Damn You Little Old Ladies!

Damn you, little old ladies! How dare you hike up Wonmi Mountain at a pace that puts me to shame! Damn you and your smiling faces as you head back down past me, having passed me on the way up, while I’m still struggling along.

Damn you, fellas with neon-yellow- and hot-pink-eared poodles who go along the mountain trails without a drop of sweat in sight, whilst I leave a veritable trail of stinky dew behind.

Damn you, teenaged couple who, having reached the top, do not take ten minutes to stop dripping and catch you breath but immediately start snapping cute pictures of one another.

Damn you, middle-aged guy selling the Coke and Gatorade up at the top. I know you haul that stuff, and then down, every damned weekend.

Damn you, heavyset middled-aged women who reach the top peak without a look of strain but instead with laughter in your eyes and upon your lips. I know very well you are not laughing at me, but I’m tired, and my legs hurt, and it annoys me anyway.

Folks, the warning sign I got during my staff physical was unmistakable: exercise, or get sick. I’m not sick now, but if I don’t get my health under control, I will be. So this time, it will not be one of those attempts that falls by the wayside, because this is serious now. My diet isn’t so bad, except maybe occasionally heavy salt intake, but it’s uneven, and I’ve gotten way too little sleep in the last year. So I will get a good night’s sleep from now on. This is one of my pledges to myself.

Another is that sooner or later, I’m going to give those little old ladies on the mountainside a run for their money.

It’s time to get this thing going on.

9 thoughts on “Damn You Little Old Ladies!

  1. Hehe, I laughed because I can totally sympathise. Been there. Happily my dorm isn’t on the top of the hill where most of the exchange students live…ㅋㅋ

  2. Ah–don’t feel bad. I had the same thing happen to me years ago–Koreans love mountains and just fly up those things! Of course I got in better shape since then…but I still really give them a run for their money. It’s amazing!

  3. Hee hee hee. My best friend is a machine on the mountainside: his climbing routine is “walk for a while, wait for Rob for a while, sit with Rob for a while, walk for a while. . . ”

    Where are you climbing? Most of my favourite mountains are up north of Seoul.

  4. If you live in one of those really tall apartment buildings, those stairs are your friends. Running up and down the stairs is a quick and dirty way of getting a really intense cardio workout.

  5. Woah, so many comments!

    In reverse order:

    Mark: Alas, I live on the ground floor of a building with three stories. And I’m leery about running up and down stairs in Korea, because they never build them quite even. But there’s always the mountain and the gym. I’ve been doing the mountain daily, and will likely add the gym into the mix after I finish with grading all my final exams.

    Roboseyo: I just climb Wonmisan, which is right out back on campus. Not so big, not so tall, but very available, and I can do it daily. By now it’s quite familiar but in an old-shoe way, not a boring way. There is, though, this peak I can see north of Bucheon, which I keep wanting to go out to so I can climb it.


    Thanks! Yeah, I don’t know how the grannies do it. They’re so agile and quick. It’s scary. Or maybe a sign of what good it does one to climb mountains regularly?


    Oh, I know! What is it with building universities on huge hills? I always wonder if it’s some lingering sense that places where wisdom attained need to be located on mountains or something. (Wu Dang Shan flitters through my mind now.)

  6. Haha, probably something like that. And then again, the international students’ dorm is way up the hill, and I wouldn’t call _them_ (*cough* us) the brightest crayons in the box. :D

  7. Heh. Well, you know… maybe the lightheadedness gives one the impression of having attained enlightenment?

    But seriously, this campuses-on-hills thing. I’ve even seen a few high schools on hills.

  8. I live at the bottom of the hill, incidentally. I may be marginally less fit than the rest of the exchange students at the end of the semester, but (especially with this damn humidity), I’ll rather take my chances than climb up and down that damn hill every day.

  9. Yes, the humidity is ungodly. I think the layout of the cities we live in (Seoul, Bucheon) doesn’t help at all, of course — concrete, concrete, and more concrete — but given that, sometimes I also wish I didn’t have to hike up a hill to get home.

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