I have noticed that I have been taking fewer walks this spring/summer. Part of the reason is that I have been doing the Biggest Loser workouts at home-love them! And, thanks to my good friend Amber, I have now taken up Zumba.
I have to talk about Zumba. Have you ever seen it or done it? It's crazy! I'll be honest. I almost didn't go. Because I didn't know what it was, I looked it up on You Tube. One look and I said, "NO WAY! I could never do that. PERIOD!" " And, I certainly could never do that in front of other people." But for some reason, I went anyway. The lady who teaches the class I have been attending... I have never seen anyone do those things with their hips. She's amazing and she is a fantastic teacher. I am hooked. As long as she never expects my hips to move like that... because they won't. If they ever do, I'll need hip replacement at the ripe ol' age of 37. And, there are some moves... I just draw the line and I don't do them. I would even goes as far as saying... it may be a sin to move like that. Or maybe I just want it to be a sin- then I can have an excuse for never even trying to move like that. It is my prayer that no one ever videos me doing this new exercise class. I am positive I stand out like a white woman in a gospel choir. But, my shirt is always soaking wet when I leave so at least I am burning calories looking like an idiot.
Ok, back to my walks... that I am not taking.
I used to walk all the time. However, I had an incident last year and maybe I should have gone to therapy when it was all said and done.
It was early in the morning. And, it was the kind of morning that when you stepped out the door, even as early as 7:30 am, the sweat beads would start rolling down the forehead. The air so stifling it could be cut with a knife.
I started walking at a good clip, sweating profusely.
When I can, I always walk on the sidewalk. However, there are older sections of our neighborhood without sidewalks. In that case, I hug the curb as I move about. Occasionally, I have to leave the safety of the curb and move around a vehicle that is parked on the road. For some reason, in our neighborhood, there aren't a lot of cars on the roads, but every once in awhile, I have to zigzag past one.
I was chugging along a good 25 minutes into what I planned on being a 45 minute walk. I noticed that up ahead a car was parked on the right hand side of the road, same side I was walking on. If the car were to start to drive, it would drive away from me. As I approached the car, I had to pass on the driver's side.
This is my old van. Just using it as an illustration to show how I had to pass.
As I am moving past the driver's seat, in very close proximity to the car, my eye unconsciously glanced into the car. (Some would argue about this being unconscious or conscious because I do tend to err on the nosey side. However, it's my story and I know it was an unconscious glance.) As I glanced, I might as well have stuck my finger in a light socket because my body jolted as though I had. I sort of jumped to the side with my shoulders and hands pulled in, hunched in fear. Just imagine yourself walking and glancing down to see a snake. Only, in this instance, I wish it had been a snake.
Because as I passed and turned around to see what had jolted my system, I saw a very old man. His head was tilted back, his eyes closed, and his mouth was open.
I kept walking. I made it about 3 minutes down the road and I had to go back.
I kept my distance, passing the car on the other side of the street. I stopped and took a good look. All the windows in the car were rolled up. I moved a few feet into the center of the road to get a better look. The old man was wearing what looked like a wool suit. And, it was hotter than Hades outside. He had to have been baking in that car. Right then and there, I decided the old man was dead.
I tried to use my phone. And, I know this will surprise you, but it had gotten shampoo in it from my pool bag and so it wasn't functioning at capacity. (Are you starting to see a theme in my life?) I desperately wanted to reach Paul, but I just couldn't get my phone to cooperate. I stood there for a good 5 minutes thinking.... "surely someone I know will drive by at any minute."
NO ONE drove by.
So, I did the only thing I could think of, I started to run. I don't really love running... unless someone is chasing me. But, desperate times call for desperate measures. I probably ran a good half mile to my house.
I practically fell in the door trying to open it. After all, I was gasping for breath.
Paul just happened to be in the living room that is right inside the front door. He looked up at me with a stunned look. I bent over, put my hands on my knees, gasped for air and tried to start talking.
"I....(breath, breath) was walking.........(gasp)......a couple....... streets over.....and (breath, gasp) I saw...... an old man........(heavy breathing)........ in his car.......... windows were up (still gasping)...... he had on a wool jacket.........(gasp).......... his eyes were closed...... mouth open.....I think he's dead. (long pause for breath) What..... should....... we do?"
Paul was looking at me with that are you serious look. But, it wasn't the are you serious look that raises an alarm. No, it was that...... are you serious..... you're an idiot kind of look.
"Did you knock on the window."
"No way! I think we need to call the police!"
"I think you need to start with knocking on the window. Why didn't you knock on the window?"
"Because... what if he jumped out of the car and started running after me or something?"
He gave me a very long blank stare.
Then, he turned and started walking up the stairs because it was clear he didn't have time to have this conversation with his crazy, too-much-tv- watching wife. And then, do you know what he said to me? He said, "Well, if you can't out run an old man like that, then you deserve to die."
Can you believe that?
I went and grabbed my car keys. I drove back to the site of the scene. I slowly passed the old man's car and stared in to get a peek at him. I had another jolt of electricity run through my body.
His eyes were wide open, but he still had his head back and mouth open.
I drove to the end of the street. I sat there for a few minutes. Turned around and went back for more.
This time, the old, old man was getting out of his car to go meet some kind of handy man guy who had pulled into the driveway of the house.
I went back home. Walked into the house looking for Paul. He was so concerned about me that he was taking a shower. I yelled over the sound of the water, "He's dead. There was an ambulance there!"
I am not sure he fell for it for one second.
The moral of the story is: I may be safer in the Zumba class- looking like a freak show- than on the streets of my neighborhood.