The trail I have been using for my morning walks runs along a ridge, with plenty of ups and downs. I’ve been stopping at a fence that crosses the trail and turning around, giving me a total hike of about 50 minutes. For the past few days I have been stopping occasionally to check my heart rate. Each time it has been right in my target range so I’m feeling pretty good about my training. This morning I took my camera along to take pictures of some ocatillo along the way. An ocatillo is basically a spray of long spiny wands topped with crimson flowers reminiscent of spindly Indian paintbrush. The trail looks slightly down on the flowers, making them stand out against the hazy blue of the gully beyond.
With camera in hand, my view of my surroundings changes. Long before I reached the stand of ocatillo my photographer’s eye found several other bits of nature to capture. (I would upload some of them, but Dad’s computer doesn’t seem to recognize my SD card.) It took me an hour and ten minutes to go the same distance as my previous hikes, and every time I checked my heart rate it was below target. I now have proof: cameras slow down your heart rate.