Locked and Loaded

I walked across the Rideau Canal Locks today.

Well, not really walked. I crept across the heavy wood swinging water gates, clinging to the iron handrails going “%#@*, %#@*, Don’t look down… Don’t look down…”, sweating more than I did on my run. I may or may not have breathed.

This is something that falls in line with my “Do one thing a day that scares you” decree. Boy Howdy, does it ever!

See, I’m afraid of heights, and afraid of falling into those damned locks and drowning. Like shakey, panicky scared. Not because anyone ever has (that I’ve heard about), but the nightmares I had as wee tiny kid, and a parental unit that screamed “BE CAREFUL!” whenever I went near water cemented the anxiousness. I’ve crossed them before, but the last time I did so, I had a panic attack on the other side and the guy that was with me was super embarrassed and yelled at me.

Fun times.

I bottle my fears up and shove them down when it comes to my kids though, and look away when I can’t take it. Gotta trust the husband and the swim instructor, I repeat in my head, over and over and over. I won’t let them be afraid of swimming and water. I am handicapped by it, I refuse to project onto my kids.

So on my run today, my intention was run up to Wellington St, past Parliament Hill and cross the Canal Locks that way. However, I was running out of steam as I crossed the Portage Bridge, and I made a decision, potentially out of laziness, potentially because my shins were screaming and my hamstrings were saying “What the @#*%” with each step, to shorten the run.

(Note to self: Do NOT do a strength workout, then run, then decide to do a power yoga session on the same day. Ow.)

I deeked down the path on the Ottawa side of the river, and joined the mass amount of runners and walkers enjoying the nature walk right in our downtown. I’m telling you folks, we have gorgeous, gorgeous vistas* right underneath our noses here in Ottawa. And everyone (and their dog) in Ottawa was enjoying them today. It was Dodge-The-People time on the paths.

Seriously friends, please stop walking six abreast on the path. It irritates those of us going faster than a turtle stuck in molasses, and we can’t always go around you. *twitch*

I knew full well, as I gasped and limpedran along, that I either had to cross the Locks and face my demon, or climb up eleventy-billion steps to cross over the Locks via the bridge.

Yeah, that was so not happening, if my legs had any say in it. Steps? HAH! Right…

So when I got there, I stopped, took a drink from the water fountain, fiddled with my music, took deep cleansing breaths, re-tied my shoes, polished my running sunglasses, and told myself I was not allowed to pee, puke, or faint. Then, I stepped on.

I made it to the other side, only shaking a little (ok, a lot), and Runkeeper binged in my ear “Workout complete”.

No kidding.

* I’ll get some pics to post soon of yon lovely vista. For now, go to http://ottawa.ca/visitors/about/gallery/index_2_en.html for pics and scan about

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