Inner Peace through Exercise…or not

Lake Wichita is my favorite place in the world to exercise.  Since my friends introduced me to the 2.8 miles jogging loop there, the place calls to me whenever I have the opportunity to sneak out on my own for 30 lovely minutes of sweat-induced tranquility.  I wrote this a few weeks ago after one of my many misadventures in fitness.

My kids have all left for summer camp, so I awoke this morning to an empty house and endless possibilities. I dropped dh at work at 7 a.m. and thought this would be a fabulous day to take a long bike ride around the lake. I haven’t been out there since the floods a few weeks ago. After wrestling the back seats out of the suv and wrangling the bike in (definitely the hardest part of the workout!), I drove to the starting point and was greeted by perfect sunshine with the waves lapping high on the shore, almost to the trail. I wrestled the bike out of the truck, tried to air up a flat, and ended up destroying the inner tube. Aack! Back into the truck with the stupid useless equipment.

But the lake beckoned. So I ran. I took off at a slow trot so I could inspect the trail for damage. Sure enough, the flood tore up several spots pretty badly, but nothing I couldn’t get around.

The first section of the running trail parallels the road, with flat land on one side and neighborhoods on the other. Then you follow the curve into wilderness, totally cut off from view of any civilization. That curve sends a little thrill up my spine. It’s been so long since I ran there, I’d almost forgotten how bright the sun, how refreshing the shade of occasional trees, how unexpected the cool breeze, how intrigueing that next curve of trail into the unknown.I also realized that standing water crowded both sides of the trail where normally dry land stretches. 2 weeks ago I could’ve invited my virtual exercise buddy RJ to kayak that trail with me. 🙂 Nature loves the soaking, though. Everything green was growing abundantly; the sound of crickets was twice as loud as usual, and hordes of dragonflies darted in and out of the tall grasses around the swampy areas. Thinking about the enormous amount of water that had fallen, and being overshadowed as I was by rows of 8 foot tall sunflowers, I felt very small. I like small. Small is peaceful. Being tiny and insignificant makes the weight of responsibility off my shoulders. The hassles of life seem less urgent. I know I’m in the hands of One with infinitely more power and wisdom than myself, so minor annoyances like flat tires just aren’t that big of a deal.When I finished my 3 miles jog/walk, I stepped right to the edge of the lake to stretch. Closing my eyes and feeling the wet breeze and hearing the waves, I felt like I could’ve been on any beach in the world. I had a sudden urge to do yoga…you know how yoga videos always show the person isolated in the desert or on a beach striking graceful poses under a sunny sky? So I did.LOL Don’t know what the other bikers or walkers thought of me passing on the trail. But I did the few yoga poses that I know and don’t fall down attempting. 🙂

So I drive home sweaty and hot, but filled with inner peace and energy. While I put my bike in the garage, I thought, I’ll just be efficient and get out the lawn mower to cut the grass in the back yard. Duh! Not thinking! I opened the gate and all 3 dogs ran out in separate directions. Inner peace gone in the rush of paws. I grabbed the slow dog and pitched her back in, slammed the gate, and took off running after the girl puppy. The old dog followed along like he was escorting us. Finally caught her, carried her back, but lost the third dog. No worries, he’s been escaping for 10 years and always comes back.

Now I’m covered in sweat AND dog hair. Might as well mow. 30 minutes later, I was covered in sweat, dog hair, and cut grass.

I thought, the yard still looks bad because there’s a gallimaufrey of saplings sprouting all around the fence line.

I’m already filthy. Why not? Found the trimmers. Conquered that in 30 minutes.

I officially have no more energy. I’m used up. That’s all the physical activity I need for the day!! I think I’ll curl up with the remote control and watch cheesy sci-fi.

Have a blessed day. Go move and get sweaty!

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