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Blue Hills workout

Saturday 5/1/21

I'll get back to writing in this journal properly soon--these entries are more in the way of quick photographic records.

Today I walked nine miles, and also went up and down the Blue Hills three times, which was a new workout for me.

There's a reason I'm doing a kind of detox of physicality over the course of a few days here, and going further afield than I might when I'm doing my more or less regular routines. I'll get into what that is later, because it merits its own entry.

If you see a discarded whiskey bottle alongside a road, 99% of the time, it is Fireball.

I have walked many hundreds of miles along the sides of roads where there are no sidewalks. To get to the Blue Hills, I must take a train to Readville, and then it's a walk where people don't walk. Cars are humming by. You have to be careful. There's not a lot of room, either. There's a whole essay about doing this kind of walking in Glue God: Essays (and Tips) for Repairing a Broken Self, which I'm nearly done revising. That essay concerns my journeys to Cape Ann, where I walked the entire peninsula, a lot of it on roads that have a 45-mph speed limit. People are surprised to see a walker way out there in the middle of nowhere. This wasn't like that, but you wouldn't want to trip, for instance, into the road. You'd be squashed.

Going up and down the Blue Hills was not very hard. I did the three quite easily, even with the rocks and the steepness, and then hurried back to the train. I did sweat a lot. Completely through my shirts, and also through my sweatpants, really. On the third time, I mixed it up a bit and went to the ski slope and ran up some of that.

There's a video of my adventure on my Twitter. The Blue Hills are, according to Wikipedia, the highest point on the Eastern seaboard, which seems unlikely to me. It's also the only place in Massachusetts where one might find rattlesnakes. I've never seen one (but I did see a video someone posted on YouTube), though I'd love to see a rattlesnake in the wild. I told my sister this, and she said I was weird. The timber rattlesnake is one of my favorite animals. Also, the copperhead, and the black racer. I think snakes are mysterious, elegant, efficient, and poetic. I also like corn snakes.

This is about halfway up, near the ski slope portion.

The bridge I'm standing on here, pretty much on the Milton line--the town, incidentally, where my father is buried--has been refurbished, but it dates to 1700.

And this is me all sweaty. I put up these photos just so I can chart my fitness. Make sure I look okay in terms of svelteness. With my stress and what I am up against, that's important. All of this, all of these workouts, the effort, it's about writing, being able to keep going. I get no enjoyment from any of this right now. It's simply what I have to do as part of the situation I'm in, so that I'll be able to get out of it. Having a heart attack and dying isn't getting out of it. That's just dying, having not gotten to where I am trying to get.


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