Sunday, March 4, 2007

Who Knew?

Word of the day: WALKING

Classic light-bulb-over-the-head moment.

Maybe that’s what’s going on. Walking. More correctly put, lack of walking. I haven’t been doing any walking since I started this trip. It’s as though you could hear the screech of breaks on February 1st. Think about it. I’ve lived the past 14 years in New York where walking was a given. Who knows how much people walk in the city? One mile a day? Five miles? A quick Google: "Manhattan is 13.4 miles long and 2.3 miles wide at its widest point. Twenty north-south city blocks equal a mile; a person with a brisk pace covers about a block a minute." God-bless those Google folks, is all I can say.

So with that calculation, I know I averaged about two miles of walking everyday and that was usually at a brisk NYC pace, just to keep up with the flow. And that's walking in addition to runs at the reservoir. But on February 1st, all that stopped, without me even noticing. It's sad to think that I walked more on my plane change at Hartsfield Airport than I have the past 30 days combined.

Okay then. So let’s look at the following equation, shall we?

Lack of walking + more sedentary lifestyle + tons of driving = back ache??

It was last night while lying in bed that I thought about this so by the time I got up this morning, I'd pretty much decided it was time to put a new plan into action. The survivor in me mulled the formula over and decided it was worth a shot. The area around here looked nice enough. I’d thought about it every time I took a trip to Kroger or the local drug store and yet, I didn’t even think about a nice stroll. Today, it was time to check things out ... minus the wheels.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Who knew? That’s all I can say. It was just what the doctor ordered. Of course, the jury’s out on whether my back ache gets better. Still, even with the ache, I suppose the choice is (1) having a back ache with a refreshing walk versus (2) the ache without the walk. I choose the former.

I started out and took a right out of the parking lot onto Green Park Drive. You see, even the name lends itself to a nice walk. It borders this pretty parcel of land that has a big “85 Acres For Sale” sign posted on it. I don’t know much about real estate but I’m guessing that someone with big bucks is going to make a lot of money on this property. You can see how things are expanding out from Dallas center pretty quickly and Las Colinas is down right nice. This land is striking in that it has a few small ponds with lots of these interesting looking trees. They look like some kind of fruit-bearing trees, so the area in spots looks like an orchard of some type. The wood fence bordering the property gives it a kind of ranch-style look.

I headed up the street and followed a pathway up and into the Verizon business complex. I’d seen it everyday for the past weeks and didn’t think I’d be taking a walking tour of anything relating to Verizon, but … there I was.

The Verizon grounds were gorgeous. And I never thought I’d be using the words “gorgeous” and “Verizon” in the same sentence, trust me. Winding paths, spacious open green lawns, ponds, ducks and geese - I felt like I’d found an oasis. Go figure. This is where all those complaint letters to the phone company ended up all those years. It’s nice to know all those fees have been invested well, you know? Seriously, I don’t hold that against the company. The fact is I’d want to work in a place like this if I worked in the telecommunications business.

There was this one sitting area, I guess you’d call it … It was so calming to sit there, listening to the birds, feeling the breeze. I know I’m going back there tomorrow but I also know it will be a working day so I’m pretty sure it won’t feel the same. I’m only sorry I discovered this walk three days before it’s time to leave. What I’m sure about is this: for the remainder of this trip, I will make sure to get out for a walk a day, preferably early in the morning, before the rest of that area of the world revs up.

So, you think I'll be able to find any beautiful open spaces in Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas or Nebraska?

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