September first. In the West, it means the start of a new school year. In the Philippines, it means the beginning of the longest Christmas season in the world. Department stores and supermarkets will soon be holding year-end sales (if they haven’t already) to give way to Christmas stuff. Christmas carols will be played to wear down the buyer and give in to the urge to buy something Christmassy. The power of suggestion.
And when one talks about Christmas, it is inevitably followed by talk about the New Year. And the New Year brings with it the gamut of New Year’s resolutions most people make almost instinctively. As though it makes more sense to give up bad habits at the end of the year and replace them with good ones at the start of the new. Me, I’m beating everyone to it. I finally put into practice a New Year’s resolution that is at least five years old implemented before the first of September.
No, not buy more shoes — are you crazy? If I buy more shoes, the girls will insist that I buy them more shoes and then my new shoes will be useless because the expenses will give me a heart attack and I’ll be dead. So, it’s NOT about new shoes. It’s about walking. As in walking as a form of exercise. We’ve done it a couple of times already. The first time, it was just Speedy and myself. After that, Sam and Alex joined us. For optimum results, the recommended daily brisk walk should be for 30 minutes but with the terrain in our area, the uphill part must be equivalent to walking twice its length if the grounds were flat. Twenty minutes of walking up, down, up and down again and we’re perspiring. We’d be perspiring more if we do the walking during the day but no one wants to get sunburned so we walk at night about an hour after dinner.
So, how did we fare? Speedy cheated. On the first walk uphill, we said we’d go past the subdivision gate and touch the first lamp post on the left side of the road. He stopped at the gate. Fifteen minutes later, we had gone around and were back in the same spot. We all agreed we’d walk up to the gate until we touched it — a shorter climb than the first. But Alex was literally pushing Speedy just so he’d take the last dozen steps to the gate. And he’d been boasting he’s in better shape than I am. Beh!
We’ll go again tonight. Moonlight or no moonlight, I’m bringing my camera along. Added incentive, you know.