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Lights In the Distance. . .

Walks’ Outdate – 132 Days and Counting

By Steven Maisenbacher

Walks On The Grass

Geez Louise, will somebody please give me some Ibuprofen. I got muscles where I didn’t know they still were, however, I do in fact now know they are there, not only because they are killin’ me but also because I did it to myself. See we all know I’m on the way to getting out, and over the years since 1999 I have gained a good amount of weight. So a month ago I decided, “Hey Walks, let’s start an exercise plan to get a little fitness back in the old bod!” (it gets worse)

So I decide to start riding the recumbent bike, where you sit in the seat, legs in front pedaling forward, the machine has a cool screen and all these programs (designed to kill you) that let you ride courses, like “cross country” or “hill climb” or “basic program” where it’s pretty much just resistance with levels 1-10. So my first time out a month ago I get on this thing and what do you think I did? Yeah, hill climb level 8. WRONG!

Bonehead move Walks, it’s a 20-minute program at that level and while I did finish it, I will never, ever, do that to myself again. The next morning I woke up, sat up on the bed and threw my legs over the side and went to stand. Again, WRONG! I felt like someone had beat me with a bat, fed me to a pack of coyotes who proceeded to poop me over a cliff.

See, I hadn’t really done anything in a few years since 2018 when I last played softball, and unlike Tom Brady, I did in fact finish the career with the first place “Kansas City Royals” softball team in Yazoo Mississippi Correctional Center and then I came here. Not long after that I underwent surgery on my back. That’s when all hell broke loose and my athletic days were abruptly ended by unrepairable nerve damage to my spinal cord, so the first bike ride was the last at that moment.

But no… me being me, I wasn’t gonna let myself be left as a pile of coyote poop at the bottom of the cliff, so I decide to give it another shot…a realistic “doable” shot, where in I decided to start over, on the bike of course cuz as everyone knows,  criminals always return to the scene of the crime. I devise a scheme and a program where I ride for 5 minutes on level 5 and will do that for 2 weeks then go to 7 minutes on level 6. My thinking was that certainly I would be ready for a little ole 2 minute, 1-level graduation after 2 weeks. Again, (yea, you guessed it) WRONG!

Remember that thing with the coyotes? Yeah, that, well it struck again this morning, but this time I’m not gonna fold up like a cheap suit, I’m gonna take my round self back out there tonight for another ride. Yep, 7 minutes level 6. OK, maybe I’ll drop back to 5 for the last 2 minutes like “Sings Many Songs” suggested.

But the point is this, all my life till I injured the rotator cuff in my left shoulder in 1999 doing a negative bench press workout, I have been pretty well built, with the washboard stomach, and a lot of muscle. Then that happened, and I was out of commission for almost 11 months dealing with the injury and slowly, pound by pound and month by month I gained weight…a lot of weight. I went from the 6-pack abs I used to have, to the pony keg stomach I now have, and while I am in shape (hey, round is a shape) I’m not in as good a shape as I could be. I wanna get a little more strength and a little more stamina before I get out, so I had to do something cuz I just can’t accept me as a fluffy/cuddly/round shaped guy.

So I’m on this self-betterment mission to coincide with the spiritual/ emotional/ intellectual remodeling I have been undergoing since a couple decades ago. So, let me tell ya, while the coyotes are still very much hungry and just waitin on me, I will not be deterred in at least trying to keep from the trip thru their digestive system and then over the cliff. I’m gonna ride that dang bike for 2 more weeks and then who knows maybe level 7 for 8 minutes… but let’s not make that call at this moment, cuz as I found out the first attempt, sensible will get it completed, jumping in will make me jump out. And since I wanna do this I’ll just take it in 2-week increments. After all, I ain’t in a race, it’s for me and no one else, so I can stay where I’m at level wise and time wise if I want. No one is gonna get on me for trying to do better by my own health and maybe, just maybe, those coyotes will starve to death waitin’ on me to get in a hurry and bite off more than I can chew…

Published by Edna Peirce Dixon

I am an 80-something elder, a child of the great depression and WWII. I have lived a good life doing all the ordinary things valued by women of my generation. Through it all, I have also been a seeker, an outsider by nature, never quite "at home" in any group, but always looking through cracks in the fences of life, questioning, challenging, learning, trying to make sense of the world and its conventions. A registered nurse by profession, I am a lifelong student with a love of writing and interests in history and genealogy. In my golden years, just when I was starting to wonder what I was going to do with the rest of my life, some unexpected things happened that led me down new and unfamiliar paths. I’ve since learned it took a lifetime of experiences to prepare me for the new challenges and opportunities to come. The lessons these new challenges bring comprise the magic elixir that keep me seeking, keep me aware, keep me vital.

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