If only all of my workouts could be so nice

Since my schedule’s gotten busier these days, things have naturally fallen off the priority list. One that I’m fighting tooth and nail to keep on that list is my physical activity.

I’m not going to whine about it at length, but I’ve gained some weight over the last year and this is the first time I’ve ever struggled with shedding it. Any time I’ve crossed the line before this, I’ve been able to beat myself back into submission. A bit less indulgence with the food, a bit more calorie burning with cardio. Simple enough. But my physiology is changing. I’m oh, so close to 40 and my body is holding on a bit tighter to the fat cells.

I’ve been beseeching myself to get at least a dog walk in each night. And I felt victorious when we drove to my mom’s this weekend and I threw in an extra pair of shorts and some socks so I could hit the trail with my skates.

It’s always been a nice, scenic ride, but I noticed last time that one loop didn’t even put me at half an hour. I figured I’d just have to do two, until I noticed that they’d expanded the trail. I completed the first loop, then went over the bridge and explored the curving path that wended its way through the wooded area. It took me all the way to Kilgore and past a lot of nice, open fields. The new section was also quieter, without as much traffic.

On my way back, I was making my way around a curve when a guy I’d passed earlier stepped out into the path with his fingers to his lips, “Shhhhh!” he whispered and pointed, “there’s a deer.” A doe stood right off the path, gazing at me as I applied my brakes as quietly as I could (which isn’t quiet at all). I glided past her, just a couple of feet away, and she didn’t move. She just watched me calmly and turned to look at the other people standing across the path from her. They had three small dogs on leashes, but none of it seemed to bother her.

I clumsily came to a complete stop and spun around, leaning against the fence to watch her. She eyed all of us and kept munching on the leaves. She was unfazed. We all stood quietly, even the dogs, for a couple of minutes until she slowly turned into the wooded area and began to walk away.

I waited a minute to see if she’d return, then I rolled away in the other direction.