Tuesday, August 24, 2010

30 Day Writer's Challenge | Day 5

I cannot estimate the number of times I have started...

a program
eating better

When I was little I was ALWAYS outside running around like a crazy child. OK, I might have actually been a crazy child, not just acted like one. The correlation to my laziness is directly related to my age. The older I get the lazier I get. This is not my fault. I'm blaming it completely on the state of our society.

I was not naive as a child, when I was about 9 years old our house was robbed and the thieves were running out the back door as my sister was walking in the front. We lived out in the country...the smell of cows from the dairy farm at the end of the road, our very own red dirt road paralleled by Texas over the barbed-wire fence, alfalfa field out front and nothing behind us but an empty field and a dirt road intersected by a cattle guard. There was not much to speak of neighbors past our house and for the most part we knew them well, from the dairy owners daughter to my drama teacher and her smok'n hot son. We may not have known everyone, but if you were a face or vehicle we hadn't seen before, you were usually driving a truck full of cattle or milk. But something changed after the break-in, everyone seemed suspicious. The description of the thieves led the police to men that were Mexican. So every Mexican man that drove down our road, looked at me or didn't look at me freaked me out. And in Southern New Mexico that's pretty much everyone. I can't say I became any less of a crazy kid, but I do remember spending more time inside at this point in my life.

A few years later we moved to Oklahoma. We lived in a neighborhood with lots of neighbors that we knew well and an elementary school at the end of our street. I remember the weather in Oklahoma being something to get used to, but I still managed to spend some time outside until I became a teenager and then I was too cool. There was this twisted sidewalk that connected our neighborhood with the neighborhood where a bunch of our church friends lived and I loved to go on walks over there. We moved from that neighborhood to one more than walking distance away, but I still spent plenty of time in that area because my voice coach lived over there and I still visited friends in those neighborhoods. About two years before I graduated from high school one of the husbands in this neighboring area murdered his wife. After that I didn't like driving over there much at all. Some point after I graduated from high school my parents moved back to that neighborhood and even though this guy was obviously behind bars I still didn't like driving by that house when I moved back to town a few years later.

When I lived in Salt Lake City I loved walking my neighborhood in the Avenues. It has amazing views and exceptionally nice people. Until my roommate came home one evening completely out of her mind because she had been "flashed" (for lack of a better word.) It was ridiculous the drama that ensued after that. Apparently she was being stalked and the guy knew her route to and from work because she walked it exactly the same every day. I thought everyone's father had taught them to change their route sporadically to avoid situations just like this one. That is when I learned I was the only educated one in the bunch. Either way that ended my solo jaunts to the grocery store, the mall, Temple Square, or anywhere within walking distance. Not having a car made this even more challenging and I'm sure I snuck out when the roomies weren't looking. Either way I was still spending less time walking and more time riding and sitting.

See the pattern? I stopped exercising because of all the violence in society. Everyone started freaking me out or if I wasn't freaked out everyone around me was!

Not unlike the tortured weather of Oklahoma, Georgia's heat and humidity have been something I still have not been able to get used to. If I have to be outside, I prefer to be in the water. If I can't be in the water, then at least put me in the shade. Well, fast forward a lot more years and the news was plastered with the story of the 24-year-old woman murdered in the north Georgia mountains. She even had her dog with her, because like the men in our lives, dogs are supposed to protect us. I don't have either. Great.

What it boils down to is that I would prefer to spend my time outside, enjoying this gorgeous Earth that has so thoughtfully been prepared for us. It is beautiful here in Georgia, same as it was in New Mexico and Oklahoma, but when I think of taking to the mountains to get some fresh air and peace in my life how can I not think of Meredith (the north Georgia mountains girl.) And it's not like she is the only example I could find, she just happens to be the first one to pop into my mind.

So tonight I ventured out to the gym on campus. I'm an alum so I can still use the facilities because I made a [teeny tiny] donation. I also wouldn't be walking the streets alone/screaming murder me. Also, it's a plus that if you park in the visitor lot and leave after 9 p.m. you don't have to pay. Then again it's late and you have to get past all the awful campus murder stories we've heard on the news over the years to force yourself out of the car.

Once inside I manage to find one treadmill available. In the hall. Not within viewing distance of the televisions. I jump on excited that I made it inside and am actually touching exercise equipment. At least 15 minutes has passed when I finally see a treadmill open up that is facing the block of televisions so I make a run for it. If I am going to be there exercising I have to be entertained and I don't want to miss my new favorite (second to Burn Notice) show Covert Affairs. I'm set, it has just started and I can easily last on the treadmill for an hour if I get to watch my show while I'm doing it. A few commercial breaks in and I make the horrible mistake of glancing to my right. What do my wondering eyes should appear...my reflection. Yikes. Talk about being freaked out. I contemplated staying another hour till the gym closed but I opted to forgo the additional torture tonight and ran home to write this post. That's when I saw her, a girl on campus jogging alone. It was 11 p.m. what was she thinking?! I know it's only KSU but is she freaking nuts?! I get it, I really do. I want to get away all the time and I hardly have anything to get away from. Seeing her running around campus just reminded me of the escaped convict we had running around campus a year or so ago. Yep, true story.

As much as I want to get out and be alone it still freaks me out at the thought and this coming from the girl that spends the majority of her time alone! See what society has done to me?! What I wouldn't give to feel safe taking a stroll in the mountains by myself. Too bad that's a feeling we just can't relate to in our lifetime.

So, my apologies go out to all those that frequent the gym, you'll be seeing a lot more of me now that I've "started over" again! Blame it on society and all the criminals that have managed to keep me...

freaked out!

I can't stay hulled up inside forever.
Fall will bring bravery.
I will go outside.

You can't stop me society full of crazy nutsos.


Captivating Eyes said...

Or...maybe calamity follows you! I think I'll keep my distance. =P

I'm kidding. Love the post!! I too have decided to "start over". I got a membership to the Y with my parents and I still have the P90x DVDs. I've been wanting to take my pooch up Kennesaw Mountain. We should go together! With lots of mace and tasers. I have a police baton in my car!! :)

Anonymous said...

Love it! Love ya girl! You're so talented and amazing! - April in Lafffy Taffy