This morning I told my therapist, a fellow member of Generation X, about my new motto.
“You have a motto?” he asked.
“Yeah, it’s Win Today.”
He looked out the window, popped in a Depeche Mode tape, and told me to get the fuck out of his office.
So I’m going to keep going down this Win Today rabbit hole. To those that are still with me, I thank you. I promise we’ll get through this eventually.
Yesterday I wrote about meditating, and how I have to do it every day to not feel crazy. Today’s post is about one of the other things I have to do. Today’s post is about:
My Daily Walk.
It’s hard not to feel like an old man when you refer to a walk as “yours.” Young people don’t talk about walks like they own them. They just put one foot in front of the other and go where they need to go. But now I’m of the age where I take possession of any sort of exercise I can.
I’m so thankful to be able to do them. Back in May I could barely swing a golf club, so being able to walk three miles is something I do not take for granted.
I started to feel up to them after about the third round of treatment. I started taking them at Paris Mountain State Park. Since I was in the woods, I was calling it a hike. A hike is a sexier version of a walk. It’s a walk with better scenery.
Now that school is back in session I can’t just pop over to Paris Mountain whenever I feel like. So I’m back to taking my walks over at Butler Springs, a little county run park near my house.
There is a 0.6 mile loop that runs around the circumference of Butler Springs County park. There’s a big dip and a fairly nice hill, so I feel like it’s a good gauge of where I’m at.
Now I would never recommend anyone going out of your way to visit Butler Springs County Park. It wouldn’t make any Trip Advisor List of Things to See in Greenville. Yet this park is remarkable. There’s so much life in the middle of this 0.6 mile loop. There are two baseball fields with batting cages and a concession stand. There are four perfectly manicured tennis courts. There’s a community center with a giant grill flanked by two playgrounds for kids. During my walks I’ve seen Birthday parties, family reunions, church picnics. Last week there were people hitting a piñata. There’s a place to play hopscotch. Freaking hopscotch!
In the middle of it all is this little dog. He’s there every single day. He’s not homeless, he has a collar and a tag, but everyday he’s there holding court in Butler Springs.
And this dog is not friendly. He’s not looking to make friends. He just sits in the middle and observes the proceedings. You can tell it’s someone’s first time by the way they react to it. Newbies have concerned looks on their faces, wondering if this dog is ok. By trip number two, they know the dog is fine, and that it doesn’t want to be bothered. It has the soul of a crotchety old man, watching all these young people, making sure they’re following all the rules. His entire essence exudes “Get off my lawn.”
In short, I love him.
Way back in April of 2017, on my very first treatment, my nurse brought over a guy to talk to me. He was my age and had what I had. He had already been in treatment a few months, and I was asking him all sorts of questions. One thing he said was that no matter how bad he felt, he tried to do something active. Even if it’s as simple as going to the mailbox and back.
What he said planted itself into my brain, and ever since then, every day I’ve done something active feels like a victory. No matter how healthy any of us are, there’s going to come a point when we can’t do the things we used to do. The things we now don’t even think about, walking, breathing, will be the things we long to do again. These walks make me feel like a part of the world. Like an active participant in the day. Like I’m not taking my life for granted.
Every day I can do that feels like a win.