And by shape, I don’t mean “shape” (that’s a topic for another post), I mean “playing shape”. Stamina. Wind. Lung capacity.
I haven’t played tennis since my “boys” went so far south I almost spent as much time driving to and from the courts as playing on them. That’s been about three years.
During that time, I’ve been a pretty consistent walker, ranging 4-9 miles a day (even on weekends). Healthy, right? That was put to the paid a couple of weeks ago by one of my friendly companions, a bee.
So, this bee kept buzzing me. Hey, it’s expected to bump into flying things, but this guy was joining me on my walk. And it’s not even that he was buzzing around my arms or back – he was going for the kisser.
So, I sped up my walking pace. A bit of a strain, but perhaps the solution. No dice. He kept up with ease.
Now, I know from experience, swatting is not the answer either. That just makes ’em mad. So, I had only one option left in my bag of tricks: jogging.
It always seems to me, that whenever I see joggers coming or going during my walks, they don’t seem to be swatting or swerving from bugs. Either their steely will is so focused on exercise they can totally ignore the little buggers or they are moving swift enough to dissuade companionship.
Problem was, I had on my hiking shoes. These are great for walking, but when jogging, they feel like two concrete blocks strapped to your ankles.
Nevertheless, I took up a pace. As mentioned long ago, I don’t know how to jog. I know how to run, but jogging, not so much. I tried to slow my pace and concentrate on the count in my head.
I managed maybe four blocks. Then I had to slow to a walk again, sucking air as I did. Me, who used to play tennis for 2 1/2 hours in South Florida heat. What a come down.
It also ticked me off, so I tried to jog again. Got about the same distance before having to admit defeat. I knew better than to blame my shoes. It was my lungs that were letting me down.
Which also suggests that walking is just not enough, at least for a man my age. I’m still too young to give up my stamina. I think I’ll have to invest in a pair of jogging shoes and start working on my distances.
Funny side note: I was mentioning this to my elder nieceling, with whom I’ve gone on many walks, and she told me that the healthiest practice was interval jogging, where you alternate between walking and jogging.
I laughed, of course, and told her I had no choice about the intervals. I can’t expect to jog the whole way without any wind beneath my wings.