Saturday, September 21, 2019

My Goodland Workout

Enjoying Goodland at it’s finest. Photo by Jeane Brennan

Enjoying Goodland at it’s finest. Photo by Jeane Brennan

At a recent doctor’s appointment I was asked how often I exercise. I told my doctor that I take my dog for a number of walks every day. Unfortunately, I was told that this does not count. As I left the doctor’s office I began to consider the fact that I don’t work out. How is it possible that my weight has stayed relatively the same over my years living in Goodland yet I have done nothing to offset the food and alcoholic beverages I intake? It suddenly occurred to me that I do, in fact, get quite a bit of exercise. I like to call it my “Goodland Workout.”

While every day in Goodland brings different adventures, my day usually starts out in the same manner. One of the first things I do when I wake up is to take my dog for her morning walk. Each day we travel to the post office and pass the beautiful and seemingly untouched Mar-Good Harbor Park. In order to see exactly how far

Precious sights abound in Goodland. Photo by Jeane Brennan

Precious sights abound in Goodland. Photo by Jeane Brennan

we walk I borrowed a pedometer from a neighbor (Thanks, Kathy!). In its instructions the pedometer assured me that is was a “precise device.” According to my precise device, our average walk to and from the post office is 1,351 steps. Or just under a half a mile.

After this morning ritual, my days tend to vary drastically. One thing does remain constant, however. Whether I’m walking, riding my bike or driving my car I am constantly waving to locals as we pass each other. I have found that one calorie is burned every time I participate in the “Goodland Wave.” In my research for this article I counted how many people I wave to in a day. Forty-three times! Forty-three waves in one day equals 43 calories burned just by saying hello to my friends and neighbors! Amazing.

Normally, before heading to work for the evening, the dog and I take another short stroll. This walk includes a scenic tour of the quaint Goodland Baptist Church as well as Peggy’s Park. Peggy’s

Precious sights abound in Goodland. Photo by Jeane Brennan

Precious sights abound in Goodland. Photo by Jeane Brennan

Park is privately owned and is adorned with toilets as garden planters. This walk, at 867 steps is just over a quarter of a mile.

Next comes an evening at work. Normally I ride my bicycle. Endomondo, an application I downloaded onto my super-smart cell phone tracked the distance for me via GPS. To ride to and from work for me is two-thirds of a mile. Since I work as a waitress in Goodland I figure this is also a part of my Goodland workout. On a Sunday night I wore my trusty pedometer and found that for a somewhat quiet evening I walked over two miles in just four hours. Taking into consideration the heavy trays of food and drinks I carry, this is quite a workout.

Returning home from work I am greeted by my eager pup, B.B. Wrinkles, who immediately insists on her evening stroll. First we pass by The Pink House Motel; the only place to rent a room for the night in Goodland. The end of our walk

Pink House Motel. Photo by Natalie Strom

Pink House Motel. Photo by Natalie Strom

brings us past the old Village Inn Motel which closed due to damage after Hurricane Wilma. This walk is a third of a mile venture at 950 steps.

Here in Goodland it is hard not to smile. Laughing is also a large part of my daily life as the adventures in this small town are often cause for a giggle. While there is minimal calorie burning for a smile, I can burn, according to the International Journal of Obesity, up to 40 calories for every 15 minutes of laughter. I haven’t figured out how often I laugh but I would imagine that most of my calorie burning comes from this “exercise.”

If my regular day follows this pattern I have walked nearly three miles, biked two-thirds of a mile and burned an undetermined yet, in my opinion, healthy amount of calories. And so, to my dear Island Doctor, Dr. DeMartino, please know that I am doing my best to exercise. I understand that my Goodland Workout is somewhat unconventional, but as you and I both know, so is Goodland.

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