Thursday, 8 November 2012

the rewards of getting fit(ter)

I have made a tentative pact with myself to walk down to the seaside every other day in an attempt to get myself both fitter and slimmer. Tentative because I have a pretty poor track record when it comes to getting fit, but the slow creep over and under 11 stone horrifies me and, having been quite poorly recently, I figure I owe myself a bit of a tune up. The walk is downhill in one direction, and uphill all the way back (obviously!). The distance (according to Google) is around 2 miles, and is about the extent of my comfort zone when it comes to walking, so a good thing to be doing just now. The pleasure of pushing myself just a bit on the way back is enormous; when we first moved here I couldn't walk back up the hill at any pace without a calf muscle threatening to tear and I'd limp for days afterwards. Being able now to stride (and huff and puff) uphill is exhilarating. I smile wryly at the joggers who overtake me and think to myself that my knees are probably happier than theirs. On the way there and back I watch people's gardens, blink at some of the larger houses with their posh cars parked outside, say hello to passers by and generally enjoy just being. When I get to the bottom of the hill, there is the wonderful sea and the view along the coast to Beachy Head.

Today I saw
 the sun breaking through amazing deep dark clouds over the sea

 beach treasures, washed up by a spate of recent heavy winds and high tides

 rust wood and stones

and sea smoothed groynes

On the way back, there is a garden which has a wonderful set of small leaved shrubs, all pruned to rolling shapes - far too artistic to call a hedge, though I guess that's what it is. It gives me pleasure each time I pass it, but my pleasure was greatly increased today by the sight of an elderly lady with her hedge trimmers, clip clip clipping away. I stopped for a chat, discovered that she was 87, had a 93 year old disabled husband and didn't believe in "giving in". She was delightful, was very grateful to me for stopping and complimenting her on her hedge, and I walked on with a smile on my face and a spring in my step - glad to have been able to thank her for the pleasure her pruning was giving. I always feel that our front gardens are the gift we give to passers by and most of the time we don't know whether they are bringing a touch of brightness to the world or not.


  1. I can't tell you how green I am with envy at your nearness to the seaside - I love walking on beaches, but as is the way, have lived all my life in landlocked counties, about as far from the sea as it's possible to be! Lovely pictures - how marvellous - perhaps you'd motivate yourself to go every day if you took a photo every day to show the sea in all its moods? Well, good luck anyway.

    1. I've lived by the sea for almost all of my life and have loved it ... it so constantly moves and changes and seems to be a space one can take ones troubles to for peace, as well as being beautiful.
      I did consider every day, but thought is might be a challenge too far, especially since it's dark when I get hoe from work these day. Perhaps I'll build up to it slowly!