Craaaaap. I overdid it.
I have been hiking on my lunch breaks. It’s been very enjoyable. I love spending a little quality nature-time in the middle of an office day. :) On Monday, as I was hiking in a local park, I came across a set of gymnastic rings. I looked around: overgrown grassy field, trees, weeds, gymnastic rings. Yep, no hallucination. There was a sign next to the ring explaining how to use them and indicating them as Point 10 on a Fitness Trail.
Fitness Trail? Here? I looked to either side of the rings. It was easier to walk to the right, so I did, searching for Point 11 but it was not to be found. “Must be a 10 Point trail,” I thought.
I wandered back and hiked toward Point 9. Sure enough, there it was - a broken wooden pommel horse with thorny brush growing over it and a tree branch lying across it. A tipped over sign showing a picture of a man swinging his legs over the beam and landing in a crouch was choked with weeds.
I looked in the possible directions for Point 8. The trail, wherever it is, has been overtaken by nature. It made me think of Jurassic Park 3, where the buildings and roads are in ruins…but not to the extent it would be of much interest to archaeologists. Of course, that gave me a momentary case of the heebie jeebies, standing in a pocket of unbridled nature in my office clothes and sneakers, wielding a walking stick. A bird, at that point, would have sounded like the shriek of a velociraptor.
Anyway, I decided spontaneously to jog back to my car. Usually, I hate running. I like the idea of it, but everything hurts when I run and my asthma flares up and I get cramps in my sides. For some reason, I enjoyed running that day. I think it’s because I was running through trees and fields. I had to be very careful not to twist my ankle or trip over something (which I did, of course, me being the klutz I am - that branch was waiting for me like a snake in the grass). As I jogged, I thought this Fitness Trail seems like a really neat idea. We’d have to clear out a good path, so people aren’t plowing through poison ivy and sinking into mole tunnels or tripping over branches. The equipment would need to be refurbished or replaced (preferably replaced). The signs would need to be updated.
I began to see the potential for this. If only…IF ONLY….If only this was in a city that actually has some money. If only this was in a city where the leaders care or aren’t rebuffed for caring. If only this was in a city where the people give a damn.
The Fitness Trail in ruins is a fitting example of the city of Benton Harbor. It used to be something good and worthwhile, but it fell to ruins and now no one cares enough to do anything about it.
I want to update the Fitness Trail. I don’t know how. I don’t know where to start. I would need sponsors. Whirlpool is in town, generally willing to let charities suck them dry. There’s a health food store in the city. A running store (with a REALLY well-built owner that I totally have a crush on) in the neighboring city, and a bike shop next door. There are boy and girl scout troops all over the place who might be willing to help with the manual labor.
I don’t even know how to begin asking.
I don’t want this to be another idea that fizzles and dies.
Anyway, the jogging I did there coupled with a calf-buster exercise my ballet teacher had us do that night and wearing too-high-heels yesterday means my legs are killing me today. I went for a walk last night to stretch my aching muscles a bit, and I rolled on the Icy Hot and fell asleep to a rather uncomfortable tingling cold burn all up my legs. They feel marginally better this morning, but still hurt. I rolled some more Icy Hot on before leaving for work and my legs are still tingling under my tights. I keep flexing and pointing my feet, stretching the muscles. I hope that’s the right thing to do.