I have blogged recently about trying to distract myself from neck pain. One of the suggestions was that I drop a 7 pound hammer on my toe, but I declined to take this advice not just because it was given by Henry, but because I like to walk. That seems to be one of the few things that doesn’t hurt and sometimes even loosens up my neck a bit.
Fortunately, although Omaha is a city with huge urban sprawl, there are wonderful bike trails that move along creeks and streams in between various lakes throughout the city. As I mentioned, the city itself is very spread out with the Eastern border being the Missouri River (which is in danger of flooding right now) and separates downtown Omaha from the town of Council Bluffs, Iowa.
We happen to live at the western end of the city and there are a wide variety of walks that I enjoy not far from where I live. One of my favorite haunts is/was Lake Zorinsky, named after the first Jewish Mayor of Omaha, Edward Zorinsky and a member of my “tribe”, as Henry would say.
This is a beautiful place to walk or bike with the lake narrowing at one area and being crossed by a bridge on 168th St. and making a figure 8 trail around the lake. The west side, in particular is very wild and aside from the birdlife, deer and wild turkeys can frequently be seen.
The lake is stocked with fish and draws many fishermen from the area. Some fish from quiet spots by the side of the lake or in small boats or canoes, while others launch motorized boats from a special dock. Unfortunately, a colonizing form of mussel probably from the Great Lakes, was recently identified in Lake Zorinsky, causing the engineering corps to make an executive decision and drain the lake. The rationale was that before the winter, it was calculated that if the water was drained or very low, the mussels would freeze and die and the lake would later be refilled. Unfortunately, right now it’s quite an eyesore.
Having been an Omaha for almost 8 years and being an avid walker I am pretty familiar with most of the nice trails. Since on weekends I can usually manage to find a couple hours to walk (about 4-5 miles in one direction and 4-5 miles back), I get an opportunity to see quite a few areas of the city. Now that my favorite lake has become Lake non grata, I find myself enjoying a particular walk down the very long West Papio trail. I can walk for about 5 min. through my neighborhood until I come to a small and little-known Park trail called Woodhaven Park.
This leads to the main trail, where I can turn and walk along the stream either south or north. There are numerous bridges to cross the stream and this trail probably goes 15 or 20 miles, not including its connection with the lake.
Today, in need for my distraction, I took the south route and decided to take a new fork in the path. It was not the prettiest route, as after three or 4 miles it moved into semi-industrial area. But I was curious to see where the trail would lead and I went on walking forward for close to an hour. Finally, I arrived at an underpass going right under a street. The area looked vaguely familiar, but I could not quite place it-I knew I had gone south and knew approximately where I was, but this was not one of the main roads I had expected to see.
With mounting curiosity I climbed up from the underpass and could see a small plaza with a sandwich/coffee shop, a parking lot for a 24-hour gym, and the medical imaging company. The name was familiar, something I knew that I had seen, but could not quite place. I moved along down the sidewalk to try and get my bearings and suddenly I could see it: the words were printed clearly on the side of the building for all to see. Right in front of me, less than 50 yards away stood “Community Rehab“–the very place that I have been doing physical therapy three times a week this past month.
Now how is that for an unconscious bias when looking for a distraction?