house. Douglas has been visiting with his children and grandchildrn, but I stay home, for I am more vulnerable. They social distance, but I still think that it is best to pay attention to the doctors and other experts.
But, I also know that I have to do the things that give me the best chance of survival in this pandemic, and that includes eating healthy, resting, and exercising my heart and body. As we walked and listened to the birds calling to each other, I felt such awe and admiration for God’s creation. Looking at the beautiful trees around us, my soul is always lifted and I know that I am not alone, no matter what happens.
I need that reassurance, as much as Old Thing needs me to walk, maybe with less incline.