Chapter 35: Exercise

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Well-earned rest atop Raptor Ridge.

From The List Of ALS Ironies

In my book, there is a HUGE difference between physical activity and exercise, and though the former can qualify as the latter, I have always HATED exercising.

I did play sports for many years, which usually correlates with exercise, you gotta train to get good and all that, but I was always involved in sports for the play of it, not the competition. If it wasn’t fun, I felt, there was no point, and exercising is NOT fun. That’s why it’s also called “working out”. It’s dreadful boring work!

Later, it would be activities like cycling and hiking and kayaking that really interested me, exploring the world under my own body power. It was a special kind of bliss to be soaked in sweat and high as a kite on endorphins, reaching the end of the Interurban Trail at Chuckanut Drive, crossing the road, and pedaling a quarter mile further to a gorgeous lookout over the Salish Sea and the San Juan Islands; or to reach the day hike stopping point on the Ptarmigan Ridge Trail in the North Cascades, at the edge of the Coleman Glacier, at the foot of the majestic 10,781-foot Mt. Baker; or paddling south out of Bellingham Bay, beside the evergreen and sandstone coastline, gulls, herons, cormorants and eagles overhead, the occasional harbor seal head randomly popping up out of the water.

Still, would I exercise today if I could?

Every fucking day, yes.


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