My 2009 didn't start as expected. My job required me to work until 11:30 last night. I met a friend at a bar just in time to celebrate the new year, and I spent some time with him there and at a diner later. (One of the perils of being a non-drinker is that you are ALWAYS the designated driver.) I didn't get to sleep until 4:00 AM, but I dozed off, still clothed, dreaming of going out for a short ride in the afternoon.
At 8:15 AM the phone rings. "Neil, there's a problem. Can you go into the office?" Never one to say no, especially when jobs are a little more scarce than usual, I got up and drove into work. A few hours later I was on the way home, exhausted. I was feeling very down that I couldn't start off 2009 'right.' Getting only four hours of sleep didn't help matters.
Then, as I was driving through Valley Forge National Historic Park, of all things a recent post by Little Brown Bat jumped into my mind. The Bat posted a reference to a recent article that stated most Americans engage in less than 15 minutes of outdoor physical activity a day. I thought, "I may not have the energy to go for a long bike ride today, but I'm not so tired I can't stand and walk", and as I approached the parking lot near the Von Steuben statue I made a left and parked.
I wasn't dressed for a hike, or for the cold weather. But I thought I could get about a mile in on pavement with the shoes I was wearing, and so off I went. I had the camera in the car so I brought it with me. Here's the statue of General Von Steuben, the man who turned the Continental Army from a demoralized group of rebels into a polished fighting machine. He stands in front of the "Grand Parade" grounds - the area where the troops would be drilled.
Closer view of the General:
Multi-use path running along Rt. 23 in Valley Forge. The path is narrower than most bike paths, and a heck of a lot hillier. Riding those rollers will remind you why General Washington chose to take his army here for the winter of 1778-1779 - it's work to get up and down those hills!
Replica cabins are found all over the park. These were part of a group of four at the point I turned around.
So I got my mile of walking in, and at least 15 minutes of outdoor activity. And I felt better as I drove home. While I may not have engaged in the exercise I wanted to do, I did exercise. So perhaps I didn't get off on the wrong hoof after all. Now to catch up on my sleep....