One thing I miss about my “old” life is having a regular fitness routine. In Portland, I played soccer and biked to work and ran almost every day. I went hiking on the weekends. I really love to move and I need to do it too. It’s as good for my mental health as it is for me physically.
I hear stories of people that go traveling and come back thirty pounds lighter and blah, blah, blah. Well, that’s not me. I’ve put on a lot of weight since I started traveling. For one thing, it’s been hard for me to exercise on a regular basis. Running in many of the South American cities we visited was out of the question. In others, like Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, it was easy and safe to run and I did. But there were whole weeks when we were in places that I couldn’t go running, either because of the conditions of the roads and lack of sidewalks or because of the unwanted attention it would draw.
For another thing, I’ve been eating like crap. In South America there weren’t a ton of healthy food options and I’m a vegetarian which complicated things. I’ve consumed enough bread and french fries and soda in the past six months to keep the Yellow Number 5 Food Additive Factory in business. Here in India, I’m eating more vegetables and almost no processed food. But Indian food is heavy in butter. And I may also have an addiction to cheese and garlic naan, so there’s that.
One reason I am happy to settle for awhile into our home in Goa is because I’m able to establish a running routine again. Every morning I run five miles towards the little town of Chaudi and then up and over a hilly jungle road.
Today I brought my cell phone so I could snap some pictures. I thought I’d bring you guys along on my morning run in Palolem, India.
Here we go…
Two of the neighborhood dogs see me off.
I run past half-constructed houses
and an open field where the monkeys sometimes play.
I turn down the dusty road towards Chaudi
and run past a colorful temple.
I follow the road through a tiny village
and then out of the village and up towards the jungle.
Up, up, up the hill…
… and then down the other side.
I run past the Animal Rescue Center
and the local dump.
I dodge poop in the street
and a lone brown cow.
I run over a bridge that spans the empty bed
of a river that was damed.
Up, up, up
towards the water reservoir.
Except, this guy won’t let me pass.
So I turn back towards town.
I run past bright flowers
and under the railroad bridge.
Past the smelliest dumpster
and a busy intersection.
Then I run back down the road that leads to Chaudi
and turn onto the street I live on.
Finally, the colorful house next door comes into view
and my sweaty run is over.
I’m showered and drinking coffee before the roosters are done crowing.
Thanks for running with me. Consider your daily workout complete.