Saturday, April 28, 2012
"You know something...that may have been more than just a bird"
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Holly, you may remember, is not exactly into the whole outdoor thing. Like regarding camping and sleeping in tents, she says she considers the Marriott as ‘roughing it’ and blasphemes on a regular basis saying that eagles “are just birds.” So whenever we head to the Metroparks for a hike, she pretty much wants to stick to the bridle paths.
“Mind if I take you on one of my more interesting hiking trails today?” I asked as we approached the park.
“You know I don’t like walking through the woods and climbing over all those things out there,” she said.
The things she didn’t like were trees that had fallen, and the roots and rocks that had the audacity to protrude from the forest floor.
“No…nothing like that. Just some hiking trails. Fewer people on them and some great sights you don’t get to see on the bridle paths,” I assured her.
She agreed…reluctantly…and for the first part of your hike she was pouting…but puffing. After fifteen minutes of this, she began to come around.
“This is prettier…and I’m working harder than I do when I’m on the bridle path,” she said as we reached the top of another rolling hill.
I explained that she was doing so much more for her core by walking on an uneven trail…constantly forcing the muscles to adjust and balance itself...something it didn’t have to do on a level path. She was generating a higher heart rate and burning more calories…her whole point in hiking in the first place. Since all the same benefits apply to the use of these trails when running, it’s no mystery why I use them. Anyway…she actually conceded that I’d made a good choice.
We’d walked for a little over and hour and were reaching the end of our trek, when I happened to look up and to my amazement, noticed a Barred Owl sitting on a branch less than ten feet off the trail and no more than six feet off the ground. I grabbed Holly’s arm and pointed it out. We both pulled out our phones…my camera is still in the repair shop…and took a picture. I moved closer and took a second one and then closer still for a third. The Owl had had enough and suddenly spread its wings and swooped down from the tree…and directly at Holly.
“HEY…” she yelled, stumbling back as it passed about a foot from her legs.
“Wow…that was really cool!” I said as I watched it fly away.
Holly didn’t turn to look…probably thinking she didn’t want to witness death from above should it renew its attack. I could tell her heart was pumping harder than it had any time during the hike. She certainly was a lighter shade of pale.
“Now Holly…you gotta admit…that was more than ‘just a bird’,” I said.
She looked at me with her eyes still bulging from her near-death experience. “I’ll give you that one…it really was more than a bird.”
Hike Duration: 70 minutes.
Training Heart Rate: 80 bpm.
Calories burned during workout: 350.