Thursday, June 7, 2007

On Walking, Reading and Learning Lines

I exercise daily. Since my coronary bypass surgery (8/30/2004) I go to a cardiac rehabilitation center 3 days a week to use the treadmill and other equipment. It's my health club staffed by cardiac nurses. The other days I walk; mostly in our neighborhood but I always find time to get my walking in when we travel. In unfamiliar areas the walk is used for sightseeing but when following the same route day after day, it can get a bit boring. So, I put my walking time to what I think is good use.

Most of my reading is done on the daily walks. Generally, I have my latest mystery novel in hand as I wend my way through the neighborhood. (When traveling, I do forgo the reading in order to take in the sights and avoid unfamiliar hazards.) Occasionally, I do come into contact with parked cards, but not very often. There's not much traffic in the area and moving vehicles have not yet posed a threat. It has reached the point that some other regular walkers will make comments, e.g. "Is that a good book?" Or, if I happen to not be reading, "Where is your book today?" But, for me at least, walking provides exercise for both body and mind.

But I do more than read along the way. When I am involved in theater, the daily walk is how I learn my lines. So, if I don't have a book, I have a script in hand. My family has never heard me run lines at home. I do that on the streets. In fact, when "off-book" I recite my lines daily when wending my way through the neighborhood. There was at least one time when a neighborhood acquaintance mentioned to Donna that she had seen me walking and asked, "Does Leon always talk to himself?" That had to be a running-the-lines day.

Running lines also gets me through my time on the treadmill. It helps the 30 minute interval pass more quickly. And the nurses notice too; last week one them mentioned that I seemed to be mumbling while working out and assumed I was tuning up for that week's performances. She was right.

I admit that walking with a friend and engaging in lively conversation would probably be more enjoyable and safer. But I generally walk alone and the combination of reading and learning/running lines works for me.

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