I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me, And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
by Robert Louis Stevenson
I was thinking about this poem earlier this week! Back in the late 1990s, I got on a health kick and purchased an Air Strider. It’s like stationary cross-country skiing. I found that I could get on it for thirty minutes first thing in the morning and my day would go very well. I had energy, I was more alert, and my clothes fit better!
In 1999, I moved to Ohio and I decided to sell my Air Strider rather than haul it up with me. I managed to live in Ohio until 2002 and then I moved back to Kansas. I discovered that, while Ohio is a great state and there are great people living there, I really belonged in Kansas.
When I moved back, I discovered that a lady I worked with, had a Gazelle that she was wanting to sell. Tony Little made the Gazelles famous for a time. They are like Air Striders with racing stripes! Because I had an empty space in the extra bedroom and the lady wasn’t asking much, I added the Gazelle to my family!
I’ve lived in five places since then and my Gazelle has followed me all the way – kind of like my cats, only much more passive. The Gazelle has been in an extra bedroom, my living room, my basement, a breezeway, and a closet. I don’t want you to get the idea that I was still using it for thirty minutes a day, but as long as I could see it, I could pretend that I might jump back on and start exercising again!
When I bought my house, the basement was set up like a man cave – dark red shag carpet, dark paneling, and a gas free-standing fireplace, that looked like it was ready to eat unwary kittens in a single bite. I had a laundry room down there and cat litter boxes for a while. Then my sewer line broke and I had to get a new sewer line running through my basement along the wall. At that point, I decided to do something about this cave in my basement.
I pulled up the carpeting, got rid of the fireplace, moved the cat litter boxes out and rearranged furniture. I brought candles down and set up a table for sewing and my ironing board. I set up a corner of the room for an exercise area and brought the Gazelle down.
The Gazelle had been housed in a closet for some time. I felt badly for it, but I didn’t have any other place to put it. When I was setting up my exercise area, I could feel the growing excitement of the Gazelle! It would finally be able to come out of the closet!
I got everything set up. I had podcasts to watch while I exercised, a candle so that the room would smell good, and a place for my bottled water. Last Monday, I trooped down to start my exercise routine to work my way back to great beauty. I got on my Gazelle and started out.
About a minute into the exercise, while TD Jakes was just starting on one of his podcast sermons, my oldest cat started crying. She wouldn’t tell me why, so I followed her back upstairs thinking that one of the other cats had become violently ill or was on death’s door.
As soon as we made it to the top of the stairs, Lizzie stopped crying and ran off hopping and skipping happily to the filled food bowls. I decided that maybe she needed attention, so I turned everything off downstairs and decided to wait for the next day.
Tuesday, I tried again. I started a podcast and got on the Gazelle. This time, I had an audience of two cats! Lizzie had recruited my middle cat, Jessie, to join her. I now had two cats crying for help. I tried to tell them that this was a good thing I’m doing! If I keep at it, I’ll be able to tie my shoes and breathe at the same time! I won’t huff and puff whenever I go up or down stairs, but they didn’t stop crying.
I’m now wondering what they are doing in the basement that they don’t want me to see! It’s possible that there’s a floating crap game that they are hosting. If so, I wish they would share the wealth!