I’m approaching my foretold destiny as a child of the forest.
By “foretold”, I’m referring to my having told you before. Though, I’ve also told you I’m a well-ripening cat lady so it appears I’ve laid out before you two possible Jackies: forest child hippie commune Jackie and shut-in cat lady Jackie.
I know no other futures.
The thing is, this year has been doing funny things to me. Ever since I committed to a 365 Fitness challenge, (I believe it’s formally dubbed “Project Fat Ass 365“), I’ve been getting out more often. I mean, I kind of have to. I was doing Jillian Michaels for a while there (and still do when I have need to crush a can with my butt cheeks) but working out is a lot better if I keep my options open. Lately, that has meant biking a lot.
A really cool thing happened in Pittsburgh recently- a bike trail that runs the length of here to D.C. called The Great Allegheny Passage was completed. Well, technically it will be complete in two weeks when everyone plans to celebrate it. Anyway, it’s just a few miles from my place, runs along the water, features several pedestrian bridges and even serves as home to a Bald Eagle. I discovered it after volunteering for Bike Pittsburgh a few weeks ago and am having a hard time getting things in life done because I’d rather be riding the trail. Oh yes, that’s right – you heard me: I’m having a hard time being a responsible adult because I’d rather be biking.
I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner. Biking is the perfect activity for a hermit. You move quickly through the space so no one can notice your fat jiggle while you exercise or see your face long enough to recognize you. It’s acceptable to practice biking alone and since everyone you pass gives you a nice smile and a flick of a nod, you kind of feel like you’re being social. Well, you kind of feel like if you do it once in a while, your skin won’t be so pasty and your eyes look so terrified all the time.
Part of the grand allure of The Great Allegheny Passage is that it makes a nice substitute for hiking The Appalachian Trail. I’ve often told myself I should just put my stuff in storage, select a good trail name, and make like a nomad until I understand all the mysteries of life and/or get eaten by a bear. Of course, my parents are terrified that I’m more likely to be bear food than to be enlightened and when I consider the requirements of the situation, such as buying a bunch of hiking gear, leaving my job for about a year, and somehow managing to pay for all my junk in the meantime, well, I go back in my apartment and play Fat Princess some more.
But this bike trail would just require that I take a vacation, a few hundred dollars, and head into the woods with all the bike equipment I already own. Plus, Dave said today that he’s getting the itch to get rid of a few things and go buy a bike. And since we all know that Dave is the king of the forest, his doing so would mean that I can bike and hike and camp to my heart’s delight and while I’m busy getting all enlightened, he can tend to the bear fighting.
That’s where he’d rather be anyway. I could strip him of everything but his underwear and drop him off in the woods only to come back three days later and discover him the king of some man tribe, complete with forts, trolleys, and a fully-fledged hunter-gatherer society.
When presented with these fantastic possibilities, I find it difficult to focus on daily tasks like work and hobbies taking showers.
So for now, there are two potential Jackies: forest hippie child and shut-in cat lady. Maybe my life is about being the latter and constantly seeking the former. I have been hexed with the struggle. This is my burden and I share it now with you.
Quickly: to the forest! ♣