Steppin’ Out

September 1, 2012 | By More

My husband and I were watching the 2012 Summer Olympics one evening, and the tease for the night was the “fastest man alive” race featuring Usain Bolt. I had no idea this race was going to parallel my life to a ‘T.’

I know many of you who know me are thinking, “Girl you have lost your mind. You are a short, overweight, white woman, and he is a tall, fit, very fast, black man.” Just give me a moment, and I will explain. And actually it is not Usain Bolt that I identify with; it is those running against him – or chasing after him — that I represent so well.

As we watched the games, the gun sounded and the race began. I am sure everyone has seen the race by now, but Bolt was behind and then in a flash, he was in the lead and breaking away. In the moment immediately following the race, after a commentator said Bolt completed that race in just 41 strides while everyone else needed at least 44 strides, I said to my husband, “That is the story of my life.” I AM the 44 strides kind of person.

You see, Bolt is 6’5” tall, and he towers over most of the other competitors. So, he can cover that distance with fewer steps. At 4’11” tall I have spent my life trying to keep up with the Usain Bolts of the world. And at my height that pretty much includes all of you people reading this. (Okay, I am only 4’ 10 1/2” tall now; I have started shrinking!)

My husband and I have given up the idea of ever walking together for exercise. He is 6’ tall, and when he walks with me, no matter how hard I try to go really fast, he ends up walking in a zigzag pattern back and forth across the road just so he won’t leave me in the dust.

Yes, neighbors, that is way that man was walking so funny down your street. He has even resorted to making big loops and circling back around me, which also looks really bizarre. I was afraid someone watching us might call for a mental evaluation of my husband, so I have decided we should go our separate ways — at least when it comes to walking.

Recently, I have gotten on a much- needed exercise program, which I am sure will be explained in an upcoming story soon.

A bunch of my friends are avid exercisers, and very recently asked me to join them.

I have been there, done that. We tried walking together before our recent Costa Rica trip. Yes, I will admit that walking with your friends does sound really good on paper, but when we actually set out to walk one evening at the Lake Dardanelle State Park it became apparent — very quickly — that this was not going to work.

Now the height difference between me and my women friends is not nearly as drastic as with my husband, but it is safe to say I am the shortest one on this walk.

Oh, I was getting a great work out, moving my short, fat legs as fast as I could. The only problem was those several inches taller than me were leaving me in the dust. Being the good friends that they are, they kept slowing down and waiting for me.

I mentioned to them the zigzag pattern that my dear husband would do while walking with me and within a few minutes there were three women bobbin’ and weavin’ across the road. One was even starting to do that big circle thing around me.

I am sure the people camping at the state park were sitting back wondering what the heck was wrong with this group of women. They had to be thinking, “Now, that one short lady is walking a straight line as hard and fast as she can go, but those others are all over the place. What is wrong with them?”

I am telling you, if I hadn’t quit walking with all of them, I know it wouldn’t have been long before someone called the police and requested that they give us all a sobriety test.

After doing a little research, I discovered that my friend Maylu, who is 5’8”, can walk in mile in 2,218 steps. My short friends Karla and Jane, who are 5’ 2”, can do a mile in 2,433 steps.

At my grand stature of 4’10 1/2” I can walk a mile in 2,579 steps. I have to take 361 more steps than Maylu, I have to take 146 more steps than Karla or Jane, and I have to take 484 more steps than my husband!

Do you see why I am now walking all by myself? I must say I am quite content. Now, there are a few days when I miss the encouragement. I know this because there is this squirrel at the state park that stands on its hind legs when I walk past. I have been asking him to clap for me, but so far he only stares.

I was thinking maybe a few of you could just throw on your house coat, grab your cup of coffee, and come to the park about 7 a.m. and cheer me on as I walk by.

Yeah, I didn’t think I would have any takers. I guess I will keep working on that squirrel.

One last thing — I am now calling myself a 44-stepper. I think I am in some pretty good company.

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Category: Every Day Life

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