Thursday, July 14, 2011

Exercising My Demons

Anyone who knows me well is aware that I am truly committed to exercising. While I don't overdo it--I walk far more than I jog, and I work with light weights rather than doing heavy lifting--I am dedicated to a twice-a-day exercise schedule. Except for the few times that I physically couldn't (once when I had pneumonia, and once when I was recovering from oral surgery), I haven't missed my two-a-day schedule since May of 2001, when Dr. Mike first cleared me to begin exercising after my heart surgery.

(At one time, Dr. Mike said, "If every patient who promised me he'd love weight and exercise regularly actually did as well as you, I'd have a lot more free time...")

Georgia summers can be a little challenging, though. I don't mind exercising in Georgia heat, but I really try to avoid prolonged exercise periods in direct sun. I have a relatively shady morning route mapped out (it's just half my full route, but I walk it twice to avoid the sunny half of the circle), but the afternoon route still has more summer sun than I want, so I've begun walking in the evenings instead. By 7:30 or 8:00 in the evening, the sun is low enough on the horizon that the route is warm but comfortable, there's little direct sun on me, and I can enjoy the time outdoors.

An evening walk is almost a victory lap. It's a way of celebrating the fact that you've successfully conquered another hot, humid Georgia day. There's a feeling of accomplishment, as if you're proving that even oppressive Southern summers can't stop you from living up to your personal obligations... nor can it stop you from enjoying them.

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