|Every morning, six days a week, rain or
shine, heat or freezing cold, sunlight or moonlight, mud or
snow, David gets up at 6:00 AM and climbs the hill. On Sundays, just for variety, he climbs
in the afternoon.
He calls just "the hill" because he knows it like the back of his hand. He could climb the hill in the dark, and sometimes does in the dead of winter.
From climbing the same route every day for 10 years, he has worn a path where none existed.
Why? Because he is a creature of habit and it probably does his body good. And sometimes it's really nice, like this walk through the wildflowers of spring.
|Sometimes he becomes aware that he has
climbed to the top without remembering events along the way. It's
like awaking from dream, or a kind of dim animal awareness. His feet have
carried him along, leaving the mind idle.
David likes to take time to think, ponder, and contemplate the state of things. Sometimes he shouts out loud, assured that no one will hear. Or he talks to his imaginary a walking companion, named Hewstill.
Sometimes he just sits and looks down the North Thompson river valley.
When David climbs, the old heart starts beating faster. After strapping on a heart monitor, here are the results. While sitting still, as above, his heartbeat is 77 beats/minute.
|Starting uphill: 115 beats/minute||Climbing harder: 132 beats/minute|
|At the top, looking back: 141 beats/minute||Going Down: 104 beats/minute|
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