Tracy Beckerman column: A walk on the wild side

Tracy Beckerman
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Columns share an author’s personal perspective.

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I’m not usually a big fan of exercising outside because it is almost always too hot or too cold or too humid or too windy or just too weather-y in general. I’m like the Goldilocks of exercise: If the conditions aren’t just right, I’m out.

However, when September rolls around and the temperature is perfectly situated around that 70-degree mark, I often get a sudden surge of outdoorsiness that makes me abandon my usual routine of lolling on the couch in favor of a brisk neighborhood power walk.

Such was the case recently when I realized the conditions were perfect for one of my rare exercise outings. Coincidentally, the conditions were also perfect for me to blow off this idea. But since I knew there was quite possibly a doughnut shop on my walking route, and the possibility of a doughnut in my future, I figured not only could I enjoy the beautiful day and get some exercise, I could actually pre-walk off the doughnut that I would consume later. Made sense to me.

I’m not usually one of those people who enjoy exercising. I do it because I’m supposed to and it’s good for me and it sets a good example for my kids. I’ve heard of people who get a rush when they exercise. Something about a release of endorphins. Personally, the only rush I get when I’m exercising is a mad burst of energy at the end when I realize I’m still a mile from home and I have to go to the bathroom.

Surprisingly, though, as I power walked into my second mile, I suddenly realized I was really enjoying the walk. The air was crisp and clean, the streets were quiet, and it felt really good to be moving.

I was thinking about nothing in particular, when all of a sudden, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something dark drop out of the tree I was walking beneath, and fall, directly, into the back of my shirt.

Convinced that the small dark thing was actually a horrifically large bug that was now lodged beneath my top, I did what any rational person would do in a similar situation.

I freaked the heck out.

“AAAAUUUUUGGGHHHHH!” I screamed. I flailed my arms, swatted at my back, lunged at my shirt, and did everything I could short of strip naked to shake the massive bug loose from my clothing. I freaked up and down the sidewalk jumping and thrashing like I was standing on a live wire. I freaked for a full five minutes until, finally, the thing fell out of the back of my shirt and onto the ground.

I immediately jumped on it with all my might and squished it into oblivion with the sole of my shoe.

I stood there panting for another minute, and then finally, lifted my shoe to see what had attacked me, and breathed a sigh of relief.

Because of me, the world is safer from one more killer acorn.

You can follow Tracy on Twitter @TracyBeckerman and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage.