In a show of stubbornness, I've often devoted the hour or so I can manage out of bed each day to the treadmill. The treadmill provides a safety net since I don't run the risk of getting stranded far from home if the pain beats my will. The docs have essentially said that the walking isn't likely to cause greater injury, although they all seem surprised that I keep at it. Honestly, it helps me stay sane. The endorphins help during the walk and I just try to put the inevitable bounce-back of pain out of my mind. It helps balance things out....the pain of my body and the old body image demons in my brain.
This week, the treadmill broke. There may have been tears. Miraculously, there were nine days remaining on the labor side of the warranty (the motor is lifetime). Thankfully, our call in sets the date on this end, so we're covered even if it takes a bit to get the part and then get the tech out.
It was with a great deal of trepidation that I decided to take my walk outside. I am afraid of getting "stuck" but the mental need to exercise is stronger (esp since there's a dress shopping trip at the end of the month).
I've meandered through Bellefonte twice so far. I'm reminded how lucky we are to live in a town that loves its parks. I can think of four separate parks in our town, all within a few miles. Although not the closest, I also appreciate that the "Down, Around, and Back" loop (well, more accurately a "lollipop" shape) through one of the parks is almost precisely two miles. My head (which appreciates the numerical feedback of the 'mill and demanded I find an "app" to give me numbers outside) likes that. Another park is closer, but has a nasty hill that pushes to the side of "too much pain".
In addition to parks, we also have multiple cemeteries...which seem to me both very similar to parks and very different all at once. I noticed that the most interesting of Bellefonte's homes face onto the main town cemetery (the one not tied to a church). The homes alongside the town cemetery have colors and shapes that make them notably unique. I suppose that makes sense, only certain people would be comfortable with the location and that group probably tends to include some of the more eccentric types. And you might as well construct the home your heart desires when you already know there will be a special challenge if you ever sell.
The cemetery itself is remarkable. Apparently they offer tours, although I've never noticed any mention of the tours beyond a sign by the cemetery entrance. There are stones from the turn of this century and the turn of the last, with one spot having a 2012 memorial next to one from 1912. Apparently there are much older memorials as well, with the cemetery dating to 1795. Skimming headstones as I walked by reminded me how recently it was that the loss of infants and children was a more common reality. One family stone included the spouses and two children, both who passed before their second birthday. Many of the women's names were followed by "his wife," although fewer men were noted as "her husband." Though there was one stone that marked three losses, with the titles "Wife, Husband, Wife" above the names.
This didn't feel nearly as depressing as it might sound. It was a lot to ponder though (and more complex than my "treadmill fodder" of Gray's Anatomy or Four Weddings). I also appreciated the economic diversity I saw. I passed some tucked away homes with large lots and more rooms than I could imagine. I also passed some rundown apartments and townhomes, places that clearly don't have a hired gardener to weed around the beat-up parking lots. An impressive mix, especially since I never wandered more than two or three miles from home.
I've managed two outside meanderings. And physically paid the price for the added work of an outdoor walk. My head is pressuring me to keep this up, my body is not so sure (again, no reason to think it'll cause damage so not a long-term danger). I've hurt at night. A lot. But I've enjoyed the new view.