The ball smacked against the meaty leather grip of the catcher’s mitt, echoing off of the buildings surrounding the Vanderbilt baseball stadium. I was on top of the adjacent parking garage, shuffling among a surly crew of DIY tailgaters parked eleven stories above the ground, with the trunks of their cars backed up against the cement retaining wall.
Normally, I would be at home, reading, writing, perhaps watching a movie, but here I was watching a free baseball game unfold underneath a bright ridge of hotels and office buildings on the west side of Nashville, TN.
I was able to hike for two hours a day during the first few days of this week’s challenge, but I didn’t get off work in time to make it to the trails on Saturday, so I opted for an urban hike instead. I stumbled onto Vanderbilt’s campus and saw this scene from the street, and had to check it out for myself.
The rest of the cement jungle offered its own unpredictable sights and sounds that I had never noticed from the confines of my car, and these mysteries that had lain right before my eyes for so long intrigued and enticed my sense of adventure (side note: later on I spent twenty minutes watching a man play trumpet silently inside the glass of an otherwise unoccupied office building on 21st Avenue).
Thus far, the most exciting, and unexpected part of this challenge has not been the physical exercise itself, but the places my adventures have taken me. If life ever feels stale or boring, I now know the solution: take a walk.
Physically speaking, I’ve never felt better. I’ve already lost a good deal of weight and feel much more energized, at least until I start to get uncharacteristically exhausted around 10pm.
Exercising every day can be tedious, I can’t deny that I might be better served with a break every few days, but as with anything, persistence and perseverance are key. The greatest lesson thus far has been the importance of finding an activity that you actually enjoy. If I had spent the last few days staring at the white walls of a sweaty gym, I would not be a happy man.
For now, it’s not too hot outside and the sun seems to have ducked under a cloud system for a bit. Perfect weather for a hike. I’m off to the woods.
may we all get better together.