The postman pulled his delivery truck into our driveway. Not wanting to waste the time of professionals with a reputation for getting aggressive when grumpy, I trotted from the garage toward the truck.
“Take your time,” he yelled. I obeyed and slowed to a walk. As I approached, he nodded toward the green foothills basking in the sunshine and commented, “A day like this you just gotta enjoy.”
I took the mail and package he offered. And I took what might have been a random comment as a serious command. Should the postman rap on my door tomorrow and demand, “Did you take my advice?’ I wanted to say without lying, “Absolutely!”
Rather than retiring to my basement office, I had new marching orders: “A day like this you gotta enjoy.” I grabbed my camera, hopped on the bike and, five minutes later, was on a trail in the Sage Hills doing exactly what I’d been told. I even took pictures to prove my compliance.
Late in the afternoon by wife returned from work. She looked me over as I sat next to the computer typing in my bike attire. She smelled the sweaty bike jersey in the stale office air. “What ’s been happening?” she asked trying to measure the productivity of my day.
I might have been in a tight spot had I accomplished nothing and all I had to account for my inactivity was the excuse that the postman made me do it. But good things come from following the advice of the guys who are known to be the nation’s de-facto stress barometers. Getting out and enjoying the day for 90 minutes cleared my head, gave me ideas on how to better structure a story, let my subconscious prioritize work and tasks for the afternoon. And the exercise energized rather than drained me. Paradoxically enjoying the day hadn’t stolen from other causes, it contributed to them.
Enjoying Each Day
Research verifies that daily exercise, whether you hike, trail run, mountain bike, road riding, paddle or climb, makes people healthier, happier, and more productive. Spending a little time each day surrounded by nature is also good for de-stressing and regenerating. Here are some backyard places where you can easily work the postman’s orders into the daily routine. See our on-line guidebooks for details.
Wenatchee: The Loop, Sage Hills, Saddle Rock, Dry Gulch, the Columbia River, Number 2 Canyon Road, Burch Mountain Road, Horse Lake Road.
East Wenatchee: The Loop, Hydro Park Extension to the Loop, Badger Mountain Road, Blue Grade.
Leavenworth: Icicle Ridge Trail, Ski Hill, Ranger Road, Mountain Home Road, Icicle Road, the Wenatchee River.
Chelan: Chelan Butte Road, Lake Chelan, Boyd Road.
Peshastin: Sauer Mountain, Derby Canyon.
Cashmere: Peshastin Pinnacles, Nahahum Canyon, Butler Ridge, Mission Creek Road, Yaksum Canyon.