As some of you know, the past year has not been a great one for my health. Just a little over a year ago years of unhealthy eating and exercise habits began to catch up with me. Last spring, after visiting with my cardiologist, pulmonologist and hematologist I realized my life had become a frickin case study from my family practice med team rotation back at WVU and the prognosis wasn't good, so I started trying to live a healthier lifestyle. It's a work in progress, but at least I am making progress, the initial goal was to live to be 50, now the goal is to turn 50 in better shape than when I turned 40. I figure I have 19 more months to work on that so I am gonna make it. Anyway, the radar doesn't look like an afternoon on the golf course, so my backup plan is an hour of interval training around the neighborhood. A quick check of the radar and it looks like I have at least an hour before the monsoon hits so off I go. Ooops, almost forgot the IPod, hmmm what to listen to today, oh there it is, todays music is Train. I hit shuffle and off I go down the street.
Now I have not taken the time to custom create my playlists by activity so I can't just choose an interval training playlist, and I am never quite sure how a chosen artist or playlist is going to relate to my walk. But the opening lines of If It's Love confirm that today's playlist is 100 percent me; "When everybody else is getting out of bed, I'm usually getting in it..." Yep, perfect for a midnight shift pharmacist. The first 5 minutes of any exercise routine is usually the hardest and today was no different, but I stuck it out and a couple of songs into the playlist I came around a bend in the walking path. Off to my left was one of the large ponds in White Gables and lining the far bank was a flock of at least 50 Canadian Geese, just standing around, crapping all over the place, staring at the cold water in the lake. A couple of yards away stood a group of five or six "local" ducks curiously watching their friends from the North. A chuckle leading to an all out belly laugh began to erupt from deep inside of me. I thought, this reminds me of the Isle of Palms on any sunny February day, a small group of locals watching the snowbird tourists from Canada standing around on the beach getting their nerve up for a dip in the Atlantic Ocean.
Another Train favorite blares through my head in the form of Meet Virginia and I re-focus on my training mission. Virginia, in the song, must be some kind of woman, "wears high heels when she exercises, ain't that beautiful...her daddy wrestles aligators and mama works on carburetors..." Wow, I see now why Train wants to meet her. At this point and with the help of the song, I am starting to hit my stride and the exercise is becoming easier, my movements more fluid.
Just as I am about to go past the lake, oh no, I notice little dimples on the surface of the water. Are those rain drops? I hope not, I am now at my furthest point from the house. I think to myself of course they are rain drops dummy, what do you think they are? Drops of Jupiter, no not the dimples on the pond, the song ringing from my ear buds. I haven't heard this song forever, and it is one of my favorites. I wonder to myself, what would it be like to "dance along the light of day and then head back to the milky way?" But I only wonder that for a little bit, then I start worrying with such thoughts that my blood oxygen level must be getting low, so I back off on the interval training a little bit.
So far, the Train playlist choice has been perfect for my walk. Nearly two-thirds of the way through my workout and my legs are really burning and my shins feel like they are about to splinter, then the song starts hitting my frontal lobe, Calling All Angels, "I won't give up if you won't give up." Wow, this is scary, it must have been destiny that I chose Train as my playlist today. At this point I realized that I was going to make it and decided to just walk and enjoy the music for the remainder of my trek.
All was going well then destiny turned into fate. I had just entered the home stretch, turning at the corner to head down one of the last streets before reaching my street. Wouldn't you know it, just then, right on cue, "Hey eh, hey eheheh, heyeheheh.. your lipstick stains on the front lobe of my left side brain..." How can a guy hear Hey, Soul Sister on his Ipod and not sing along? So, here I am, bee bopping down this quiet residential street singing along with Train at the top of my lungs, and I don't even realize it. Head up, lungs full of air, I notice an older lady walking a white poodle up ahead. Undeterred by the burning muscles in my thighs and calves I quicken my pace with the tempo of the song and just as I am about to overtake the lady from behind one of my favorite lines from the song, "I'm so obsessed, my heart is pounding out my untrim chest, I believe in you, like a virgin you're Madonna and I'm always gonna wanna blow your mind..." And with that, lyrics blaring out of my mouth, the lady wheels and smacks me in the back of the head as I pass by. For real, I am stunned, I am like, "Hey, Woah, Woah, Geesh, Why Did You Do That?" Then I got the heck away from her before she turned that poodle loose on me. She obviously was not a Train fan. But you know me, always feeling blessed and all, as I walked up the steps to my front porch I smiled and thought to myself, it's a good thing I didn't choose the Jimmy Buffett playlist today, could you imagine if I would have been singing "why don't we get drunk and ...." Wooo, that could have been ugly.