I have been farm sitting for two weeks in a lovely area of Ontario with picturesque trails and a very handy shop only metres away. So far I have taken care of animals, including mucking out stalls, done some cleaning, picked vegetables and checked the koi in the pond.
Other than watching television on my own and talking to the dogs I have been a little bored. The store on the corner helped and armed with several large bags of chips I wandered happily back. Unfortunately the chips wandered onto my hips. When I stood on the scale I let out a scream, I’d only been there a few days. One of the dogs tried to come to my aid worried that something had hold of me and wouldn’t let go. She was right, fat had grabbed large chunks of my waistline and thighs. Alas, she could not rescue me. I know my eyesight has declined over the years but what I was reading was correct no matter how much I squinted at it.
The answer was to start jogging. I’ve seen many skinny people running around town so I figured it must work. I didn’t have any special running clothes to put on but I did have a pair of sweatpants, running shoes and a sports bra with me. Early the next day I drew in a huge breath of fresh air when I walked out the door, coughed it back out again and went off on my way up the dirt road. I went the wrong way instead of being on level ground I was going up hill. Ughhhh! I was almost done before I’d started. At the top I dropped to a walk gasping and wheezing as I tried to breath again. I figured breaking it up into jogging and walking would work best. I didn’t go very far, just far enough to get a good start on my new exercise regime. I returned feeling chuffed and told the dogs how well I’d done as I downed a glass of wine (it’s okay it was red and I understand it’s good for you) because there wasn’t anyone else to brag to.
The next day I decided to go on the trail behind the property. It was very pretty with lots of birds darting in and out of bushes. A rabbit ran across in front of me flashing his white tail as he disappeared into the undergrowth. A squirrel yelled at me for intruding on his territory and I semi-quickly (as I don’t jog very fast) moved on. Life was good, the air was fresh and I was feeling invigorated. It didn’t last, I turned a corner to find a man hanging onto three dogs as if they were the hounds of hell.
“They don’t like strangers,” he warned me. That was enough for me to cut my run short.
“No problem, I’ll turn around and go back.” I replied and was away before he could say anything else.
As I said my running abilities are not great and every now and then I broke down to a walk. I’d get my breath and turn to see the three dogs from the Ice River clans (Game of Thrones reference here) working there way toward me. There is nothing like a few hounds on your heels to help you pick up speed. I believe that run went rather faster than the one the day before.
I didn’t want to give up on my early morning runs so I went back to the dirt road again. It went well until the school bus went by. One of the unpleasant things about dirt roads is just that, the amount of dirt. I was already having a hard time breathing from the exertion but dust swirling around me did not help and moving over onto the damp brush soaked my cute pink and white shoes. When I returned they were grey, my lovely runners looked like muck boots. To add to it I was doused twice by the bus as it turned around at the end of the road and took another run at me. Sigh.
So I decided to go back to the trail, the Ice River dogs couldn’t be there everyday. I couldn’t be that unlucky could I? No, great! My jog was going well, the day was crisp and fresh, all was good, until the gunshots went off. Okay, I’d forgotten about duck hunting season. You know, I’d always thought when guys go looking for birds they’d be in some hot sweaty nightclub sat drinking beer and watching from tables not hiding in bushes in the cool hours of morning. I can tell you that hearing bullets flying through the air will really get your butt in gear. Ice River dogs had nothing on this. I ran the fastest pace yet. To my disappointment though from the camouflage clad men I didn’t get one whistle but a did get a rather rude duck call.
So there is my jogging experience so far at my farm sit location. I will be out there again running in grungy shoes and sweaty pants working hard to keep my steps light and my heart from thundering. Perhaps, just perhaps, I may be armed with pepper spray, a whistle and definitely very very bright clothing.