I am, on the whole, a good patient. I have a high tolerance for pain and enough
of my mind left that I can participate in my own care. So, when my doctor says to me , “Betty, you need to get more exercise,” – I am willing to try exercise.
Something I must admit I have avoided with amazing success up to this point.
But, what to do?
“Join a gym,” friends say, which I could but never would do.
One well-meaning friend suggested golf. ³ “You get to spend some healthful time out doors, the walking is good for you, and it¹s immediate
gratification whacking that ball and watching it arch through the air to land on the green so far, far away.” I would happily join in that kind of euphoria, but it ain’t gonna happen. The one time a friend took me to a practice green so that we could enjoy this wondrous experience together, I was so bad that people around us stopped practicing their own swings in order to watch me miss that damn ball. Finally one of the spectators came over and suggested to my companion that he should take me home because nobody could get any practice in. They were mesmerized.
I used to be a rather fine horsewoman...rodeo riding and all, but these days no stable will let me near even one of their more benign horses. I might fall and break. Disney won¹t let me on his toys for the same reasons.
Okay, so the question still remains: what to do?
Walking is good. Everyone agrees to that it seems. My doctor certainly thought it was my best option. “You can control your own pace and distance. You get to admire the blue skies and breathe deeply of the fresh air,” he said.
Fresh air? This is California. Southern California! Remember fire and ashes in the air and the dreadful heat?
I point this out to the doctor and I can see him rethinking that advice. But he seems to have his heart set on this walking-thing. He quickly adds,:
“Just don¹t go out until the fires are under better control. And until the record setting heat has gone. AND – don¹t go out in the noonday sun.”
And I, always ready with a song title, fill in the rest of that line with “ Only Mad Dogs and Englishmen Go Out in the Noon-day Sun.”
However, my doctor, like many of my readers, is much too young to remember that classic bit of music frivolity by Noel Coward. He looks a bit disconcerted and makes a hurried note on his computer. He tries to explain to me what he means but at the same time, I am busily explaining Noel Coward, so I didn¹t listen. We blink at each other and he tries again.
“The best place until the air clears,” he says, “Is probably in your own home.”
He asks if I have good air conditioning and I assured him that I do.
“BUT…”I begin.“He doesn’t listen for the “but” part. He takes a deep breath and hurries on “Why don¹t you just map out a path that takes you all the way around the house and through all the rooms. Do it for about a half hour, stopping for a drink of water when you think you need hydrating.”
He looks so relieved at having arrived at this master stroke that I don’t have the heart to explain my Tiny House to him. But the fact is I have already mapped out the exercise room available to me within the four walls of my own T.H.
I can take 17 steps north and 17 steps south.,. so, in order to achieve the 10,000 steps I have heard real enthusiasts mention as a healthful daily goal, I would have to make –
Oh good lord, I don¹t even want to think about it!
So I won¹t.