First Steps to Mordor

Well, now we’re off at last!” said Frodo. They shouldered their packs and took up their sticks, and walked around the corner to the west side of Bag End. “Good-bye!” said Frodo, looking at the dark blank windows. He waved his hand, and then turned and (following Bilbo, if he had known it) hurried after Peregrin down the garden path. They jumped over the low place in the hedge at the bottom and took to the fields, passing into darkness like a rustle in the grasses. (p. 79, The Lord of the Rings, collector’s edition)

So there it is…finally, after all the talk, I am ready to literally walk the walk. This morning, I put on my hobbit shoes (i.e. Vibram Five-finger shoes), slipped the one ring around my neck and mounted the treadmill. I have officially left the Shire. Only 1,220 miles to go…

For anyone not sure what’s going on here, I am literally walking to a figurative Mordor. I wanted to combine my desire to exercise with my need for living creatively and my infatuation with all things literary. Here are the details.

This is a just a short post (obviously) to let y’all know the journey has begun. If you see any of the Nazgul, please be so kind as to tell them I went the other way.

Walking to Mordor. Who’s with me?

So, I’ve decided to start exercising. Not because I have to, but because I want to. Because middle age approaches and I don’t feel like giving Death a head start. It’s more a cardiovascular thing, you know…like for when the zombie apocalypse happens. I want to be able to outrun those sons ‘o bitches. It’s also a heart thing because I’ve been known to eat like 2 lbs. of bacon, wrapped in cheese, wrapped in bacon. I love probably every fatty food EVER created…I’d eat deep-fried pub food for breakfast if I could:

a) afford to get to a pub every morning (which opens a whole different can of worms) or

b) work the little deep fryer we have.

As it happens, I am microwave challenged and completely dependent upon my wife for food. I know, it’s sad. If she decided to up and leave me (like if I was at the pub every morning), I’d either live off ramen noodles or starve. I try to eat healthy (again thanks to my wife who is a KICK ASS chef). Yes, she is probably reading this, but that aside, she also went to the most bad ass culinary school in the whole damn universe: the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). So, she can whip up a good meal, steal your countries secrets AND kick super secret ninja/spy ass.

Fortunately, I have the metabolism of a humming-bird because I eat and drink whatever the hell I want with no regard for calories or fat content. I know, I know, my wife contemplates killing me with a spatula every day. But I don’t say this to boast. It’s simply a factual statement of my mutant power. Kind of a wasted power, right? I don’t think I am getting into the X-Men’s school with that one.

But the heart doesn’t care how much you weigh, or how many calories you can shred simply by thinking about putting your socks on. With that in mind, and with the…little bit of extra skin beginning to present itself around the old hips/, I won’t say it..I won’t, you can’t make me..OK! Fine!! Love handles, ok!? I’m getting love handles!!! There, I said it. But I have a plan. I’m going to walk those bitches off.

You see, we have this great Treadmill. It has a fan and it elevates and it has cup holders (for beer, I mean iced tea)… and I have an imagination. So, I decided it would be fun to make up my own little journey. I have a map of Middle Earth from my Lord of the Rings book and I scaled out the route. It is 1,225 miles from The Shire to Mt. Doom. I am going to track my progress as I make the imaginary journey. It’ll be fun and God damn crazy (1,225 miles? What the hell am I getting myself into).

I’m not going to blog about this every day. That would bore the living hell out of you. But I will blog at least once a week with my progress. I’ll include snippets from the book that apply to where I am, my own fiction, poems, pictures, thoughts, whatever the hell applies to wherever the hell I am. I’ll wear my Vibram Five-finger shoes, so it’s like I am going barefoot, just like Frodo (although my wife says that I have hobbit feet anyway). I’ll even wear the ring around a chain. Yes, I have a replica of the ring (two, actually). Yes, I am a major geek.

Now, as any good hobbit would do, I’ll think about this until tomorrow, you know..packing and what not. Procrastinate? No, it’s deliberate deliberation. Tomorrow seems a fine time to start off from the Shire. I do hope you’ll check in and see what’s going on, offer encouragement, maybe even join along. If that’s the case, maybe I’ll post some kind of tracker or list of where people are, etc…it could be a whole imaginary journey movement. Who the hell knows? Well, the ring’s not going to get itself to Mordor, so tomorrow…….it’s on.