Last week I awoke to the sight of a doe and her fawn frolicking in our backyard. My initial reaction was, ‘Oh, how adorable’ but once they disappeared into the woods, I exclaimed, “Now even our lawn doesn’t cut it as a tick-free zone!”
Not one to be oppressed by fear of lyme disease and mosquito-borne viruses like Zika, I knew I had to become an advocate for safe, indoor recreation.
For people who cannot imagine playtime without tents, hiking boots, and DEET, here are a few ideas.
1) The library. Our library is full of stairways and halls you can explore for hours. If the landscape becomes boring, you can tour a new continent by opening Hemmingway’s “Green Hills of Africa.” Or practice doing squats while you retrieve Donna Cavanagh’s “How to Write and Share Humor” from a low shelf. Trudging to your car with a full backpack, due dates guarantee a return visit.
2) Church steeples. What a thrill to discover an obscure door leading to a spiral staircase. Don’t let the cobwebs and bat guano discourage you. It is all part of the adventure, and reaching the heights of splendor will be worth the discomfort. Exercise your body and your soul in this inspirational setting.
3) The mall. This is so popular they open the mall early to accommodate energetic hoofers. As a bonus, you can window shop and be first in line to get a killer deal on a pair of last year’s Nike Air Max shoes. Then with an aura of superiority, you can sashay over to Starbucks and fork over your savings for a down payment on a Vente sized latte.
4) Hotels. Where else can you soar to the summit of 13 stories with built-in landing strips to give you time to recover from the wheezing? When you arrive at the peak congratulate yourself, eat a handful of trail mix, and slap a sticky note on the wall proclaiming your victory. With careful timing, when you emerge from the stairway you can claim a 1/2-price margarita during happy hour.
5) Hospitals. The good news when you explore hospitals is you are close to ‘Hobble In Care’ if you pull a muscle. And with any luck, if your breakfast bacon clogs an artery an astute nurse or resident will glance away from her iPhone long enough to notice you clutching your chest and will initiate CPR.
6) Courthouse. Yearn for new episodes of ‘Law and Order?’ Take your constitutional in the drama of the courthouse. Once you’ve registered 10,000 steps you can cool down while observing the judicial system in action. Later when you watch a news report about the big murder trial, you can boast that you were there, sweating along with the defendant.
7) Airports. Nothing says you are fit like tripping through an airport terminal while you observe tired travelers using escalators and moving sidewalks. The beauty of this venue is you can make new friends by forming an exercise group with frequent flyers.
It feels great to have my summer exercise options mapped out. And I’ve donated all my sunscreen and bug spray to a local hiking group along with a copy of this essay.
I’m sure when they read it they will recognize the value of reducing risk by practicing safe treks.
What are your summer exercise plans? How do you stay active despite the threat of disease carrying insects?