Math Quiz: How many wild horses does it take to drag a beached whale from its contented repose in the warmth of sunbaked sand, back out to the frigid waters of the Pacific where it is expected to join other whales on their arduous migration north, thousands of miles, to the even more frigid waters off the coast of Vancouver Island, B.C., where my fabulous friend Lynda owns a B&B?
The answer in a moment. But it is approximately the same number as the number of wild horses it would take to drag me into a Regular Exercise Program.
Although riding my horse a few times a week is some exercise, it is not apparently not enough. After all, I have been riding regularly for several years and look at me. The pork packs on no matter how forcefully I am able to make assertions as to the moderate level of horse-driven physical activity I enjoy. Or am terrorized by, depending on the kind of day Mo the horse is having.
To be fair to myself, 2011 was not a great year for riding. I sprained an ankle during a riding lesson in January. Pop-zing, a little swelling, recuperation with a few weeks. Then in May, I sprained the same ankle again twice within a span of about 2 weeks. Full ankle inversion with searing pain both times. Summer spent with podiatrists, xrays, an MRI – diagnoses: sprained ankle, torn peroneous longus tendon. Orthotics and physical therapy for ankle instability and foot supination. Significant decrease in the amount and difficulty of riding I could do. Getting better, slowly, I think, with the help of splints, braces, arch lifts, and heel tilts.
But I’m ambulatory, insofar as a penguin is ambulatory, so no excuses. I must get more exercise.
Since I am forbidden from joining a gym, I take inventory of the equipment I have laying around that could be useful for my personal exercise program:
- Recumbent bike in my bedroom. But I need the extra storage space for clothes that haven’t yet figured out how to put themselves on hangers and go into a closet on their own.
- Set of hand weights. But it is filling in for the love seat’s missing leg.
- Hula hoop. But it is busy being handlebar decoration for the recumbent bike.
- Yoga DVDs. I don’t know. Haven’t gotten past the first scene. There was this girl, clad only in her underwear, sitting cross-legged and chanting about ohms and who knows what else. Gave me the heebie jeebies.
- A large pile of oak pieces that need to be carried to the house and stacked next to the woodstove. Again and again and again.
- Two dogs. Both glued each to her own couch at this moment, but I’m thinking W-A-L-K might get me some doggie brownie points.
- A wheelbarrow and some horse manure begging for a ride in it. Again and again and again.
Next I take inventory of the outfits I have for exercise. Pajama pants to wear for yoga. A visor for the recumbent bike. A men’s wifebeater tee-shirt, 3 sizes too small, for the hand weights. Leotard and leg warmers for the hula hoop.
The leotard and leg warmers are circa 1983. Too bad my body is circa way bigger now …
Speaking of whales, the answer to the question is 160 wild horses. I had to break the No Recreational Math rule for this one. If the whale is a blue whale it can weigh 400,000 lbs. A well-trained two-up team of Belgians or Shires (big draft horses) can pull over 4000 lbs. I’m guessing that a two-up team of really wild Belgians or Shires can pull more like 5000 lbs, just because of the adrenalin rush that horses appear to get when someone puts a harness on them while they are still wild.
Ok, now on with it already. 30 minutes per day of something, five days a week. I promise.