You know, aspirations of good health and longevity may not inspire me to exercise, but the dread of trudging puffing and winded up the hill to the Acropolis does wonders for my will to exercise. OK that and the desire to wear a slinky dress to dinner on our tenth anniversary that will inspire my husband to show in whatever man way he chooses to tell me I look better than the day we were married. (Which frankly shouldn’t be hard considering my diet of rice-a-roni, pizza and slim-fast in the weeks before our nuptials.)
We watched Rocky Tuesday night. The original one, in which Rocky has five weeks to prepare to battle Apollo Creed, world heavyweight champion. My goals are more modest. I have five months to prepare myself for summertime sightseeing in Italy, Greece, Turkey and France. I want to be able to climb stairs easily, take steep hills in stride, maybe even climb Vesuvius if I miraculously lose my distaste for heat.
This will be a long trip – 21 days – so my usual piddly walking regimen won’t cut it. I can squeak by on an 8 or 9-day trip without getting majorly in shape. But 21 days of intensive travel is going to necessitate being fit. And Rocky will help me. Rocky and my ipod. I started on my lunch break Wednesday. Had you driven through downtown and looked at the little park under the interstate at lunchtime you may have seen me – the lunatic running up and down the stairs by the river. Up and down, up and down, ipod blasting the Rocky training theme until I thought I might collapse. (That was not long I might add.) I did it for the length of the song – five minutes. That doesn’t sound like much, but let me tell you. It is. I looked like Rocky when his training montage started – dragging in great ragged breaths of the frigid air as I tried to go the distance. Here’s hoping in five months I can replicate his triumphant and gloriously happy leap up the stairs with no apparent effort. Or at least be able to climb up to the Acropolis in Athens without stopping for a stitch in my side.