Today was our 4th morning of our new fitness challenge. Proud to say we are right on target and it's been quite an adventure. The 6:15 wake up call is not as hard as I thought it would be. I've figured out that the biggest challenge to getting up that early (for us Early's) is the mental challenge. So basically I just don't give my brain a chance to think about it and am up at the sound of the buzzer. It's such a simple act really. Putting one foot out of bed, then the other, and then shifting your weight and standing up. Once you're up and moving, my brain usually follows within a minute or two and I'm alert enough to start the day.
The walks themselves have been quite the variety, mostly relating to weather and daylight, or lack thereof. We started with the worst of possible scenarios last Monday, rainy and stormy with quite the not-so-gentle breeze. But we aren't wicked green skinned witches and we didn't melt. Thanks to a great weather proof REI jacket handed down to me from Brie gifted when we moved back to Bellingham, I've kept both dry and warm. And I'm glad we started off with the worst because every day since then has felt like a treat.
The walk we are doing is a 2.7 mile loop that circles Lake Padden. We start off from the trail head opening at the dog park and head clockwise in a Westerly direction. (I'm pretty sure "westerly" is not a word but I like the way it sounds so I'm sticking with it.) The western side of the lake is thickly forested with moderate hills. We get that part out of the way first of course. Our halfway point is marked by a great reward - a view point that breaks open from the trees with a dock going out over the lake. Here we have a full view of the lake and open skies and get a taste of what the day was going to be like. On Monday when it poured, we barely took a moment to shine our flashlights out. Yep, dock's still there. Keep going .... But Wednesday we were rewarded for our commitment with the clearest of skies displaying the stars and slivered moon in all it's glory. Friday was dry yet again but cloudy skies. So while we couldn't see the stars, we did at least get to see just the faintest glow of lavender sunrise reflection bouncing back off the water at the very end of the hike looking back. And this morning, with the shift in daylight savings, we actually had... dah dun duhhhh.... Daylight! The water shimmered like glass as the ducks foraged and we even caught a crane privately bathing among the reeds.
So far only 1 out of 4 days have we had company. A grad student from Western joined us last Wednesday with her border collie and we had a good time chatting. But we've been garnishing interest and I think we may get some other people up and out of their beds to join us here along the way. We put a notice also in our church newsletter and have had one or two people asking about it who may join us once the holiday bazaar is over next week.
The most precious part of the walks is the hour or so afterwords where I'm up and alert and have time to use how I see fit before I actually start my work day. Having a real breakfast, time to blog, showering and sometimes even putting makeup on before I start my work day, I can't tell you how well that does for my psyche. It's easy for those of us work-from-home folks to fall into lazy patterns.
The early mornings have been harder on Don than they are on me. It goes a lot deeper against his natural body clock and his day demands a lot of personal energy. So he's still finding his way with that and some mornings he'll dip back in bed for a quick power nap and still struggle through his day in a bit of a haze. But I'm proud of him and his commitment. I hope by the end of this exercise his body will respond a bit kinder to him. I'm glad to know for the first time in our marriage, we are getting regular cardio exercise together, both for us and the dogs. We're being good to ourselves and good dog owners. I know a lot of people who have a lot more aggressive fitness goals than walking 3 miles three times a week. But this is the right goal for us, that fits the lifestyle we're trying to achieve, and I'm proud that we're doing it. Together.