Walkin’ II: Early Morning Strolls

I’m currently cutting back on my calories and have so far dropped around ten pounds in the past two weeks.  I’d let myself get comfortable and complacent after a long, lazy summer.  Sure, I’ll loosen up a bit—both my calorie restrictions and my pants—for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, but I’ve been doing pretty well regulating my daily intake.  It had grown, quite frankly, massive.

I mentioned this latest of my various weight loss odysseys to my neighbor, the man who takes Murphy out for me and—more germane to this post—who is the Zone Captain for our Neighborhood Watch.  My adventures in dropping unsightly pounds and inches inspired him to propose the Lamar Neighborhood Watch establish small walking groups, and yesterday morning, he and I met shortly after 6 AM to walk a short circuit downtown.

It’s a short walk—a little less than a mile—but it was a good way to start the day.  We waited at the clock in downtown Lamar until about 6:30 AM, then made the short trip down to the library.  From there we doubled back to the clock, then walked the three short blocks back to my house, with Murphy alternatively leading, falling behind, and stopping dead in her tracks for no apparent reason.

The plan is that our “group”—so far, just two men and a dog—will meet up a bit after 6 AM every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  I’m hoping we’ll get started closer to 6 AM—early though it is—so I have a bit more time afterwards to get ready (yesterday was the first day in awhile that I arrived at work substantially past 7:30 AM), but it’s a very quick circuit, all considered.

On the way back from the library, we used some of the benches on Main Street to do stretches and various forms of mild calisthenics.  It’s a testament to how out of shape I am that even these mild exercises—like standing push-ups—hurt my core.  If we stick with it, though, I imagine I will have rippling abs and roided out triceps in a matter of weeks.

Well, or least I’ll be a bit less flabby in the arms and around the middle.  I can already see a noticeable change in the expansive girth of my generous gut just from dropping ten pounds.  My work pants—a couple of sturdy pairs of men’s slacks I picked up at Sam’s Club—are already straining less against my protruding belly, and I’ve made it back to the third notch on my belt.

As for the early morning stroll, it is very early to be up and about—it’s still quite dark out—but it’s also pleasant, especially with my neighbor’s company.  It gives us a chance to catch up and chit-chat before the hustle and bustle of the day truly begins.  It’s also interesting seeing the world at that hour.  We actually came across another friend of ours taking his very early (and quite vigorous) early morning stroll.  He looked like a man on a mission.

I’m sure there will be days I will not want to get up so early to walk, and I am hoping we can modify our start time slightly so I can get on back to the house and get ready.  I’ve grown accustomed to arriving at school a solid thirty or forty minutes before first period, as it gives me some time to square things away for the day.

But I am looking forward to these thrice weekly perambulations in the wee morning hours.  It sure does feel great to get on up and moving first thing, especially with the prospect of a hot shower and a good breakfast to follow.  It’s definitely good for Murphy, who needs to get out and moving around more (we got back to the house and, after downing a bunch of water and eating a little breakfast, she immediately collapsed back into her bed—lucky dog!).

I’ll keep you posted.  Should you organize a walking group, let me know!  If you want to participate asynchronously with my neighbor and me, leave a comment!

Happy Trails!



10 thoughts on “Walkin’ II: Early Morning Strolls

  1. Enjoy your walks, Tyler. You’ve certainly chosen a good time to start, when the sun is rising and the air retains some of that early morning dew – perfect walking conditions. Take your camera with you and pop some pictures up here. If they’re anything like that lovely headline picture you’ve chosen (copied and added to my collection), I’ll be able to nab a few more from you.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, Ponty! Again, I wish I could take credit for the picture, but it’s another Pexels freebie. I STILL need to get your English sunrise pictures posted. That’s been hovering in the back of my mind for some time; I’ll try to post them this week (not “throw them up”—don’t worry, Audre!).

      I’ll definitely pop some pics, though.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I’ll drag my backside out of bed and get some better ones as the days progress. Probably not til Thursday though – it’s forecast cats and dogs for the next 2 days and I’m not planning to get soaked! 🙂

        After reading Bill Bryson’s book A Walk in the Woods many years ago (I still reread it on and off), I’ve always wondered about the possibility of walking the Appalachian trail. Probably not all of it but the interesting parts, like the Maine woods. Have you been out to the Appalachians?

        Liked by 3 people

      • My mom’s mom’s family is from the Appalachian Mountains! Yes, we love the Appalachians here. It’s maybe a three-hour drive for me to get into the mountains—not bad! We celebrated my older brother’s fortieth birthday last fall up in the mountains of North Carolina.

        It’s really beautiful this time of year. I wouldn’t mind driving up to them this weekend, if Shelbs and I can find the time.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I used to love arriving early at work – terrible traffic every day but I got thru’ way before the traffic started. Work had a lovely patio, with overhead cover, and I loved watching the sun rise. It’s a wonderful time of day.

    I thought of pictures, too, just as 39 did. I don’t know because I’ve never lived there but do you get fall color? I’d LOVE pictures like that if you do. Of course, it’ll be dark but if you remember the best trees during the day, the camera will light one early in the morning.

    Liked by 3 people

    • The clocks go back on Halloween over here which means it will be dark in the mornings and dark in the evenings. There are a lot of people who don’t like that but I’m not one of them. I love leaving the house in the morning to pitch darkness and where we live, there are no streetlamps so until you switch on your car headlights, you’re pretty much looking into the void.

      When I read about those communities where they don’t get sunlight for a whole month, I feel envious. They’re usually beautifully isolated too – small communities surrounded by either woods or mountains. Perfect places to take pictures.

      If Tina and I win the lottery tonight (£153m jackpot), we’re going to find somewhere cut off from the rest – I think both of us could do with the peace and isolation away from this mad, mad world – but I’m going to see if I can persuade her to visit one of those places, somewhere on the Scandinavian Northern coasts. For photography, perfect, but for me, I just need some peace.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Let me know if you win that jackpot; I might hit you up to purchase some TJC swag with your newfound wealth—ha!

        I hear you re: peace. I sure needed some last week. I love teaching, but it is uniquely draining, in the way that being around kids all day tends to be. It’s also one of those jobs that is never really finished until summertime hits.

        I do enjoy the early morning strolls and being out when everything is still. That said, I don’t think I could do the season-long periods of darkness. I still need a little sunshine here and there. The Arctic Circle does have an appeal to it, though.

        Liked by 2 people

    • We do get some lovely fall colors here, Audre. It’s better up in the mountains, though. I’ll be in Athens this weekend visiting Shelby, and that’s really in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains—the Piedmont. Her apartment backs up against a wooded lot, and the dogs love going down in there to explore and do their business. I imagine those trees will start looking quite nice.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. The early part of the day is the best part for me whatever the season. Being awake in the early hours while the day slowly rouses itself is at once soothing and stimulating. My favourite description of a small town awakening comes at the beginning of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milkwood. Listen to the original BBC radio recording with Richard Burton to enjoy the words at their magnificent best.

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