There is this precious hour I've found between nudging the last little one onto the school bus and being accountable at work. It’s the time I sneak off for a brisk walk, a guilty pleasure outdoors.
I have a gym membership; my husband will tell you about it. But there is something impulsive and refreshing about slipping out to play. My neighbor Marybeth and I talk about having the feeling we are "getting away with something" when we meet up and hit the trails at beautiful Holmdel Park, for a brisk 45-minute, calorie-burning walk-and-talk.
In dry weather we’ll tackle steep hills and enter the woods, cross a wooden bridge, trudge up and down broad, sun-dappled trails to the little-known marsh walk deep in the woods. We’ll be talking the whole time, about chicken recipes, spelling bees, the job market and raising young girls. Grunting joggers pass us by, and we cross paths with other women in groups of two and three, chatting away on their walking workouts. Without stopping, we flash smiles and wave, complicit in our pact to be unreachable to the world for a short while.
PICK OF THE WEEK: We are lucky to have a New Balance Concept Store in our area, at 688 Broad St, Rt. 35, Shrewsbury. Owner Dorian Grey outfitted my aching feet with my cherished 910s, one of four kinds of lightweight, waterproof and cushiony trail shoes sold at the store. Price $129.99, but comfort is worth it.