Numbers have no business in exercise. I learned that today. Instead of getting on the treadmill at 4 p.m. like I usually do, putting channel 10 on (Oprah), and walking for 45 minutes, I picked up my son’s iPod. Hmm. I thought about the big hillside we have for a backyard, just sitting out there. And, that view of the Sierra from the top of it.
A narrow loop up, around the two big oaks, and back down is 110 steps. It’s approximately a twelve to fourteen percent grade, I figure, based on my comparison of it to the big hill my grandparents lived at the top of when I was little. That hill was a bitch. This one is slightly less bitchy – more of a shrew. Enough with the numbers.
I set off with Radiohead playing in my ears. I had never heard Radiohead, but I’ve heard that Coldplay copies them, and that they copy Coldplay, and since I like Coldplay, I decided to begin my circular hike listening to them. I completed ten loops in two songs: “Just” and “Paranoid Android.” Those are the only two Radiohead songs on my son’s iPod. I liked them so much that I kept hiking and started the songs over again. I lost count of my laps, thank god, and then switched to White Stripes, another group I’ve never heard, but have heard a lot about – mainly from much younger people and people on TV who seem to know about these things.
Turns out, I like the White Stripes too. After listening to “Hello Operator” and “My Doorbell”, the latter of which I really liked, “We’re Going to Be Friends” started. I have the Jack Johnson version too. I love that song. I love it even more now, after exercising and discovering there’s more to life than Jack Johnson. When the thumping “Blue Orchid” began, I tried to keep time with the beat. It worked on the way down, but I stopped pretty soon after the uphill leg began.
My son even thinks I’m cool. He just asked me why I still have the iPod on if I’m done hiking. I told him I liked the music he had on it. He smiled.
I’m setting a goal for the end of next week: “Blue Orchid”. Not miles, or minutes, or heart rate. The next time someone asks me what I do to stay in shape, I’m going to say White Stripes.