Friday, October 12, 2007
This is my girlfriend and walking buddy Gina. Don’t let the pretty face and pearly whites fool you. When it comes to walking, this girl means business. She is a stay at home mommy to two beautiful children, but I personally think she has missed her true calling. She should have been one of those evil personal fitness trainers.
I thought I would share with you how this beautiful gal came to be known by me, as ‘The Stalker-Walker’
Walking is my favorite form of exercise, so last year when my walking buddy Carolyn moved away I prayed for another friend to take her place. A few months later my phone rang, “Joanne, it’s Gina. Hey, do you want to walk with me tomorrow morning?” Gina lives in my neighborhood and is a true blue dedicated walker. Neither rain, sleet, snow nor darkness of night will keep this woman from her daily walk.
From my car, I had seen her many times pounding the pavement when I would drop off my children at school. Her dedication really impressed me. “Thank you God, this is perfect.” Was my silent prayer of thankfulness, as I jumped at this golden opportunity. You see, I’m a very weak individual when it comes to exercise, I just can’t do it alone. Gina would be a great encouragement for me, just what I needed. (What I believed was God’s answer to prayer, has quickly become a real thorn in my side.)
After starting my part time job a few weeks ago, my hours were so late, I was too exhausted to get up to meet at our usual 6am time. I decided it was the perfect opportunity to take a break from walking for awhile. Instantly a thought came to mind. I had remembered, not walking...well, that just wasn’t an option for Gina…there was no quitting her. I quickly flashed back to the first time that I had tried to cancel our morning ritual.
I had awakened that morning to the sound of rain. (Well, I called it rain, Gina called it a sprinkle.) You see God knew what he was doing when he gave me this gal for my walking partner. She is a born and bred Midwesterner and California rain is nothing more than a gentle mist to her. It was 5:55am so I quickly dialed her phone number. I was hoping I could leave a message, unfortunately ‘The Stalker-Walker’ picked right up. “Gina, I am not going this morning.” I whispered into the phone. “Why not?” Her tone of voice demanded a good answer. “Have you looked outside? I asked her. “It’s raining, don’t you hear it?” I pressed. She quickly replied, “No, I don’t hear anything, and even if it is, it’s just a sprinkle…you won’t melt Joanne.” She said with a hint of Midwestern sarcasm. “I am not training for a marathon Gina.” I exclaimed. “…and we aren’t trying out for the 2008 Olympics.” I reminded her. She finally accepted the fact that there was no way I was going to budge. We hung up only after agreeing that we’d talk later to reschedule our walk. “Yippee” I thought, I had won! I skipped to my room and gleefully jumped back into my warm bed.
The next morning my phone rang, yep, you guessed it, it was Gina. She wanted to let me know that she walked without me and that she didn’t like it. She said that the trees weren’t very good company and that they didn’t make her laugh like I did. She then made it crystal clear that she wasn’t going to let me quit. (I couldn’t help but think of that scene from the movie ‘Fatal Attraction’ when Glenn Close tells Michael Douglas, “I won’t be ignored Dan!”) I told her that she was starting to frighten me and that I was thinking about getting a restraining order against her. She just laughed. I whined that I was too pooped to walk this week. Tired or not, Gina continued to call me everyday that I didn’t walk with her. It was then that I gave my darling friend the title ‘The Stalker-Walker’.
After many sleepy days plus the added guilt that my arch enemy the ‘Stalker-Walker’ heaped upon me…I finally changed my schedule at work. The two of us are now back to our old schedule of 0600hrs. Now, every cold dark morning when we meet in front of her house, I make sure to take a few seconds to tell her just how much I don’t like her. On some mornings I even threaten her, reminding her that I do have a husband who knows how to fill out restraining orders and that he would do it for me in a heartbeat! Bundled in sweats with a scarf around her beautiful face ‘The Stalker-Walker’ continues to lead me around the neighborhood, looking straight ahead, with an evil twinkle in her eye, she quietly laughs.