Today was my first morning jogging around The Jackie O. Reservoir in Central Park. I posted ads in the Activity Partners and Groups categories on Craigslist for early morning jogging buddies as I'd two summers ago. Four men and two women responded; the men flaked via e-mail overnight or earlier this morning before the alarm sounded at 6 a.m.
I knew to check e-mail before leaving the apartment as not to sit and search for the anonymous respondents with only vague physical and clothing descriptions as the sun made its appearance just above the park. I wasn't disappointed because I realized that I am responsible for my current condition, and that no one else can shed the ten to fifteen pounds I've gained from my sedentary lifestyle these past two years working primarily from home.
I had the veritable angel and demon on either shoulder as I staggered to get to dressed, all the while trying not to trip over one of my two cats. The angel prevailed, and I was ready to take the crucial first step in dropping down to my ideal weight and waist size. I've clothes hanging in plastic dry cleaner's bags once my metamorphosis is complete.
Rounding the curves and descending the hills to my final destination, I thought back to a petite elderly African American woman, perhaps in her late sixties or early seventies, I'd see several mornings a week two summers ago when I jogged with a small group. I called her Foxy, not only because of the pep in her step as she strutted, but because she was attractive and vibrant, her naturally taut caramel skin free of perspiration. I imagined she was quite a heartbreaker in her youth. She was a motivator then, and now as I hoped to see her power-walking to the music on her walkman.
Once at the bridge, I looked over at the tennis courts and wished for the physical conditioning of either Venus or Serena Williams currently playing at Wimbledon. I stretched and watched the other joggers and their dogs trot by underneath the bridge. The first lap was easy. I relied on emotional recall and muscle memory to propel myself around the 1.3 mile track. The second lap wasn't effortless, perhaps I thought too much about my goal rather than shifting into autopilot. I stopped twice on the track, but didn't put pressure on myself. It was my first day back after a two-year hiatus. I completed my second lap, huffed and puffed my way back to the bridge, stretched, and returned home to shower, eat breakfast, and watch The Sisters and James Blake play at Wimbledon, weather permitting.