Its time for the 16th annual girls weekend in New Hampshire, filled with cherished friends and traditions that make the weekend special. One is winter hike along the river. The weather forecast challenges our tradition 7 degrees, feels like 8 below with the wind. But, we bundle up and agree to give it a try, even a short hike to keep the tradition alive. To our wonderful surprise, it was not too bad for the first couple of miles. We decide to take the longer walk as long as we keep moving, we feel fine. We savor the beautiful with the crisp blue sky and the sound of the blue grey water rushing over huge boulders in the river. We keep moving, filling the forest with the sounds of laughter and conversations as we go.
As we start the return trip one friend in our group stops and leans over. She has a muscle spasm in her groin. We slow down, give her some water. We walk slower with our friend as she struggles, bravely enduring the pain to keep moving. We start inventing all kinds of new ways to walk that are easier on the groin muscles, complete with songs that we can sing to keep us from thinking about how far we really have to go. Still laughter filling the woods, with the gradual realization this could not end well. My friend looks at me, ‘should I run for help’. I nod, its time for reinforcements.
Fortunately, she has been running regularly, committed to doing half marathons at national parks for vacations each year so her and her husband keep moving to avoid the winter blues. She takes off like a gazelle. The rest of us take turns letting our friend lean on our backs while we walk so she can keep moving and stay warm. It seems like a long time before our gazelle friend comes running back, bright orange toboggan in tow. Cheers, sighs of relieve and the realization that once our friend is in the toboggan she is at greater risk for hypothermia. Our gazelle friend takes off pulling the injured friend as swift as she did with it empty.
At last, the welcome hut is in sight. We made it! Cheers, sighs of relieve, hugs and more laughter this time as a celebration of friends and fitness.
Friends like this are one of the great things in life, thus a valuable source of health and well-being. Friends who will stick by you laughing and singing and dancing together through the joys and challenge of life.
Fitness is one of the best things in life too, thus another valuable source of well-being. Fitness gave us the freedom to enjoy time together laughing and catching up surrounded by a living tapestry of nature’s beauty. Most importantly, fitness also allowed us to meet an emergency with ease. In the end, friends and fitness saved the day!
THIS true tale embodies what fitness is REALY about. Its not about winning races or fitness competitions. Its not about burning calories so the scale goes down. Its not about working target areas trying to fix your body. Its about being well. Its about freedom to live life with a bit more ease, with energy to enjoy life with those you love and being ready to meet emergencies.
This day could have gone either way. I am grateful for fitness for giving us a story we can laugh about many annual girl’s weekends to come. Hooray for fitness and friends, you saved the day!
Keep Moving, Be Well
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These weekly blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.