4:21AM comes at you like a stealth thief in the night. One minute, you’re in some far off dream land and the next, you’re bright-eyed and bushy-tailed listening to the echoes of Interpol’s Slow Hands on repeat in your brain for another 40 minutes.
The only thing you can at this point is get up, which you do by reading the internet in your self-contained blanket fort. Shortly after this, you say, “fuck this,” and go into your office. None of this hiding under the covers business.
But then the hours creep on by; soon it’s going on 9AM and the only thing you’ve since you’ve crawled out from your blanket cave is mindlessly scroll the internet. Weather looks to be hot (mid-high 80s) AND humid (90%), so if you’re going to do this, you do this now. You change into your workout gear, brew a pot of coffee (totally caffeinated, who the fuck are we kidding here?), put on your trainers, and get walking. You’re tired though, so you do the same route as you did on Monday, except backwards. The route, not you, just so we’re clear.
At some point you look at your phone and notice you’ve broken the 14′ mile pace like it was a walk in the park.
So you decided to slow down a bit, because what is this magic of your feet? 14′ walking mile? Are now THE FLASH?
Yes, yes you are.
Distance: 1.19 miles Walk time: 18:17 Pace: 15’16″/mile
Two walking days in a row where you’ve gone deep into the 15′ mile marker, and perhaps it’s time to start thinking about running. But not quite yet, how about a race? A race sounds good. Yule Run, I’ll Walk in November? Perfect.
In the same week, I’ve had two house guests snigger at “Wealthy Street” when giving them directional information. They chorused it is a very fancy sounding name for a fancy neighborhood and consequently, I live in a very fancy house.
I won’t disagree too much with their assessment. Wealthy Street was one of the original city streets (as evidence that much of it is still brick) and trolleys used to run down it towards Reeds Lake, which during the turn of the 20th century was a popular amusement park and day tripper spot. Captains of industry lived in my neighborhood and they would journey the few miles to Reeds Lake for their various entertainment, both of the day and nighttime variety.
Now Reeds Lake is ensorceled with homes owned by well to do white families and your self-importance rises by at least 30% when you cross the borders into East Grand Rapids.
This has nothing to do with my walk except that a part of it was on Wealthy Street and one of our favorite bakeries is six blocks from Throbbing Manor.
Wealthy Street Bakery and Art of the Table have snuggled next to each other for nearly a decade, beginning when this side of Wealthy Street was sketchy and a major drug dealer took up residence in the storefront across the street. In the last 3 1/2 years we’ve lived in the neighborhood, the gentrification that had started east of us has spun its magic in this area. Within a few blocks of WSB and AotT is a new brewery, a tequila bar cum taqueria, a coffee shop that roasts its own beans, and more, all that have open within the last couple of years.
What makes WSB so exciting to me is Tuesdays/Thursdays is vegan cookie day and they’ve been known to daily stock vegan chocolate cupcakes and will bring them out if you politely ask for them. TheHusband goes gaga over their danishes and I have a weakness in my loins for their chocolate babka (not vegan, but YOLO).
Distance: 1.29 miles Walk time: 20:06 Pace: 15’28″/mile
I’ve been bemoaning my left calf for some time now, pain would grip it when I walked, regardless of how fast or slow. Kristin tipped me off to getting a calf sleeve, which I did, and it has made a remarkable difference in my pain, gone from I WANT TO CHOP MY LEG OFF to barely noticeable. And a 15″ walk?What kind of crazy is THIS?
The sleeve I first purchased is enclosed by velcro, to make it fit better but I have big calves! 18″ at the widest point and what fit snug at the top was definitely quite loose near the ankle. I’ve just splurged on a true sleeve and now I’m thinking I want to train for a 5K walk.
I’ve long known I’ve had a fairly flat ass. It is not so flat as there is no shape, but the shape of my ass does not match the width of my hips. This became even more obvious this week as I found myself, after sitting in one place too long, walking around the cabin doing high knee bends and massaging my bottom. Today I had been inside all the day, working on my book, and around 4PM decided to do a walk around the neighborhood to get some muscle tone back.
Throbbing Cabin is situated in the old chalets that were used to support Sugar Loaf, a ski resort that was one of the best skiing areas in Michigan but has since been shuttered since 2000 due to bad property management and unpaid taxes. About 65-70% of the homes in my neck of the woods are seasonal, mainly trunk slammers, who come in the summer months for the views, wines, and beaches. With the area being named one of the most beautiful in the country, and Traverse City within spitting distance, we know how fortunate we are to have landed this place at the time that we did. Even more poignantly without the ski resort for support, many of the chalets have gone vacant and were falling into disrepair.
So while we’re in a tiny, sparsely populated subdivision, it’s insanely quiet here. The sub is surrounded on two sides by cherry orchards and forests, the third side is the old ski resort, the fourth is wide open field that is used for crops.
It’s a strange juxtaposition of seasonal and yearly homes that make this place unique. You’ll have places like ours, A-frame or similar cabins built to mimic Alpine styling, then WHAM! A more modern home shows up in your view complete with paved driveway, satellite dish, and siding.
Distance: 1.07 miles Walk time: Roughly 22 minutes Pace: 17:14/mile
What is most remarkable to me is the stillness. I can count on one hand the number of cars I hear drive by every day and at night, the stillness is broken by the creatures of the forest. So I admired the tree tops, and the odd mailbox, and thought how can you capture silence in a picture? Can you capture silence at all?
(I will not tell a lie, I close the windows at night not because I think there may be a Jason Voorhees hanging around, but that a curious bear will rip off the extended panes, rip through the screens, and somehow squeeze their body through an area 3 feet high and 1 foot wide.
Yes, I do have an overactive imagination, thank you for noticing!)
The sub’s diameter is exactly one mile, which makes it perfect for my walk. I came across some people doing yard work but most of the homes sit closed up, as evident by the piling of old newspapers and weeds in their drives. I saw whom I assume to be a young father taking his dog, a toddler, and a baby out for a stroll. He seemed more startled to see me power walking with my earbuds in and determined face than I was of him — but I had seen him yesterday around the same time doing the same walk.
Slowly, as I continue to observe, I get the feel and the rhythm of the place.