I decided to take a quantum leap and commit myself to walking every day. Perhaps two miles? Fortunately, I immediately thought of an excuse to scuttle the plan. It was the very same reason I did not visit a gym on a regular basis! Wow! A twofer. I would have to drive 10 miles into the nearest town to visit the gym  and use the treadmill……….and, come on! Along with enduring the boredom inherent in treadmills,  I would have to bring a change of clothes for work, which began at 2 pm and possibly shower there, etc etc.

Whew! But, Dillon Dog was all in for hiking sans treadmill.  He presented himself with a leash just as I had settled myself in – still clad in sagging pajamas –  for some quiet staring with a morning cup of coffee. His shepherd ears perked, his eyes creased- lit up! With possibilities! I glanced out the window. A spitting of snow whirled past in a gust. Nah.

Most of us, like me, have a nebulous idea for getting fit and staying well, someday. Someday we will quit liking the food we love to eat, someday we will lose 50 pounds, someday we will be svelte and thin. Sometimes, as we grow older, we lapse into complacency and say, “oh well, who cares, anyway? I’m happy the way I am.”

But, is complacency a  plan? Life-style linked diseases are free gifts we receive for doing…….. nothing.  The key words here are ‘lifestyle-linked diseases’. In examining these words, I began to consider this: My lifestyle and eating habits, due to lack of consistent exercise and poor diet, could very possibly lead to ‘lifestyle-linked disease’, considering my high cholesterol numbers. An otherwise ho-hum physical examination had recently revealed this disconcerting diagnosis.

Not that I was scared straight on that one.  It was utterly forgettable when I was sitting on my butt, consuming a package of Oreo cookies after a Hard Night’s Nursing. In fact, my desire to get fit was based on something a little different: I was trapped.

I was 58 years old and going nowhere. I mean, I was living with my 21 -year- old son, in HIS house! I was there because I had nowhere else to go. There was absolutely nothing I felt I could change about my low-income, low-possibilities life at the moment. In spite of all my ‘big breakthrough’ dreams and the paltry raises I received in real-time, I remained on the exact same, rutted treadmill. I had finally decided to change the only thing about myself I thought I could change…….which was myself.

Ok, I give.

I scrambled around in my drawers, pulled on some layers of clothing, pulled on my coat and shoved my feet into pack boots. Dillon Dog shot forward as I picked up the leash, rushing through the door and down the snow-scoured steps, skidding me along with him out……out, and into the woods.

One step at a time.