A Girl Crush Gets Me Walking

Where did this month go? Where did I go during this month?

Spring is fully here and I am in the fourth day of a cleanse, where I  finished two days liquids only and am now eating one meal a day. I feel as if I vacillate between being so sluggish and sleepy, or being a crack head speed freak. Energy up and down. Mostly wonderful though. The feeling of not having to cook for anyone, and of not looking for what I feel or need in a little snack or tid-bit along the way.

Yesterday was the biggest walking day yet in this Memory & Movement experiment and it all happened through wonderful serendipity. Maestro a little back story please.

Every year I order and pick up our Thanksgiving turkey from the best butcher downtown, Ottomanelli. It is a ritual, as you have to wait in a long snaky line and find your name scribbled on butcher paper tacked high on the wall. It takes a good bit of time, but every year I meet wonderful fellow waiters and chefs.

This year there was a very beautiful grown up woman standing behind me, gray hair, sweeping natural hair do, steel blue eyes, Roman nose; she could have been my mother’s sister, if she’d had one. We started to talk and my opening salvo was, “I love that jacket, I have one but it is too small now.” Hers was a boiled wool Austrian jacket with green piping and horn buttons. Since I was conceived in Austria my mother saw to it that I had dirndls and Tyrolean jackets and I bemoaned my extra girth every time I saw my red jacket abandoned in the hall closet. The new gal piped up that her jacket was too big, as she had recently lost a lot of weight because she stared walking and changed the way she ate.  OK I could have hated her.

This is how is goes on the line for turkeys, deep and quick intimate conversation. I suggested, or she suggested, a prisoner exchange. We continued chatted about who was coming for Thanksgiving dinner, what we’d cook and gave each other our cards. And a quick six weeks later, after all the holiday folderol subsided, we met for coffee in the Village where she lives. We brought the jackets and they fit like little woolly gloves. Perfect each on the other. We shared stories and great chitchat and went our merry ways clutching new coats.

Then we emailed back and forth a bit and I sent out my blast saying Hey read my blog and new gal did, and this is what she sent back.


You are making WAY too big a deal of this walking thing!  Humor me for a moment:  you need to separate your goals into 2 different boxes—one for memory and another for walking. Obviously combining the 2 is not working.

Memorize your poetry when you are on the subway or the post office line, etc.

Learn to walk for fun–let me help you with the walking.  Encouraging you can be MY new project.  We can start with it being social and watching spring bloom;  once the walking becomes second nature, it is easy.   In piano, it is called finger memory; I guess with walking it could be called body memory.

When I walk for exercise, I use the time to think, to worry and to obsess—by the end of my fast walk, my head is clear. I don’t even remember where I walked!  When I have nothing bothering me, I listen to audio books; you can go back to the poetry.

What’s your schedule look like?

Let’s schedule by phone—easier to negotiate.

This was a miracle. I am usually the one saying let me help you, let me turn your life around. And to further enhance the magic of all of this, the email was waiting for me when I returned from therapy where the wise Peter said, “ You have to ask for help, you have to express what you want and not just be angry when you don’t get it, if you have NOT asked.” So it was a walking miracle.

I called immediately and we walked yesterday for near to an hour. We met at the appointed time at the end of my street and after a brief tutorial on walking, really who knew there was technique, we set off. Here is the skinny on walking from the woman my daughter calls, my girl crush.

Take small steps, clench your butt (easier to do in winter when your coat is long, said she) and tilt your pelvis slightly. According to the walking guru it gives you a great butt and does a better toning job. I am all in.

So we walked, we talked; we looked at the spring blooms popping through the manicured gardens along the Hudson. Beautiful beds already perfectly racked and covered in new pungent mulch, much nicer than mine. We talked about cooking and friends and her trip to the Caribbean and her conference. We stopped for a pit stop, Girl Crush also knows where all the nice public toilets are sequestered, a plus.

I know she was gentle with me, because as I saw her downshift to walk away North to the Villaage, she was zooming. I was loggy and ready to get another one of my gluey shakes into me, but so grateful for someone who had taken me on as a project. We meet again on Friday morning.  This is a good spring story.

One response to “A Girl Crush Gets Me Walking

  1. Peter Storandt

    I love this tale of reorientation. A spring gift indeed.

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