Workout Patterns

Near my house on Vancouver Island I’m lucky enough to have a place to hike any time I want and get an excellent aerobic workout. The walk can be as easy or as strenuous as I want to make it. Down the path to the beach below, I go eagerly (downhill is usually easier than uphill). My goal is the far end of this spit of land where the buildings begin.


A set of stairs is helpful to keep from sliding on the steeper parts.


DSCF0794Puffing away, I look for things, other than the obvious stairs, to count and so kill time. Fence posts going down the length of the stairs make a repeating pattern.

More patterns! Hydro poles that I hadn’t noticed as I walked past them the first few times. Orange poles to support parking barricades add their own short pattern.

DSCF0799On the beach side of the road out to the end of the spit, more patterns – logs planted upright to stop the sand from coming right across the road in storm surges at high tide.


At the end of the road, I turn around. I’m halfway to my goal of burning off that piece of chocolate I ate yesterday and almost deserving of a new piece today. Huffing and puffing, I look for patterns. To my left, under the shadow of the Comox Glacier, sailboat  masts make patterns. Even the hydro wires make a pattern as if they were trimming a banner above and below the scene.


I inhale deeply and feel so fortunate to have a beautiful day. I know wind and rain aplenty will be coming soon.


I don’t even notice the power poles, now that they are neatly lined up almost hiding behind each other.


Almost there! I only need to get up that big hill in front of me. At the foot of the hill, the pattern of stairs is overwhelming and I let out an involuntary GROAN.


I took a few good breaths to gather up courage (and oxygen), dreading having to tackle the stairs.There had to be more steps going up than there were coming down. Sure looked like it, anyway.

Just then a young fellow, maybe in his twenties, raced up the stairs, taking them two at a time, and turned at the top while his friend stood at the bottom, looking at her watch. The young man nearly fell over his own feet as he tried to make them hit some of the steps as he practically flew down them.

I shook my head in amazement. “Why?”

“Aw!” he said, “I bet her I could do it in under a minute.” And the two of them left, arm in arm, laughing at the fun they’d had.

I thought, “Well, I don’t have anyone timing me, but I can certainly make it up there in five or ten minutes.”

I got to the top of the stairs, and only needed to go up one more short path to reach the road to my driveway.

DSCF0812By the time I reached the end of my hike, my heart was trying to leap out of my neck, but I felt so good. I had done it again – earned the right to indulge in some treat if I wanted to replace the fat I’d just burned off – but first, a big drink of water.

*** Please note two things: First, if there is a political message in the ads section of this blog, please remember that I did not put it there. I have no control over the ads placed in my blogs.

Second, please visit my other blog to read another adventure of Muck and Finn, two little boys from Saskatchewan in the “olden days.”

40 thoughts on “Workout Patterns

  1. wordsfromanneli Post author

    They are deadly. The first time, I had to do them in about four sections, gasping for air at each stop. Young athletic types run past me, going up and down several times, as I plod slowly to the top.

        1. jmgoyder

          Ha! Ming and I are about to go down south to visit brother in a place called Walpole (which resembles where you live!) I will avoid all steps! On a more serious note, our visit is to see his 3 kids injured in Ming’s car accident. All are recovering well but this is going to be a bit of an emotional stepping stone/hike. xx

  2. Ursula

    You are a hero in my eyes. I am getting dizzy just by looking down the stairs. Never mind walking up all those stairs. You must be in a good shape! Very nice pics!

  3. Lori D

    I think I might’ve called that youngster a show-off. Heh. I’ve been turning up the incline on my treadmill lately, because I have difficulty walking uphill. I need to build up strength. Good for you for doing that. I wish I had such a beautiful place to hike. I live in Florida and don’t even have a nearby beach (an hour’s drive). Vancouver is just so majestic.

    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      I do love living near the coast. I miss it when I’m inland. Last month in Montana, beautiful as it was, I kept thinking that the way the grasses undulated in the wind was like the waves of the ocean. Beautiful in its own way.

    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      I think there are 3000 steps. No, of course not. I didn’t count them. Probably a couple of hundred? And then there’s the steep trail which doesn’t have steps but is almost as much of a workout. The whole thing from my house to the end of the spit and back takes me about 40 minutes but then I’m gasping for air.

    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      It’s very fresh in the morning. The day I took those pictures, the first ones, of the path, were still a bit dark, but when I got to the stairs the sun lit up everything and it was the kind of morning you could just fill your lungs with rejuvenating air.

  4. Gladys

    You are so fortunate to have that in your backyard. What a good work-out and cheaper than a membership in the gym! Let’s walk it together sometime. Lovely pictures.

  5. alskamom

    What a beautiful place for a workout! Those stairs would certainly have me huffing and puffing by the time I got to the top though. 🙂

    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      I’ve always counted things to make the time go past when I’m not having a good time. I mean it was beautiful out there, but I was stressed with the exercise and wanted it to be over.

    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      That’s the price we pay for living on the top of the hill. I did the walk today again and although I don’t have to stop as often on the way up, it still seems as steep as ever.

      1. townspirit

        Maybe if the uphill was first you wouldn’t do it so often? Anyway, you can enjoy the beach while you’re cool and energetic and the drink while you’re hot and tired.


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