Monday, July 21, 2014

Walking tests, Sirens, Weights, and Geocaches

Today's aerobic walk was a real comedy of errors.
I had decided that since I was fed up with walking in Bnei Brak (it is NOT very scenic compared to the Yarkon Park or the Tel Aviv coastline...) I would take the bus to Tel Aviv. There I could walk along the built-up part of the Tel Aviv port, as well as the next-to-buildings side of the Yarkon park up to Namir road.  95% of this route would have buildings within a 90-second running distance.  Add to that the fact that there had been no sirens in Tel Aviv for about 24 hours, I felt I could risk it. I wasn’t going to walk in the open areas of the Yarkon park, after all. I was itching to go, and considering the very low level of risk, I was not going to let unwarranted fear (or Hamas) to rule over my life.
   In addition to the above, I wanted (for an online group I am in) to do a one-mile walking test. I do these tests periodically, always along the same stretch of the Yarkon Park. And while that area was off limits to me (ie, an open area with NO buildings), I decided that I would do the test in the other, built-up end of the park. Maybe the results would not be exactly accurate, but it would be good enough, considering.  I felt good about this, as I had told my friends not to expect me to do the walking test, as my running track was shelter-less.
   I took a bus most of the way to the port; I got off about a forty minute walk away, in order to “grab” a geocache. The cache was blessedly easy to find, and I was off walking down an avenue in the direction of the port. On reaching the port area I was enjoying the view when the air raid sirens started screeching away. I dashed into the nearest building, and a couple exiting from an office told me “This way!” as they (make that “we”) dashed down the stairs to an underground parking area. The area filled up quickly as tourists and locals hurried to safety.  In sort order we heard two missiles being shot down. At that point one man tried to leave, but he was restrained verbally by someone who reminded him that we need to spend ten minutes in the shelter, until all the debris from the rockets and anti-rocket  hardware would fall. So we waited, and people slowly relaxed from the tenseness that had been there a few moments before.  When  I finally was able to leave, I saw a bunch of ten year olds,  exiting from a different building. They were starting to set up chairs for what appeared would be their lunch break, chatting away. If you had not been there you would never know that they had just emerged from an air raid shelter.
    From there I turned north, striding  along the sea shore……. and on reaching  the glatt kosher coffee store there, I bought a coffee “to go”, just to give them some business. (Business is down there due to the “situation”.) Then I passed a sports store, and I remembered that my 4 kilo weights are getting too light for certain arm exercises. So I entered the store, bought a 5 kilo weight, and, in addition, an itsy-bitsy one kilo weight for when I will be allowed to start doing weight lifting with my left arm. (Two months ago I had surgery on that arm due to torn tendons.)  As I exited the store, 6 extra kilos weighing down my back pack I swiftly realized:
1)      There is no way that I will be able to get accurate results on a walking test, schlepping along an extra 6 kilos of weight.
2)      If a siren would sound again, those 6 kilos just might make running to shelter a *bit* more difficult!
    I decided not to fret. When I reached the Yarkon park area (where the buildings would be running distance, rather than closer, as previous to then), I simply held my (expensive) phone in hand, and decided that I would merely pitch my backpack into some bushes if needed (ie if there was a siren).  [I trusted that no one would haul it off all that quickly anyway, and the contents were not all that expensive.] I DID time my walk… it was definitely longer than my previous score of 16&1/2 minutes, but was a decent (considering) 20 minutes. What DID strike me was this: if a measly 6 kilos can slow me down that much, HOW in heaven’s name, did I manage to even MOVE when I weighed 80 kilos more than I do today!?!?!?! (After all, 80 kilos = 13 times 6 kilos!!!)

   So that was my “saga” for the day!

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