More than just a walk in the park
Is there anything better than the arrival of spring?
The warm breezes, the sunny days and the return of green grass all work together to make us forget the long, cold winter we just endured.
Everything seems so fresh and new in the spring, particularly this year, considering the nastiness of the past few months.
I guess that's why I've been feeling so refreshed and motivated myself lately. If Mother Nature can shake off the messiness of winter and start fresh, so can I.
My new attitude kicked in about two weeks ago. I decided to begin a walking program. I resolved to walk at least two miles a day, everyday. Much to my husband's dismay, I resolved that he would walk with me.
Actually, it didn't take as much convincing as I had anticipated. He agreed we could both stand to get into better shape and he was usually the one who ended up walking the dog anyway.
I warned him, it wasn't going to the leisurely strolls he and the dog had become accustomed to. There would be no stopping every few feet to sniff the grass (the dog) or stopping in the middle of the walk to shoot some baskets (my husband).
We were going to have purpose in our walks. We were going to burn calories and tone muscles.
That plan lasted about as long as it took us to make two laps around the park. We didn't lose our motivation, we simply became intrigued with our surroundings.
As is the case on beautiful spring days, the park was full of people. We passed by them on the trail, doing our best to yield to the right.
Along the way, we noticed how each person had his or her own way of passing. Some would say hello or make small talk, others would do whatever was necessary to avoid eye contact. Some would say hello the first time they met you, while others would adhere to the one-greeting-per-outing rule.
Since that day, we've become fascinated with our new friends at the park. There's the Rollerblading lady who never speaks. We figure she works at a desk job somewhere and has never really developed any people skills.
There's the man who brings what appears to be his grandson to the park every day. He seems nice. We worry that the young boy will soon get too old to care about trips to the park with Grandpa.
Then there's our favorite park friend. We don't know his name, but we call him Sparky.
Sparky doesn't have an easy life. He's the kid who, while his friends are making sand castles in the volleyball pit, has to make the 100-yard or so trek to the water spicket with a giant orange highway cone.
He fills the cone with water and carefully makes his way back to the sand pit. When he finally gets there, he's not even the one who gets to pour the water on the sand. His friend grabs the cone from him, empties it and sends him back to the spicket for more.
We admire Sparky because he never seems to get discouraged. God bless him, he's willing to take the abuse, day after day, just for the experience of spending a spring day in the park with his friends.