Dear Truly

Hi there Truly,

I’m embarrassed to write this, but I can’t be the only one who’s had this problem.

I’ve decided to get my butt in gear and get in shape before I get married this spring. Whenever I walk to class I see people jogging and biking the trails. They look so sleek and slender. I got the idea: that could be me.

Saturday I put on my jogging shorts but I didn’t feel sleek or slender. But that’s what the jogging is for, right?

I drove to campus and parked down by the barn. What a creepy barn. It looked so scary in the fog. But even though I was convinced the headless horseman would appear from behind the barn at any moment, and even though I felt neither sleek nor slender, I started jogging. All the fear of mist monsters must have really got my blood pumping, because I felt really good. I thought, “Wow, this isn’t so hard. I’ll be in shape in no time.”

I stopped for water then walked out into a field I’ve never even seen before, and watched the sun rise. I tried to feel the whole wonder and beauty of nature thing people always talk about, but didn’t really feel anything so I decided to head back to my car. My legs ached and I was getting really hungry. So I headed down the path to my car. I came to a fork in the path. I didn’t even remember seeing a fork when I came that way! Each direction looked the same: trees and mist, mist and trees.

I wound up in totally unfamiliar surroundings. I mean, all the trees looked the same, but these ones seemed especially unfamiliar in the mist. I wandered for HOURS. I fell into a creek not once, but twice. My feet were freezing.

I thought I was getting frostbite. My jogging shoes are still soggy. I got scratched by brambles and branches. I stepped in dog doo, and I tripped over a log.

I don’t know how I ever made it back to my car, but by the time the sun started setting, I finally did.

I’m not writing to complain – even though the trails are terrifying – but I want to know: is there a map or something? Are there guides to the trails? None of the sleek slender joggers stopped to help me, even when I screamed at them from the creek for help. I guess they thought that I was the monster hiding in the mist.

Help me!

Dear Lost,

I am sorry you got lost, wet and scared. Going jogging should not resemble Sleepy Hollow.

There are maps for the trails on the WSU Vancouver website as well as paper copies in several locations on campus–I just picked one up at the Cougar Center on the top floor of the Student Services Building. The maps show the path of the trails as well as which trails are paved, gravel, etc. Looking at the map and determining which path sounds most comfortable to you should help.

I also encourage you to sign up to be in a walking group on campus. There are groups of faculty and students who meet regularly to walk/run the trails, just ask around. This will help you not get lost and make new friends. Look on CougSync or in the Fitness Center to sign up. Another suggestion would be to bring your fiancé along with you. You two will both get in better shape and I think it could bring you even closer. Plus, having someone you love to watch the sunrise or sunset with is wonderful.

Another option for getting in shape on campus is the Fitness Center. It’s on the bottom floor of the library building and since it’s inside you won’t have to worry about getting lost or cold. There are treadmills, ellipticals, weights and more. Membership is free. Your student fees fund the Fitness Center. The Fitness Center offers group exercise classes like cycling and Zumba. For only $10 per session, a certified personal trainer will meet with you and help you design a fitness plan that will get you wedding ready. Many gyms charge $50 or more for a session so I encourage you to take advantage of this super deal.

You may be sore and wet but just think of a slimmer you headed down the aisle to your fiancé. Be strong and keep moving.



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