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By Elizabeth Youngman Westphal
Special to Village News 

Kicking It VII


Last updated 11/15/2019 at 10:58am

It’s Monday, about 4:30 a.m. My big decision at the moment is to get up and go to the gym now and be done with it or to go back to sleep?

Here’s the thing, when I go back to sleep on Mondays, which I often do, I will be reawakened around 7:15 a.m. by two little hands cupping my cheeks. Four-year-old Katie will be speaking into my face saying, “Wake up Lulu, wake up.”

She wants her breakfast: two crispy waffles cut in to exact squares with a puddle of syrup perfectly centered in each one and two fingers worth of apple juice on the side.

Since I am still here, I might as well join her. My workout can wait. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy one’s darling granddaughter?

I put together a quick meal of cottage cheese and tomatoes, a bite of ham and a cup of coffee with a spoon of sugar. Looking back, 16 calories hardly seem like a good reason to substitute artificial sweetener. Does it? What was I thinking? Besides, sugar tastes really good.

It is now approaching 8 a.m. If you’ve ever tried to make a left-hand turn to cross South Mission Road at this hour, it is impossible. Rush-hour can be life-threatening and should always be avoided when possible. I better wait.

By 9 a.m., I am in panic mode. I need to leave the house at 11 a.m. to make it to bridge at the Fallbrook Senior Center. The delay is over.

Go now or else. Actually, going at 3:30 p.m. isn’t all bad. For one thing, traffic isn’t an issue because I will be with the flow, heading south for an easy right-hand turn into Club Paradise.

It’s decided.

Bridge is late getting out. It’s now 3:45 p.m., and I still haven’t made it to the gym. A mad dash home finds me wanting a glass of wine and while chilling out before FOX News comes on, which would be perfect except for the nagging voice in the back of my brain which reminds me that I cannot drink and drive.

I am out of choices. I change clothes, jump back in the car, accelerate across South Mission Road and walk into a deserted space.

I am here. I am at the gym. It all feels good. Exchanging nods with the few people there I recognize, I pull out my workout folder, and that is when the brain turns off and the body takes over. It feels right.

By the time I leave, my mood has lifted and I feel a bit noble. After all, there are only 116 days left until I leave for my trip.

Tuesday, on the other hand, is a whole other conversation.

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal can be reached by email at


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