It is important to note that A) it was not an accident; B) I am almost totally recovered; and C) I had a lot of fun.

Road construction crews have been working on the highway improvements along our little stretch of pavement. Right now, they’re scraping and leveling the land along the south side of the road, our side. As I’ve watched their progress I’ve thought three things: 1) Wow, this is changing everything; 2) Wow, this is a pain in the butt; and 3) Oh man, I sooo want to gallop my horse over the dirt humps and swoops they’re making.

I couldn’t take it anymore, and Wednesday I became a galloping vigilante to pursue that third thought.

Surreptitiously, I tacked up Jilly while waiting for the crews shut down for the day. Cooper and I (and the horse) took a casual stroll to the north fence line to make certain the coast was clear. Nary a worker was in sight and the machinery was quiet, so (and this was the only truly bad part) I put Cooper in the house because I didn’t want him along the highway … and he can’t keep up with a galloping horse anyway, poor little brick bullet that he is.

I got out onto the dirt stretch, let my horse trot for a bit to warm up her muscles and acclimate her brain to all the highway traffic and construction stuffs, and then we were off. There was wind and thundering feet and dust and breathing like a race horse.

It was exhilarating and I’d love to say that we galloped forever, but I have to say, that the two of us are seriously out of shape, so all that exhilarating stuff occurred for as long as, and only whenever, we had enough oxygen for it. So we galloped like a Hollywood scene aching for a little dramatic background music to accentuate the wind in our hair and thunder of Jilly’s hooves. Then we’d walk gasping like fish out of water. Then gallop. Then gasp.

During the walking parts, we did a pretty good job pretending that we were out strolling along because we wanted to check out the scenery. We do have some pride. And I made sure we always had enough air to gallop the swoopy parts. That was the purpose of mission after all.

I figure we went about 3.5 miles, plus the another .75 miles with Cooper (to make amends I retrieved him from the house, and we took him down to the creek for a swim).

Jilly, who John calls the hippo, and I (if he has a nickname for me, he wisely keeps it to himself) were a tad bit stiff-muscled the next day. She seemed to be pretty well recovered yesterday, though I have a few spots like my hips and those pesky core muscles that still feel a little tweeky.

But it was totally worth it.

My PSA for the day is this though: Physical fitness is a precious thing. Don’t squander it on junk food and a good brisk sit. Keep it, cherish it, let it know you appreciate it. If you’ve lost it or killed it off with neglect or let it age away at an accelerated rate, go build yourself some new fitness. Feed it properly. It may not be like the original fitness, but it’s better than no fitness. Hold it and squeeze it and pet it, and call it George if you have to, to make it feel loved and appreciated.

My George is small and weak, but growing at: pam(at)viewfromthenorth40.com

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