I have always been vaguely conscious of the need to be fit and healthy, and have made several ill-fated attempts at achieving fitness. More often than not, Lady Laziness, and the Slumber Queen have taken over and played spoilsport to all my plans.
That is, until I got married. Now S has very strong opinions about good health and fitness. Since both of us love walking, we have walked a lot before and after marriage. But my idea of a walk is a stroll, smelling the flowers and enjoying the breeze, whereas S thinks that a walk should be walked wearing walking shoes and track pants and exerting your pathetic body as much as possible.
Well, in short, S took over the department of fitness in my life, and Lady Laziness and Slumber Queen bid goodbye to me, and Uncle MuscleAche said Hi. But S was not to be beaten. He advised me, coaxed me, cajoled me, preached to me, threatened me, but he made sure I exercised every morning, and went for a walk with him every evening. At his pace. Which is more or less like the walking race in the Olympics.
I grumbled, whined, made faces, made up fictional stories of pains and sprains, but S was unfazed. He made me walk longer and faster than I ever thought possible, and he was the one who decided when I could stop. My protests fell on deaf ears. I even tried escaping, taking off in the direction of home, when he wasn't looking. But he caught up with me and threatened to make me walk for half an hour extra, as punishment. I finally gave up and relinquished all control to him. I followed his regimen, but took revenge by reminding him every day that I can't feel any difference.
That is, until the short trip we took last weekend. There are some really beautiful roads in those parts, and we walked a lot and had a lovely time.
We had walking for some time on one of the roads, when we came to a steep incline. "Sigh! An incline", I thought, and braced for the strain, the pants and gasps, and winced in advance, dreading the pain that I was sure I would feel in my legs.
Then the miracle occurred. I glided, yes, literally floated up the incline. I even had to look behind me to see if I really had walked up myself, or somebody had pushed me. It was effortless! My legs were strong and steady, my breathing was just moderately faster, and my heart was not pounding away! I was thrilled. My legs were listening to me! They were under my control! I beamed with pleasure. We had to walk a lot more after that, but I strode on so easily and tirelessly, that I could not believe it myself.
At first, I hid my glee from S. Ego, you see. But I could not contain my happiness any longer. I burst out with it. Thankfully, he did not say "I told you so", but I could see he was pleased, almost like a coach would be of the medal-winner that he has trained.
And oh, before S pounces on me, let me clarify. I still have a long way to go. Had that incline been steeper, or continued for longer, I would still have huffed and puffed and my legs would have protested. But I have now tasted blood. The heady feeling of being in charge of your body is too wonderful to disregard. S now has an uncomplaining walking partner.