Tuesday, October 03, 2023

Not Flying

In Life, the Universe, and Everything, Douglas Adams writes

There is an art, it says, or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. … Clearly, it is this second part, the missing, which presents the difficulties. 

It's that simple, yes, of course. Today, I didn't miss. OOPS!

I was at my group tennis lesson, for beginners, though it's sort of semi-advanced beginners, the same lesson I started taking last fall, and then let lapse at some point.  We were rallying doubles, three students and the instructor, and the instructor hit a ball to my backhand, and I hustled after it, hit it (supposedly good, they told me after), and then my second foot didn't keep up and I fell in the way that sometimes happens.

I wasn't hurt and got up pretty quickly, and we went back to it.

And I've been thinking about that.

First, it's good to fall sometimes (until, I suppose, it isn't).  It reminds me that falling is okay when it happens for a reason, like running after a tennis ball.

Second, and more important:  I've been working semi-hard since I retired to get in better shape.  I've been slowly (emphasis on slowly) doing the couch to 5k program, riding my bike some, and walking some.  But it's been slow, because I'm rather lazy, and if I can think of an excuse, I use it, and don't go.  And I basically took off an entire week to go camping last week, and then my run on Sunday was miserable and slow.

But today, I hustled.  I wouldn't have made that shot, or gotten anywhere close to hitting it last fall.  I'm getting just a little better at moving.  (Between Covid and being chair, I really didn't get much exercise for the past three years, and it really tells at my age.)

Before the camping trip (more on that in the next post), I'd walked 10k one afternoon, and I've run/walked 2 miles.  

(NOTE: the couch to 5k program assumes people run about a 10-12 minute mile when they run, I think.  So that by the time you're done, and able to run a half an hour, you do, indeed, cover 3.1 miles, or 5k.  I do not run a 10-12 minute mile these days.  My best is closer to 18 minutes.  Yes, normal, non-racewalking people walk faster than I run.  I've always been a slow runner.  When I was in first grade, I was so slow at the 50 yard "dash" that the teacher thought her stop watch had a problem and made me and my friend S run it again.  We were both just that slow.)

Yesterday I walked 3.6 miles, so we'll see about tomorrow.

 I think I am slowly getting in better shape, and hopefully by the time I go to Barcelona, I'll be able to walk 10 or so miles a day or whatever.