Busted flat in Baton Rouge,
Waitin’ for a train.
She was feelin’ torn and tattered as her bra.
Then Bobbie thumbed a diesel down
Just before it rained.
He dropped us six miles shy of Omaha.
Okay, so Kris Kristofferson I ain’t. However, from Baton Rouge (where my daughter Ellie lives), up through Bastrop, Louisiana, all the way north across Arkansas, travelling through Batesville, then through every inch of Missouri, passing through my home in Douglas County, then up to Omaha (where Jenny lives. Okay, she actually lives across the river in Iowa, but it’s HELL to find a rhyme for “Council Bluffs”.) is 1,007 miles.
As a 61-year-old guy who is doing his damnedest NOT to die at 62, as my father did, I haul my elderly butt into town at least three times a week to exercise at our town’s sweet little community center. They’ve got a fine weight room, with machines, and treadmills, and all sorts of nifty stuff, and I try to spend a couple of hours there, doing whatever needs to be done to keep this old bag of meat moving.
I’m pretty faithful from Labor Day until about Memorial Day, when I “lay off” for the summer, usually telling folks that I’ve got enough chores around the house to keep me busy. Truth is, the chores usually don’t get done, and I sorta loll around for three months, swilling beer and chasing bugs, and lying around the creek, thinking deep thoughts.
When I AM doing the routine, however, I try for about 45 minutes of weight training, followed by a minimum of three miles on the treadmill, or making circuits around the gymnasium (20 laps to the mile), or even going out to the park’s walking trail, where one lap is exactly a half-mile. Being
neat and conscientious …er…anal about such things (my wife says, and I agree, that I have OCD. Doesn’t EVERYBODY always take EXACTLY eleven sips when drinking a glass of water?), I keep a detailed record of just how far I’ve walked each day. No running. My running/marathon days are over half-a-lifetime past (although I still am pretty pleased with the 3:26:09 I ran in my only marathon, back in the winter of ’80).
Well, it took me five years. This past Monday, my treadmill routine caused me to pass the 1,000-mile mark in my current walking history. Actually ended the day with 1,001 miles, which would be the same as walking from Baton Rouge to “six miles shy of Omaha”. Lots of folks, particularly other “old folks” like me, walk regularly at the center, and they have a plaque on the wall listing the people who’ve reached 1,000 or 2,000 miles. I immediately took my ”documentation” up to Rheanna, the definitely NOT old-folks director of the place, and asked to be added to ”the wall”. I’ve got several good friends on the wall, and I’d be proud to be in their company
Small victory, but I’m kinda pleased with myself. We anticipate leaving Missouri next year. At least I’ll leave my name behind.