I hate exercising without a purpose. Like, running, for example. The only time you will ever catch me running is if someone is chasing me…with a weapon. And then it would have to be like a big scary butcher knife…with blood on it. And even then I would think, maybe he’s a chef?
However, as you age (for any casting directors out there, I will admit to being between the ages of 21 - 36), it is very important to remain active, so for the past month I have been trying to exercise at least 2 – 3 days a week. But then that guy turned out to be a jerk so now I am left to hiking Griffith Park with my trainer Carlos because he too is unemployed and needs to take his anger out on someone. I kid, I kid. He is the nicest guy in the world and I’m not just saying that because he is training me for free. I am also saying that because we are working out tomorrow and I don’t want 4 reps of 15 to become 4 reps of “until I say stop.” He loves torturing me with that one.
Anyway, when Carlos mentioned that he was going hiking with some of his military buddies and thought I was finally in enough shape to come along, I immediately thought - heat, sweat, endless walking on an incline? No thanks, I think I have church. Then he said “Human Target” star Mark Valley was organizing it, and I exclaimed, “Hallelujah! Hiking with that view? Bring it on!” Well, in my head I said it. I didn’t really want everybody knowing I had a crush on him. Jeez, you gotta play these things cool, so instead I am announcing it on my blog like a huge nerd. But seriously ladies, you actually want to be dead last on a hike with Mark in your sights. I’m no fool; I need motivation to get up that hill!
While these guys were obviously conditioned for such hikes, (being in the military can prepare one for anything), I decided to go to the Santa Monica Public Library to learn just what to expect. So according to the library’s databases, Mark’s IMDB credits listed that his show “Human Target” had been canceled. Score! He would need cheering up. Instead of a walking stick, he could lean on me for support! I also looked up some books on hiking safety: bring water, wear shoes, what to do should a snake bite you in the ass when you are trying to pee, whatever. I was ready for my date. Hike.
My friend, comedian PJ Walsh ended up doing the hike as well, but I don’t want to spoil the video, or more importantly, use more written material here that could go into the TV pilot I am writing called “Mark Still Has No Idea Who Meredith Is,” so here’s the point of this whole blog post. The library has a vast amount of resources on everything from hikes to fashionable clothing that makes your butt look good on hikes to researching actors you have crushes on that are going on hikes. Use it.
On a more personal note, reaching the top of that mountain was important for two reasons: 1) Somebody had a sandwich up there for me, and 2) I needed to believe in myself again. I wanted to prove to myself that even when things look absolutely impossible, they are still attainable with the right preparation and outlook. Lately I’ve been asking myself why I continue to spend countless hours on a blog that nobody seems to read, or applying for library jobs that never seem to materialize. I’ve thought of giving up. Then some dude comes into your life, invites you on a hike, and shows you that you can reach the top of the mountain – you can get that library job – and your blog is kind of funny. I wish I could say that guy was Mark Valley but while he is a very nice guy, he didn’t ask for my number. The guy I’m talking about is my friend and trainer Carlos. A buff, ex-military dude that reminds me each and every day that exercise always has a purpose...and most of the time, it is to prove just how strong you really are.
Stand-Up Librarian Meredith Myers hikes Mt. Baldy (10,068 ft), the highest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains on the border of San Bernardino County, utilizing resources found at the Santa Monica Public Library. Joining her is fellow comedian PJ Walsh, the “Human Target” Mark Valley, and three fearless ex-military dudes. Will she reach the top? A true test of endurance and strength, she soon learns that the 11-mile journey has little to do with physicality or experience, and everything to do with preparation and just how badly she wants it.
For more information about Mt. Baldy:
For information on the Santa Monica Public Library:
For information on PJ Walsh and his one-man show:
And Mark Valley can be seen this fall on “Harry’s Law”: