There are days when you have no interest in running far from home. I’m not sure what you call those days, but I call them “speed work”. You can still get a good workout in without traveling very far. That was today for me and it aligned perfectly with my need for a good loaf of bread. Thankfully I have a Poilane bakery just a few minutes away. In fact, we walk down this street every day on our way to and from school. But we don’t venture in too often as it’s way on the other side of the street (did you get that? WAY on the other side of the street) and this is better than an everyday loaf of bread. This is guest-worthy bread.
Since I knew I was sticking close to home, I decided I needed a companion; one that would be overjoyed with the prospect of the freedom of a run. Chili was coming along.
Although the Eiffel Tower and Champ de Mars are so close to us, I have only run in that area a handful of times. Oh, I run by it almost every time out, but decided to make it my whole workout today.
I really do need to do this more often. Perhaps it was the sunshine, but there were groups of people meeting to run…to walk…to yoga. There was a group of women getting ready for their boot camp workout. I know some of them and they have all asked me to join them, including an invitation just this morning. Perhaps after the marathon.
And there were lots and lots of dogs. Now, we have been “testing” Chili a bit lately because we see many dogs in Paris walking without their leash. They stay right next to their owner/guide and don’t seem phased by other dogs, cars, horns, bicycles or things to smell. On the other hand, there are many dogs on their leash that you just know would cause lots of problems if they weren’t being held back. So periodically, especially early morning or late evening when we know the streets are quiet, we’ll take Chili on a non-leash walk. He is so happy and he does a nice job staying close as long as there are only humans in view.
My vision was that I would do some sprints up and down the park while keeping Chili tied to a park bench. But after two of those, I could see he was not happy being left just sitting so I thought, “Let’s go leashless and see how it goes.” Three more sprints and he was doing well but I didn’t like the idea of approaching streets without the ability to hold him back. So the leash went back on. His energy still very high, we tried a few more sprints, heading for the Eiffel Tower. But during one of those he decided to come close enough to me to create some slack in the leash. This slack went under my leg and before we knew what was happening, I was doing a sort of diving horse-kick landing on my hands in a mini-handstand. I was thankful to still have all my teeth and thankful my boot camp friends were all the way at the other end of the park to miss this display of pure grace.
So, we decided to take break for some photos and bench relaxation. It was quiet and it was nice to admire the Tower. It’s something I forget to do even though I see it regularly every single day. Perhaps that’s why. It’s like living in Florida but rarely making it to the beach. We just forget.
After another loop of mostly just jogging, I wondered if I could do lunges down the Champ de Mars…with a dog. Well, yes I can! And I did! We lunged foreword, backward, cross-legged, carioca-style, v-step…whatever I could think of, we did. I’m sure Chili had no idea what was happening. That’s okay. He was outside and happy.
It was a little after 9h by the time we ventured to Poilane. For those of you not familiar with the story, you must, must MUST watch the video in this link! It is from the CBS Sunday Morning Show a number of years ago and it does such a great job of sharing the story of Poilane, so much better than I can. It is sweet and sad and helps you understand what is so special about these Paris bakeries. And you just have to see him make these cookies. It makes you want to box up that KitchenAid.
If the link doesn’t work, go to youtube.com and search for PARIS Lionel Poilane THE BAKER.
So I took in my Poilane experience, bread, cookie and all, and walked across the bridge for home. And, viola! I checked off Workout, Walk Dog, and Buy Bread from my To Do List. Time for lunch. Just me, my dog and my bread.