One thing I failed to completely realise when I became the whole new healthy me, was that I actually had to leave the house once in a while.
I’m not completely adverse to exercise and fresh air, it’s just that I love TV. No, I mean I LOVE TV. I don’t really get people who say “I don’t own a TV” or “I only watch the news” (Dad). Come on people! You’re missing out on one of the greatest joys in modern life!
In truth, I watch more than my fair share and I’ll watch just about anything. At the moment, I’m watching not one, but two shows on the Documentary Channel about people who get naked and put themselves in dangerous situations on deserted islands. That’s two separate shows with a guy who tries to light a fire with his wang out. It’s unnecessary, but irresistible.
There comes a time though, when you can tell your TV watching has taken on a whole new level. And that level has gone too far. For me, it was when I found myself watching The Santa Claus 2 for the third time. On a Saturday. In the middle of January.
So when my long-suffering fiance (let’s call him “Jeff” – as that’s actually his name) suggested that we go for a hike into the hills, I couldn’t come up with a quick enough reason why it was a bad idea.
So I made us a delicious lunch. I baked special paleo, energy snacks (and also these non-paleo but nommy Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars that I added protein to). The sun was shining. The dog was excited. I was feeling pretty amped myself actually.
The first hour and a bit was pretty enjoyable. Even the second hour. The “hills” I’d been promised were more like judder bars in the clay. I was feeling confident, intrepid and even, some might say, a little smug at my natural levels of fitness.
After a bite of lunch and some appropriate comments about the beauty of nature, we crossed back over the harmless looking river and back to the sign post. “It’s this way” Jeff pointed – vertically, straight up the side of a mountain.
I think I hid my shock and despair pretty well, but I can’t be sure.
Not to worry. I’m an adventurer, I can do this. So in my shiny, neon pink running shoes I started to climb.
Initally I was determined. My thighs burnt, my calves ached, my teeth hurt from grinding my jaws together but I was feeling great. I recall even saying something ridiculous like “I’m really enjoying this. What a great walk!” Maybe I was hallucinating on chia seeds.
At some point I asked Jeff how long he thought it would be until we reached the top. “Ummm… Only about another 15 minutes” he replied. There’s one thing I forgot in that moment. Sometimes, Jeff softens the blow a bit to spare himself from my likely wrath. So I trusted him. We are getting married after all! 15 minutes seemed totally manageable.
Only it wasn’t 15 minutes. No siree. At close to two hours I realised I’d been had. I threatened all sorts of things – Divorce, death by stoning, silent treatment (he quite enjoyed that idea), you name it.
Once we reached the top, my fury turned into palpable relief. Fueled by adrenalin and thankful that I didn’t need to be evacuated off a mountain by helicopter, I let myself be fooled by another “all down hill from here and only about 20 more minutes”. Sucker.
Jeff wasn’t entirely lying, I mean, there was a lot of downhill. Like, the impossible-to-cross-but-go-on-i-dare-you slip that we came across, with the super handy WARNING sign on the wrong side of the slip. Or, the teeny, weeny, slippery, clay crevice that invited you to fall to your doom.
I spent a lot of the walk back to the car in silence. Mostly I was pondering my awesomeness, but I was also reflecting on how good it felt to be outside on a glorious day and not watching some naked guy brush his teeth with a used toothbrush he found on a beach.
Living a healthy life isn’t just about removing all the stuff you love and replacing it with weird sounding food and birdseed. It’s about trying new things, being open to change, admitting when sometimes there might be a better option and just loving life. Woah, that’s deep. Until next time, enjoy the ride.