I remember when….
When I started this Journey of mine it was at the School Track that I started my fitness efforts. I would drive the 0.7 miles to the track, walk four laps, sit and gasp for air, and then drive home. I started with five bleacher-sets. Then I sat and gasped for air and hoped that someone would see me fall if I passed out. It was winter after all and I was afraid I would die from the cold if I passed out from doing the steps…
Then it occurred to me that I could get a cheap mile and a half if I walked to the School Track and then walked back after doing the above.
Over time I could walk two and then three miles. I went from five to ten bleacher-sets. Soon enough I was walking five miles and doing ten bleacher-sets per mile. I would walk the mile, do ten sets, and walk another mile, ten more sets…..
It has been quite a while since I walked the School Track as cycling and hiking took the place of measured walks on the track.
I went for a walk with Missus last night. We walked from our home to the School Track, did two and ¾ laps of the track and then walked back home. A 2.75 mile walk. In between I did fifteen bleacher-sets (18 steps up, 18 steps down) and did ten of those running. Missus counted the bleacher-sets for me.
Yesterday Missus and I walked 2.75 miles and I did 15 bleacher-sets. I was not tired. I didn’t fear passing out. I walked at a four miles per hour pace. I am proud of Missus for joining me on this Journey. She walked easily. She didn’t tire. It was a fun evening.
I remember when such a walk was a near impossibility for us. Now it is something we do with ease.
I am 52 years old. It is a long time since High School. It is a longer time since Junior High.
Facebook is an amazing tool. It works incredibly well at reconnecting people who have long ago drifted in to different circles, different worlds.
Some months back I reconnected with a fellow from High School/Junior High. We didn’t have a friendship way back then but we knew each other. Sometimes our acquaintanceship was amicable. Sometime it was less so.
Still, somehow, we ended up “Friends” on Facebook.
I received a message from him yesterday. He apologized for the teasing and bullying towards me that he was a part of. The passage of time and becoming a father and raising children who were subjected to much the same had held a mirror up to him and he didn’t like what he saw.
I have long ago put aside the grudges and the hurt from those days. I was a bit of a different sort of kid and different is not well received by young people. I told this fellow, this friend, that I held no grudges from 40+ years ago and the scars had long ago healed (not entirely true about the scars). I told him I appreciated his apology and the courage it must have taken to look so closely in to the mirror.
Afterwards, I came to realize that he was carrying his own wounds around. His apology to me was critical for his own scars to heal. I hope it helps. We all have scars. I am glad he is recognizing his own.
The teasing I went through in school was not so bad. It wasn’t good. I wasn’t physically bullied. At my size it was a risky proposition to try to bully me physically. I had my share of fights, well more than my fair share, but they were from my reaction to the bullying and teasing rather than people trying to push me around…
My weight had little if anything to do with the teasing. I was lean until I started college.
The teasing and bullying certainly hurt my self-esteem, that was certainly a component, but there were other scars, other wounds, other demons that fed my weight gain in the years after college. It took me years to even understand the existence of the accumulation of nicks and dings and the large wounds that would trigger the later years of my weight gain.
In the end I had to confront the demons, the hurts, and take responsibility for controlling their effect on me. I had to let the scar tissue form over the wounds and move on.
The healing process will likely never end but I will always work to understand the process, work my way through and overcome the scars that won’t heal.
And Walking some more
Just returned from a mile+ walk with Missus. In to town and back. A beautiful evening for a quick-paced walk. Many people out and about. Smiles on faces. Children eating ice cream at the local shop.
What a pleasure to have this as a part of my life again.