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The basement remains a desolate shell.

All the stuff that was down there was put in storage somewhere. I haven’t asked for details because I don’t really care. The only thing I miss is my exercise bike.

I’m an avid exercise cyclist. I ride it every day without fail–sometimes twice a day.

My sailor is an avid regular cyclist.

Before he realized how uncoordinated and timid I am, he tried to share this healthy habit with me. He bought me a pretty teal mountain bike with a spiffy matching helmet. Our first and only ride was cut short because I spooked when a car overtook me. I walked my bike home in shame while he rode off into the sunshine alone.

A few years later we lived on a remote Army base in England. My sailor went away for a course and our Saturn broke down. (Yes, we were that family in Victoria who bought a Saturn.)

Trapped on the base with no other transportation, I dug out the bike and helmet and rode to the village for supplies. I felt strong, brave and free until my front wheel got tangled in some thick British vines and my bike and I parted ways. I went over the handlebars into a prickly bush. The bike skidded onto the road, narrowly missing an oncoming vehicle.

I haven’t been on a bike with wheels since, but I love the stationary variety. It’s so safe and stable and I’m unlikely to be hit by a car on it, which I feel is a bonus.

I can’t wait to get my exercise bike back. I feel sluggish and lazy without it.

Since it’s too miserable to do anything outside, I had to dream up something I could do inside without any equipment: slipper jogging!

I run laps around the house for half an hour before dinner–162 (yes I counted.)

I can’t wear my running shoes indoors because they’re gross and dirty from being worn, you know, outside, so I wear my fuzzy slippers. Although they give me traction (important on slippery hard wood floors), I doubt they’re engineered for proper running support. My calves and knees are aching, but I will not be deterred. Like the high school gym teacher of whom you were secretly frightened used to say: No pain. No gain!

Apparently I’m making huge gains.

Ugh–28 Minutes To Go!

006I started running again a couple of months ago.

Actually, as my sailor clarified when he heard me bragging about it, I’m more of a jogger than a runner. Runners are faster and more athletic than me. Since we’re being honest here, I’ll fess up. I’m really a plodder, not a jogger and certainly not a runner.

I resemble a pale hairless Clydesdale as I plod through the neighbourhood three times a week, sweating like a pig and huffing like an angry bull. I become a mobile petting zoo when I hit the pavement.

I don’t go for speed or distance. My goal is to jog, er, plod for forty minutes straight. This is quite an accomplishment for the clumsy girl who was never chosen for teams in junior high PE and whose brief stint on a university residence soccer team ended abruptly when she scored a goal on her own side early in the first game. (Yes, stereotypical humiliations like that really happen.)

To say I enjoy it would be a blatant lie. I’ve never experienced that runner’s high I’ve heard about. Perhaps because I’m a plodder and I don’t think there’s a plodder’s high.

I make a point of not checking my time until I’m well into my jog, hopefully at least half way through. It’s a mental boost for me to find out I’m on the final stretch.

This morning was hot and sticky. I was tired and stiff. Certain I’d been out for at least twenty minutes, possibly twenty-three or -four, I glanced at my watch.

Ugh–28 minutes to go! I’d only been plodding for twelve minutes, yet I was spent.

Not surprisingly, this knowledge didn’t increase my energy or promote a burst of vigour. It dragged me down because I knew the end was nowhere near.

So why do I torture myself by relentlessly counting the months until my sailor comes home?

We’re barely one month into a nine month deployment. I know that. I’m aware we’re nowhere near the end and it’s going to get worse before it gets better. I recognize that he’ll miss birthdays, holidays and family events.

Yet I wistfully flip through the pages of the calendar, counting the months as if time will have magically passed since my last countdown.

I need to jog more and mope less.