A girlfriend I’d been wanting to know better called and asked if I’d like to get together and go for a walk. Alarms went off in my head. Meet for coffee? Sure. Go out for lunch? Yes! Walk? Mmmmn, no. “Walk?” I asked suspiciously. “Sure, walk and talk,” she replied cheerfully.
This is not a good idea, I thought. I hadn’t exercised in a long time. I don’t own yoga pants or exercise clothes. The closest thing to a walking shoe I own is a pair of Reeboks that I bought for an aerobics class I never went to in 1988.
But I really liked this woman and wanted to spend the time with her. It’s just walking, I figured. Surely I can try something new. I can walk!
Just to clarify, I asked, “Where would we walk?” I looked hopefully out the window as we talked, willing thunderstorms to come rolling in, but alas, clear skies.
“How about we walk around Reed’s Lake?” she said. Reeds Lake is a small body of water in the center of Grand Rapids. I only knew that because one of my favorite eateries was settled on its shoreline. Maybe I could divert her inside.
Another long pause on my part. Finally, “How far around is that?” “Just 4.15 miles.” The fact that my friend knew it was exactly 4 point 15 miles should have tipped me off that her pace was going to challenging. “We’ll go slowly and if you get tired, we’ll stop,” she said reading my mind.
“Okay, sounds fun,” I lied.
I put on a pair of grey sweatpants that were actually old pajama bottoms and a T-shirt, laced up my venerable shoes, and set off to meet my girlfriend.