A walk across the street

I live by the water and across the street from my flat is a long esplanade. Every day it’s filled with walkers, runners, bikes, dogs and seagulls. Even now, especially now, people are still enjoying the esplanade, the constant breeze, little lapping or gently crashing waves, occasional suntraps, stretches of grass for dogs to roll around in. The weather is improving, both a blessing and a curse, as the time we have to spend in the sun is shrinking. But that’s ok, be safe first.

During this lockdown, social distancing exercise, however we may describe it, I’ve loved seeing all the dogs walking past my window. I really, really, really love dogs. I’ve also had the privilege of seeing a young boy learn to ride his bike, across the street, from my window. Over a wet weekend, he sat on his bike and pawed his feet across the concrete with his mum walking alongside, letting him learn, taking his time. Once I saw him drop his bike and throw his little frustrated arms up, while his mum stood calmly by his side; he picked the bike up and sat on the saddle again to just push along with his feet as she walked on beside him. A few days later, he came pedalling along the esplanade, quite the thing, then his mum appeared behind him, walking at her usual patient pace. I cheered for the little guy!

The esplanade is where I take my daily walks. Yesterday I tried a workout: jumping jacks, high knees, planking, burpees, that kind of rubbish. After six or seven minutes I wanted to throw up. As much as having extra time for exercise is a good thing, potential injury just isn’t worth thinking about. I’ll stick to yoga and walking. My legs, arms and everything just hurt today.

And looking across the street and enjoying the river, the hills and distant mountains, people grabbing a bit of pleasure in our otherwise confusing, uncertain and frightening lives, is enough for me. I don’t need to come out of this looking ripped, or having written anything amazing or life-changing, or learned Gaelic. I’m happy enough just to get through the day.

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