Walking On Air

Walking On Air

Every day it has rained, all week long. We have our “April Showers” that hopefully will “Bring May Flowers”. The temperature has hovered between 5C and 10C, chilly in the damp.

I have yet to get back out for a walk on a consistent basis. I find myself reluctant, and always have a reason, such as cold rain, wet hair from the shower, finishing a project before heading out… it is always something. The somethings vary, but the fact that they appear daily is a sign of inertia, perhaps even resistance. After doing a bit of soul searching, it seems that the public parade aspect of the walk is what makes it difficult to engage.

On Wednesday morning, while contemplating this issue of resistance, something the cardiologist said during the recent consultation, came to mind. He mentioned an elliptical machine, that it was low impact and might be an option for someone with arthritic knees, which would be me!

After looking at the local offerings of elliptical walking machines, it became obvious that the $1200 to $11,000 price tags on the things would be a problem, not to mention the size of them; Mist Cottage is small. After looking around at local sources, the net was cast further afield, and ended up including amazon.ca. There an elliptical walking machine was on offer for $143, the shipping free with Prime, and most of the reviews were positive. It had a small footprint, and was very simple with few bells and whistles. Without thinking, I ordered the machine, and it was on its way.

On Thursday afternoon, the very next day, the elliptical walker was delivered to our door. It was easy to assemble, and both Attila and I played with it for a bit. I decided that overdoing it would be foolish, so I confined myself to playing on it for only five minutes on Thursday night. It reminds me of walking on air. It will be best to proceed slowly, let the muscles adjust slowly to a new routine.

Today I found myself anxious to give the thing a try again. Before breakfast I had a streamed movie playing on the iMac, and was happily walking on the machine while watching the film. The timer was set for ten minutes, enough time for the muscles to begin to adjust to the new routine. Again in the afternoon the movie was started up, and the a second ten minute walk ensued. That is enough for one day. My knees seem to be handling the experience without a problem. I am, however, experiencing a mild stiffness in my lower back, and my less than optimal arm, so limiting the experiment to two ten minute sessions was well advised.

As I was walking on the machine my mind wandered a bit. I thought about what this machine would have seemed like from the perspective of childhood; it would have been an exciting toy. Perhaps that is how I will perceive it now, as long as the adventure proceeds with caution, so as to avoid any pain or strain.

When I woke up this morning it was with the realization that I am happy, right now, at this particular juncture; a feeling to savour.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 PM EDT Friday 21 April 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 8.0°C
Dew point: 5.8°C
Humidity: 86%
Wind: SW 12 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.”
Robert Frost
1874 – 1963


  1. Nora

    Hi Maggie,
    Been awhile. I’m happy for you that you are savoring your happiness right now. I think that is what really being happy is about as it is so drug like. Here today gone tomorrow. I just want to feel content.

    I hope your knees adjust to your rhythm well and you are on the road to stronger, healthier knees.

    The weather sounds a little oppressive so I hope that too lifts. We are getting closer to summer here in NC and that is never a pleasant season for me. I have to wait until fall to really breathe again. Sigh.

    I am resisting being active and know I need to shake a tail feather but I am low on energy. I will keep trying to find what works. I did join a class on DailyOm for a four minute workout….I can do four minutes, right????


  2. Nora, thanks for all your good wishes. I miss your blog and have been wondering how life is treating you. Good to hear from you! I do see you occasionally comment on Bex’s posts on Facebook, so I know your OK.

    Your class sounds interesting, I can only imagine what it is about, chanting perhaps, four minutes does indeed sound doable! I sure hope you have a mild summer this year, with many pleasant days. I think looking for what works is part of what we are here to do with our lives, it is the journey. I find it difficult to be active, as so much of what I like doing involves sitting, reading, computer work, crocheting. My biggest activity is baking and food preparation, although now that the warmer weather is on the way I’ll be out in the bush soon dragging dead logs to the fire pit and burning them, at our Rideau Camp. We count our blessings that we have such a place to visit! Take care! x0x0x0x

  3. Congratulations on making such a swift decision, and buying the machine!I use one at my gym, but prefer a bike. From there I move to the weights, and then some work on the mat. Perhaps it is the long winter (unseasonably cold), and the draggy spring, but I’ve had a bad case of inertia as well. We’ve had a couple of sunny days, and that has made a huge difference!

  4. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    I’m not sure if you’re braver than I or just have fewer/different knee problems. I’ve fleetingly considered an elliptical machine but my knee slips out easily enough and my balance is questionable enough that I don’t think it would work well for me. But I do hope to get some neighborhood walks in with DH now that the weather is getting better.

    Very glad that you’re happy with where things are right now. None of us can really ask much more than that, can we.

    Have an enjoyable weekend!

  5. Thank you Diane, it is unusual for me to make such a quick decision, I think the inertia got to me! I considered a gym, but for me that would involve dealing with people in a small town, or driving 45 minutes to a city, and also the expense of a membership, too many impediments. I find joining anything in a small town results in constant low-key pressure to continue paying out. They are always looking for $$, and there is a lot of pressure where potential “customers” are scarce. When I attended yoga class this happened, I was approached consistently to rejoin and pay more membership fees for years afterwards. They called me, I didn’t call them. I grew up on a farm, so for me being active always meant being outdoors and being busy with something functional, that is what I am comfortable with, that is what gives me peace of mind. I am really looking forward to a season at the Rideau Camp!

    Good for you for going ot the gym! My daughters have always gone to gyms, and they love it!

  6. Teri, we will see how this little machine works out for my knees. It is supposed to be low impact, and my first 25 minutes had no effect on my knee at all, just my back and my arm. The thing is, I hold onto the handles while I am on the machine, at all times, and there is a abdominal rest that I lean against, which also provides stability. When I get on the machine I grip the frame firmly with both hands, and do the same when I get off again. The foot platforms are textured to be non-slip, and have a lip around them so that the foot will hit the lip to let me know if I am not positioned as I should be. So far, so good.

    My knee is arthritic and does not slip out, the meniscus will tear if I am not careful, and I get some swelling and inflammation if I stress the area. So far the machine has not irritated the knee. In my case the upper arm movement is more than I am used to, which also affects my back where it was seriously injured in 1995, so I am proceeding with caution.

    Going out for walks is wonderful, and even better with a companion! Thank goodness the nicer weather is arriving at last.

    I hope you too have an enjoyable weekend!

  7. Inertia is my middle name… probably my real first name! This looks interesting. At the risk of divorce, I might look into it. Paul has just gotten rid of some exercise equipment on trash day… but thank you for the link to it! Wonder if it’s available in the US? You are such a smart lady!

    PS. I looked it up on amazn USA and it’s only $69 with free shipping! Whoa!

  8. Wow, less than half the price that it is here in Canada, and our dollar is worth a lot less. Our paychecks don’t go nearly so far here! So far I love the thing. It says that the weight limit on it is 220 pounds, so I slip under the wire on that score. I had a treadmill, but never used it, it was very hard on the knees, a cheap one that was foot powered. This little elliptical machine has a very small footprint, and is fairly easy to disassemble for storage. Shaking my head still $69!!!!! 🙂

  9. “the public parade aspect of the walk is what makes it difficult to engage”

    That’s how it is for me if I’m stuck in a town, a city, or walking on a road that has much traffic. I need open country and no one around, otherwise I don’t feel alone enough; I feel “seen” and don’t even want to be out there.


  10. Kate, I always feel that I shouldn’t feel that way, but the fact is, I do. Like you, being seen is not desirable. I am always aware of being watched, and I don’t know if it is due to some very bad experiences, or if I am just wired that way. I don’t mind walking with someone I know, that I actually enjoy, so it isn’t people in and of themselves that put me off.
    I was on the machine again today, increased my time from 10 to fifteen minutes, a little sore in the back and arm again, but my knees are fine. My knees are the most vulnerable, the biggest concern, I think all the other aches and pains will work themselves out as kinks.

  11. Never tried one of these machines, but a while back I did get a treadmill, hardly used it so gave it to the church rummage sale. Now at age 81, I am entirely sedentary, mostly from laziness or because I have convinced I am too tired most days. I’m like a very old cat, sleeping most of the time and satisfied by slow walks around the yard, looking at the greenery there. Since Gordon’s death and the death of one of our sons, I don’t have much reason to get up or to hurry to do anything. Our youngest son lives with me and we thrive on a haphazard schedule, not at all mindful of what other people do or think. I do still go to Mass weekly and to other church functions from time to time. BTW, your Easter sounds wonderful. I have grand children and great grandchildren but they live far away so I seldom see them. Keep up your wonderful account of your life. I love to read it.

  12. Ava, your lifestyle sounds ideal to me! Following your own schedule is most likely the way humans survived over tens of thousands of years. I think you have reached the age of wisdom, and your youngest son is the lucky co-conspirator in this approach to life.
    I am sorry to hear that you lost Gordon, and one of your sons, I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been. It is wonderful that your youngest son lives with you, wonderful for both of you! Not seeing the Grandkids is difficult, but I have become accustomed to not being a part of their day to day lives, and I know they still think of us as special, even though I am always surprised that they remember us! 🙂

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