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I had a near-death experience

My get-in-shape plan has, quite literally, not been a downhill climb.

As I’ve mentioned before, we live at the top of a fairly steep hill. I have had the misfortune of walking up it a few times (refer to the I hate it when my kid calls my bluff post from February 20, 2010), and each time I’ve been met with a sharp, stinging sensation in my chest when I breathe. For some reason though, after doing the Body by Bethenny DVD once (and still having sore muscles as a result), I thought that, perhaps, I was now in good enough shape to hike our hill. Seriously, hike is the proper verb – “walk,” doesn’t properly explain the incline I’m talking about.

I decided to get a second opinion before I did anything rash.

me to Hubby #1, “Do you think I’ll die if I push Baby #2 up our hill in the stroller?”

Hubby #1 (quite confidently), “No.”

Okay, there I had it – reassurance that my life was not at risk. So, this morning I loaded Baby #2, a big bottle of water, my iPhone, garage door opener, keys, and a cup of blueberries (for him) into the stroller and got ready to head out. I just want to be very clear at this point that the kid, the stroller and all the stuff meant that I was heading out with about 50 lbs. in front of me. The first thing I realized was that getting the stroller down the hill was harder than I had expected. I had to hold on really tight and it forced me to walk in a gait that made my feet feel like they were going to shoot through the fronts of my cute pink Nikes. I tried to hold the leash like strap that is attached to the stroller handlebar, but the stroller kept veering off to the side and bumping into the curb when I did this, so I had to risk my shoes and just hold on. We got to the bottom of our hill in one piece. So far, so good.

It was at this moment that I made what I believe was a potentially fatal mistake. Instead of going left, where the walk would have been slightly uphill, I went right…and therefore kept going downhill. I kept going down, enjoying the lovely walk until I got quite a long way down and realized that now I had a long, long way up to go in order to go home. I felt a little panicked and tried to figure out my options. Call Hubby #1 at his office to come pick me up (afterall, it was sort of his fault that I was in this predicament)? Ask one of the many gardeners I passed to give me a ride? Make Baby #2 get out of the stroller, abandon it at the side of the road, and make him walk himself home? None of the options were good…Hubby #1 wouldn’t have come, I was too embarrassed to ask a gardener, and Baby #2 wasn’t wearing any shoes. I had no choice but to suck it up and go the distance.

I’m not going to lie to you…it was extremely painful. My legs, still sore from Bethenny’s workout, were in agony. My chest stung with every breath. The stroller seemed to be getting heavier and heavier. And was it me, or did the temperature suddenly go up 15 degrees? Finally I made it up the hill. For a few brief moments it was touch and go. Most of the way up, I cursed Hubby #1 for letting me believe that I could do this. I also wondered if, perhaps, he’d taken life insurance out on me. I worried that when I passed out that the stroller would roll back down the hill and that I, with my right wrist securely through the leash strap, would be drug along behind it.

At last, we reached home. The final leg of our journey – our own hill, being the steepest and most difficult part of the climb. Adding insult to injury was the fact that when we made the final turn to go up our hill, Baby #2 recognized his surroundings and started complaining that he did not want to go home. He whined about it the entire way up our hill. When we finally made it to our house and I pushed the stroller inside the garage, he refused to get out, demanding, “Again!” and “More walk!” I was seeing yellow and orange spots in front of my eyes and was breathing so hard that I could barely swallow the water I was drinking. Instead, I turned into one of those marathon-running fitness freaks who spits water out. In reality though, his refusal to cooperate served me well because it meant that I could sit down and rest for a few minutes before climbing the ten steps to our front door.

At last, he gave up and I regained enough energy to make it inside, completely debunking the myth that exercise energizes a person and giving me serious reason to doubt my whole “get in shape” plan.

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