Sunday, June 29, 2014

Just Another Walk in the Park(s)

A few years ago I looked forward to Saturdays mainly because it meant I could get a good 10 miles or more walked/jogged out.  I haven't done that again since I participated in the half-marathon in October of 2011, for a myriad of reasons, the most charming of which is that I am so often caring for my granddaughter that there just isn't a window of opportunity to do it anymore. That's absolutely fine, of course, because given my druthers it's not even a contest which of those two things I'd rather be doing on a Saturday morning. 

All that time passed has gotten my head kind of out of that endurance game, but I'm working hard to find ways to ramp up again. With Rosemary spending this weekend with her Granna instead of me, I was able to put in a slightly more ambitious walk/jog yesterday morning, out at the AUM Wellness Center walking track. Granted, it still isn't anywhere close to what I used to do, just six miles, but when you are as out of shape physically and mentally as I am right now, it was an accomplishment of which I was proud. 

My legs were awfully stiff this morning, and the only thing for that, I've found, is to move them, so I decided that today I would just walk for the sake of walking. No pushing. No jogging. No attention to pace. Just move.   

I started out at Blount Cultural Park, where I got a little obsessed by how gorgeous the clouds were. 

 And then as I came around to the bridge I noticed there was a little parade underway. Naturally I had to stop and give it my full attention.

I decided I still felt pretty good, so I headed to Woodmere Park, a lovely but neglected little patch of property adjacent to the Shakespeare Festival. I've walked there before, but had forgotten that it just feels weird to walk that close to houses. A Peeping Tom could have a field day back there. I did a quick loop, and got back in my car to come home. 

I drove back through Blount Park, deciding all of a sudden to stop at yet another park on the way home. The water I'd had to drink before I left home, plus the water I'd sipped on after the first two walks had begun to send me a subtle message, so I parked at the way back at Ida Belle Young Park, near to the (as my Nannaw would have said) facilities.  It appeared to me that I had the park all to myself, too! No other cars in the lot, nobody on the tennis courts. 

As soon as I got out of my car, however, I noticed a person sprawled out on one of the tables in the covered area just next to those facilities, and I was just a bit wary of walking past him/her (I couldn't tell which), so I figured, heck, I was good for one short lap without that side trip.

But after that lap, I noticed that the sprawled person was still sprawled. I slowed as I got near, and started yelling, "Hey!  Are you okay?"  I yelled this out at least 5 times, but was still anxious about getting any closer. It was the second time in a matter of days that I had come up on someone that I was afraid was sick or worse in this heat (the first time turned out to be a police officer on a stake out), and so I called 911. I told the dispatcher I was not close enough to see if they were breathing, and I had no intention of getting close enough, but that I would stand where I was until help arrived. In less than 6 minutes from the time I had hit "9" to dial for help, a police officer and a team of paramedics were there.  

My car, Maude, is the gray car at which the paramedics are pointed.
The police car is to the left of me, obscured by shrubbery.
The car behind the paramedics pulled up during this whole thing. 

They were able to rouse the young man, and while I didn't want to insert myself into the proceedings, I also decided I was staying put to find out what was going on. He was checked out pretty thoroughly, the police officer spoke to him for a bit, and then it was over. I don't have the back story, but as we all were making our way back to our respective vehicles, he walked up right behind me, and I told him I was sorry if I'd embarrassed him, but that I was really concerned he was sick or hurt. 

And then he hugged me, and said, "Tha's cool." 

I'm glad I called, even though there was no emergency. I want to live in a world where we look out for each other, and the only way we get that kind of world is when we, ourselves, work to create it. 

I wonder what good we might do, what help we might be to one another, what delight we might discover each day, if we just slowed down and paid attention, don't you?

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