I've seen more deer while walking outside this year than I can remember in the last, oh, five or so years. Maybe I'm walking outside more frequently, hmmmm? I scared one yesterday; they make a funny little bleating noise when they're startled. Then, of course, they hightail it across the field and into the woods. They don't know I'm the one who invites them to live in our woods during deer-hunting season.
Last night after dinner I noticed a doe in the hayfield, and grabbed the camera. Not a bad shot, considering how far away she was. The Spousal Equivalent and I watched her for a while, while restraining our little dog, Hershey, who was whining to get out and chase her.
She grazed calmly for a few minutes, then decided we might be a threat, and limped off.
Yes, she limped. One of her hind legs had been injured, and she couldn't leap or run, the way most deer do. I wondered if she got hung up clearing a fence, or if she'd been attacked. In other words, had she been hurt by a predator, or was it a sports injury?
I have to be careful about overtraining at this stage. I'm feeling great – strong and confident and capable, meaning I think I can do things I probably shouldn't. It's good to challenge oneself, but not to the point of a physical breakdown. As I commented to Cindy last week, I'd rather be walking than recovering from an injury.
But I also know that as time goes on, my body will become accustomed to the current amount of food and activity, and weight loss will slow down or stop. I'm only losing about five pounds per month now, and I probably can't safely consume fewer calories. So that means increasing activity. I do have room to do more, but I also have to remember I'm still carrying a lot of extra weight, which is physically stressful on joints. Especially knees.
Animals don't go through the mental gyrations we do when we contemplate adding or increasing physical activity. They just move. If they're hurt, they move more slowly, or rest until they're healed. Only rarely have I had the feeling that my intentional exercise was effortless. I love that feeling, and hope to get there every time I head out.
Yesterday? Not so much. The good part is that I ran up three hills! The bad part is that I'm still feeling the stiffness and aches from jogging about 4.5 miles of my total 6.6-mile loop. And none of it was effortless.
Maybe next time.