Yesterday, for the first time since before Christmas, I was able to take the dogs on a walk up the hill behind our house. Since we lived here, this hill, which is very steep, has been my test for how fit I am. If I have to stop more than once, I am very unfit. If I can get up with one stop, I am somewhat unfit. Yesterday, I walked up briskly, without even slowing my pace except to navigate a few spot that are still snow-covered. I could probably even have carried on a conversation, if there had been anyone there but the dogs. I am in better shape now than before Christmas, which means all those boring sessions with the video tapes and the elliptical glider did their job.