If you go out in the woods today…

Well, technically, if you go out in the woods today you’ll get rained on. A lot. Because the forecast for the next several days is “rain, with the occasional break for thunderstorms”. But this is actually about something that I did Monday, when it wasn’t raining.

I’ve mentioned more than once that one of the ways I meet my walking goal is by walking to pick up my son from preschool, weather permitting. And I’ve also mentioned that this is “dad and son time”, which we spend walking and talking and exploring.  Monday was one of those days.

It all started because he was acting a little tired and mopey when I arrived. So I mentioned that I’d seen a lizard on the way in (there are a bunch of little green lizards in the area), and wondered aloud if we might see it on the way home.  A minute after walking outside he started looking around and acting more energetic, eyes wide and hunting for lizards.

This led to us walking all the way around the preschool/daycare, spotting (and in one case chasing) three-inch green-grey lizards. Then we hiked down  the hill out back to look at the “stream” (runoff ditch, really) so we could look for tadpoles (which we didn’t find) and then toss rocks into the water.

Then he asked if we could go back into the trees, which is a lightly forested area behind the condo complex we live in. My first mever pulse was to say “no”, but I stopped myself. We weren’t in any hurry, after all, and there was no good reason why we shouldn’t go in. So, in we went!

It was amazing!  Just a couple of dozen steps inside, over a little hump of land, was a clearing. Just a little open area, with the light streaming through the leaves, surrounded by a few trees and fallen large branches that looked for all the world like someone had started trying to build a tree fort.  We climbed over logs, and saw shelf fungus, and my son excitedly looked for bears (because we were in the forest, and there are bears in the forest).  Then, the whole way home, we talked about trees and bears, and my son swore that we needed to take mommy back there.

Was all of this specifically related to fitness and weight loss?  Nah. Not really.  I didn’t do it because I was trying to get my steps in, or anything. I just did it because it was fun, and because it was time with my son, and because I wanted to explore.

The health benefits, while real, were an afterthought. Which might be for the best, really.


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