I now live at 5100 feet above sea level. I came from a geographic location that was roughly 750 feet above sea level.  That's quite a bit of difference.   The other big difference, other than elevation, is the consistency of the temperature and the number of sunny blue skied days.   In this part of Arizona we see around 305 days of sun a year.  In the northern regions of Indiana (the Great Lakes vicinity), there is only about 127 days of sun a year. 

My wild and crazy love affair with nature gets overly stimulated daily here.  The big blue sky, the sun and the warm non-humid temps make my soul sing.  If I am in a bad mood now I cannot blame it on the rapidly changing barometric pressure of the Midwest, the endless days of low gray cloud cover, the humidity or the frigidness of winter - I can only point to myself.  I feel less constrained than before.  It's a wonderful freeing feeling.

Being an exercise-a-holic (an affliction a friend of mine cannot fathom having), I am finding this elevation (a mile is 5280 feet) and terrain of mostly hills and steep inclines is playing havoc on not just my capacity for exercise but my head as well. A few overweight-never-exercise-ever locals have told me "...those hills are good for you!"  I can guarantee that they have no scope of experience to be saying such words nor would they make it up one!

It's messing with my head.  It's making me feel out of shape.  Though age gets us all, I am battling altitude and inclines that I did not have in flat low sea level Indiana.  It makes you feel like you can't do the intensity you could before.  I've had to slow down in my runs.  Slow is not a word that abides well in me.  That in and of itself is counter clockwise to who I am. 

I continue to ask people here about when I can expect this amazingly hard and out of shape feeling while exercising will go away.  They assure me it will go away.  They say it in sweeping generalities.  I am not convinced and want an out date for it!

Out for a walk last night in our subdivision built on a mountain, we came across a couple walking.  They were breathing as heavy as we were though they were walking much slower than us. I will not succumb no matter what, short of death anyway!  My mind fretted and tried to figure it out..  [What if they are locals?  What if they have been here for years?  What if this out of shape feeling while running and walking never goes away?  What if I cannot push through it to the other side? Will I get a Kardashian ghetto booty from all these hills building my glutes?  I do not want ONE!!]

Today, after again asking my boss about this whole exercising struggle - wanting to really know how long it takes to get acclimated to it, he responded with a smile..."October 8th."  I questioned his random date in October. That was the point - it will eventually go away.  Maybe when I least expect it one day I will double knot my running shoes and take off up the hill with my normal and unrestrained 750 feet above sea level speed.  Until that happens I need a portable oxygen tank!

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