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.
Puffing 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.
On 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.
By 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 http://annelisplace.wordpress.com to read another adventure of Muck and Finn, two little boys from Saskatchewan in the “olden days.”