My midwife wants her clients to walk 30 minutes per day, all or most days.
She once told me 3 days per week, since I do a fair bit of physical activity as it is.
I can't say I meet this goal. In fact, my pelvis would like to note that 30 STEPS per day would be sufficient torture for IT.
Last Sunday had been very warm, but some storms moved through the area, bringing a nice, cool-ish breeze in the evening. There were still clouds to the south (which usually move east), but the low sun shone through the clouds from the west. I asked Hubby if I could slip away for a brief walk, and he agreed. He was busy mounting pumps and motors and gear-boxy things onto the frame of his work truck so it would be "neater" in the back of his truck, and that the 150-lb things wouldn't dent everything when he took a corner or bump. I'm still asking myself why he doesn't apply this organizational skill within the confines of our home, but that is another post entirely. :)
I tucked my cell phone into the breast pocket of my long-sleeved cotton blouse and was glad my maternity jeans didn't billow up in the wind (not that I have anything else that fits my lower portion any more). I waddled up the driveway, around the fancy neighbor's house, and toward the road. Our total driveway is about a quarter mile. As I walked to the top of the 'hump' that crosses the irrigation ditch along the road, a few big splats of rain began to fall. Argh. I checked the clock on my phone. Five minutes. I pondered whether I should just take a rainy walk, but decided against it as the drops were coming a little quicker with each tick of the second-hand on my phone's digital clock face.
I turned and waddled back down the hump, and a blast of wind hit me from the back (I'm so glad it was from the back), bringing even MORE huge raindrops, and they started to get me quite wet. In fact, they hurt! I waddled as fast as I could, watching the waves of showers cover the driveway with a wind-tossed layer of water. I alternated between crying "ow!" and laughing aloud at such a predicament. With my left hand I held the back hem of my shirt taut and away from my skin, which helped keep the soft-air-style rain from raising any more welts. I shrugged my shoulders up high to help protect my neck. The Fancy Neighbor had a small willow tree, I was aiming for that.
I waddled and wailed, and the wind kept at me. My entire backside was drenched, water running into my socks and shoes. It ran forwards from my shoulders, soaking much of the front as well. My hair pinned up and underneath a bandana was getting wet. It was COLD. Cold enough for that sharp intake of breath that doesn't really want to release. Closer to the neighbor's...
Then a good portion of the rain let up. And no, that was not a blessing, because in it's place came hail. Big hail. As-big-as-the-fattest-pea-in-your-garden-big. Ouch! Ow, ow, owie..! By now I really wasn't laughing, though crying crossed my mind. Finally I made it to the leeward side of the tree, which certainly didn't stop all of the rain or hail, but was the best I could manage. I looked at the remaining distance to our house, the many potholes in that part of the driveway bursting with the impact of what was filling them up, and wondered about calling for help. That still seemed too far away. Now I was shivering. I thought about the neighbor's house right near me, and really didn't want to knock, as I'd end up dripping all over her beautiful home. I thought perhaps I could hole up in her garage, but it faces south (from whence came the wind and rain and hail) and I'd still end up making tracks through her home unless she opened the garage, and then it would be another waddle in the weather to get there. I have no doubt she would've been more than hospitable (and not let me use the garage), but I couldn't bring myself to knowingly elicit the compassion due to such a pathetic creature. I was glad that all of her main windows faced away from where I huddled.
Then over the din I heard something, and pulled my phone from my back pants' pocket (where I'd put it at the first sign of rain, mere moments before) to answer Hubby's call. My breathless greeting was followed by, "Are you out walking in this?"
"No. I'm at the neighbor's, under the willow tree!"
"Oh, you're at the neighbors?"
Worried that he thought I was safe and sound, I repeated louder, "Under the willow tree. Will you come get me? F-f-f-fast?"
It seemed like a lonnnggg time before I saw the van make it's way toward me, splashing through one lake after another, but the girls said Daddy ran out of the house and drove the van away very quickly. He pulled near and reached over to open the passenger door, which I closed because I didn't want to mess up the front seat. I went to pull open the sliding door, which was locked of course. I made several tries before Hubby got the right button (poor man, I'm sure he felt terrible!), then I crawled in and stood on my feet while leaning over the folded-down seat nearest me. And I didn't really drip at this point; I poured. And started to laugh again, a bit. He pulled as near the door as he could (darn that garage full of tools and motorcycles!), and I achingly crawled over the furniture to get to the other side of the van. He helped me out and I ran through another sheet of water (*note to self. Put a rain gutter over the porch, even if it's just 2 feet long) to get to the door.
I'm sure the whole ordeal was no more than 15 minutes (including the nice part), but it was a very memorable 15 minutes. It took me as long to change my clothes (every article was sopping wet) and dry off.
You can be sure I'll inform my midwife of the hazards of asking me to walk outdoors for any period of time.