- SMWI* = Saturday morning workout inspiration.
- Source: All My Small Adventures (European Bison / Bisonte Europeo. Confined to protected areas in Eastern Europe)
By the toe of my boot,
a pebble of quartz,
one drop of the earth’s milk,
dirty and cold.
I held it to the light
and could almost see through it
into the grand explanation.
Put it back, something told me,
put it back and keep walking.
~ Ted Kooser, “On the Road.” Delights & Shadows
Her name is Sarah Marquis. She’s 42. She’s Swiss. She spent three of the past four years walking ~ 10,000 miles by herself – from Siberia through the Gobi Desert, China, Laos and Thailand, then across all of Australia.
…Marquis tried to minimize human contact (and avoid dangerous characters). She hid her femininity with loose clothes, big sunglasses, hair piled up in a hat. (Be sure to check out what she looks like without disguise.)
…She has starved and she has frozen…To supplement the inadequate supply of noodles she could carry, Marquis brought a slingshot, a blow gun, some wire to make snares and a net for catching insects. In the warm months, Marquis ate goannas, geckos and bearded dragons. In the cold months, when the reptiles hid, she subsisted on an Aboriginal standby, witchetty grubs — white, caterpillar-size moth larvae that live in the roots of Mulga trees.
…When water was scarce, she collected condensation, either by digging a deep hole and lining the cool bottom with plastic or by tying a tarp around a bush. If those techniques didn’t yield enough liquid — and they rarely did — she drank snake blood. At night Marquis slept close to the trunks of trees, touching the bark in a way that she describes as “almost carnal.” She fell in love with a particular twisted and wind-bent Western myall tree on Australia’s Nullarbor Plain.
Don’t miss this story by Elizabeth Weil in the NY Times: The Woman Who Walked 10,000 Miles (No Exaggeration) in Three Years
The weight of my old dog, Hattie –
thirty five pounds of knocking bones, sighs, tremors and dreams –
just isn’t enough to hold a patch of sun in its place, at least for very long.
While she shakes in her sleep,
its slips from beneath her and inches away,
taking the morning with it –
the music from the radio,
the tea from my cup,
the drowsy yellow hours –
picking up dust and
dog hair as it goes.
~ Ted Kooser. December 14. Home from my walk, shoes off, at peace.
Walking by flashlight
at six in the morning,
my circle of light on the gravel
swinging side by side,
coyote, racoon, field mouse, sparrow,
each watching from darkness
this man with the moon on a leash.
~ Ted Kooser. November 18. Cloudy, dark and windy.
How important it must be to someone
that I am alive and walking,
and that I have written these poems.
This morning the sun stood right at the end of the road
and waited for me.”
~ Ted Kooser. March 20, The vernal equinox. [Read more…]
Source: Thank you Carol
Rhino off all fours.
2000 to 4000 pounds and rumblin’ down the highway for his morning work-out.
And what would my excuse be?
SMWI* = Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration
SMWI* = Saturday morning workout inspiration.
*SMWI = Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration
SMWI* = Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration
Creator: Sarah Anderson, Doodle Time
*SMWI = Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration
“This inner silence which accompanies me is born of the slow stride which leads from one day to another. What more can I long for than this room opening out on to the plain, with its antique furniture and its crocheted lace? I have the whole sky on my face, and feel that I could follow these slow, turning days forever, spinning motionlessly with them. I breathe in the only happiness I can attain—an attentive and friendly awareness.
I spend the whole day walking about: from the hill, I go down to Vicenza or else farther into the country. Every person I meet, every scent on this street, is a pretext for my measureless love … all are props for the person who can no longer be alone. But the tender and bitter piping of the grasshoppers, the perfume of water and stars that you meet in the September nights, the scented paths among the lentisks and rose bushes, all are signs of love for the person forced to be alone. Thus the days pass. After the dazzling glare of the sun-filled days, evening comes, in the splendid décor offered by the gold of the setting sun and the black of the cypress-trees. I then walk along the road, toward the crickets that can be heard far away. As I advance, they begin one by one to sing more softly, and then fall silent. I walk slowly forward, weighed down by so much ardent beauty.”
—Albert Camus, from “Lyrical and Critical,” Betwixt and Between (1937)
*SMSI = Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration
Source: Ben Greenman
It’s Saturday Morning. Time for the weekend warriors to get inspired to Exercise. Here’s four of my favorite recent articles on the subject:
A Question That Can Change Your Life: “For years I’ve exercised every day — doing weights, cardio, yoga — but despite my continuous effort, I haven’t seen much change. Until a few months ago. Recently, my body has changed. My muscles are stronger, more defined, and I’ve lost five pounds along with a visible layer of fat. Let’s start with what I didn’t do: Spend more time exercising. In fact, I’ve spent less. So what did I do differently?…“
25 More Rules of Conquering the Gym: “…Gyms are tricky relationships. You fall in and out of love. Commitment fades. Maybe you have a torrid affair with ice cream sandwiches. All you know is that you used to go to that gym five times a week, and suddenly it becomes two, and then two becomes one, and one becomes none, and none becomes a brand new size of jeans…#3: No, you’re not getting a six-pack. You’re just trying to take off your shirt at the beach without people running to their cars…#6. Here’s a helpful rule on gym clothing. If you’re not sure your shirt smells? Your shirt smells…#22: The best gym on earth is outside, and it’s totally free.” Read more here. And if you’ve missed the first installment (even funnier), read it here. [Read more…]
“As the spot unfolds, you notice that 1950s Man’s lifestyle is simpler and more active and his diet is healthier than Mr. Modern Man. He’s just happier. As the ad ends, you discover that the men are grandfather and grandson. The lovely bit of splitscreen nostalgia scored by the Tom Jones toe-tapper ‘It’s Not Unusual’ features one actor playing both parts…This ad shows that the lifestyle enjoyed by our grandparents — moving more, eating well, taking it easy — can be beneficial. ” (Source: Buzzfeed)
(And if we’re slugging back Coke Zero, Coke wins too! )
“Two hikers with separate agendas and hiking solo, unaware of the other, set out to break the record for fastest time in completing the Pacific Crest Trail, a grueling, 2,650-mile test for thru-hikers…”
“Heather “Anish” Anderson, a previously overweight high school student who dreamed of one day setting some sort of athletic record, and Josh Garrett, a dedicated vegan raising awareness for Mercy For Animals, both succeeded in their quests, and did so within a day of each other.”
“I carried all of my gear the entire way. I did not have a crew of people meeting me. When I needed supplies, I walked into and out of towns, which added about 30 miles total to my hike…”
“I cry when I think about all the things I have overcome to get here, both on this hike and off. It makes me ever so grateful to that chubby girl who dared to dream big, audacious dreams. I am even more thankful that she grew up to be a woman courageous enough to make those dreams reality.”
“Her dreams came true…reaching the Canadian border by averaging nearly 44 miles a day.”
“I am pleased enough with the surfaces – in fact they alone seem to me to be of much importance. Such things for example as the grasp of a child’s hand in your own, the flavor of an apple, the embrace of a friend or lover, the silk of a girl’s thigh, the sunlight on the rock and leaves, the feel of music, the bark of a tree, the abrasion of granite and sand, the plunge of clear water into a pool, the face of the wind – what else is there? What else do we need?”
- Edward Abbey
Source: Thank you Mme Scherzo
“His brain and body shattered in a horrible accident as a young boy, Bret Dunlap thought just being able to hold down a job, keep an apartment, and survive on his own added up to a good enough life. Then he discovered running.
You know what people think. They see jeans too short and winter coat too shiny, too grimy, and think, homeless. They watch a credit card emerge from those jeans and think, grifter. They behold a frozen grin, hear a string of strangled, tortured pauses, and think, slow. Stupid.
You learned too young about cruelty and pity. You learned too young that explaining yourself didn’t help, that it made things worse. People laughed. Made remarks. Backed away. So you stopped explaining. You got a job, got a cat, got an apartment, and people can think what they want to think. You built a life without explanation and it was enough…”
Read more here. Long. But so worth your time. Having trouble getting off the couch to work out? Having a tough day? Week? Year? Forgettaboutit. Inspiring story of the year? Running away. Read this man’s story.
SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration
Source: Runner’s World
Incredible. When can we go?!
SMWI* = Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration
So bizarre…yet I couldn’t stop watching and laughing. (Family said I was all alone in liking this one.) And, have no idea what the ending signifies. Exhaustion?
You need to get through the first ~ 4 1/2 minutes to get to the punch line. And then, the punch line pops. And worth the wait. The video is shot in Vancouver and Whistler Mountain. Headphones recommended.
“The world is filled with noise. Make room for silence.”
5:50 am. I’m off. 100-year old men running marathons and I’ve been filling the couch. Now there’s inspiration.
45F according to Weather Channel. Walk outside. Feels like 60F. Strip off running jacket. Fat man goin’ to fly.
Feeling HEAVY. Thanks to my enabler friend Lori. She sent a can’t miss recipe after last week’s Spaghetti Bolognese post. Zeke (dog) and I were sniffing around like crack addicts for 10 hours while the bolognese simmered in the slow cooker…with the aroma from the meat sauce oozing into every pore of the house. When the 6pm dinner bell rang, I was at the table with fork, salt shaker, large plate. Salad? NO. Bread? NO. Vegetables? NO. Keep all distractions out of the way. I told Zeke to stand back, I needed room to feed. Four plates later (at least I stopped counting at 4), I was licking my plate…and telling myself, maybe it’s time to stop. Bliss. Peace. 10 years from today, new FDA research will find that eating Spaghetti Bolognese extends life. And you’re going to think back and say that crazy man was right. You read it here first.
Back to the run. So, here we are. The day after. A DIRIGIBLE. LARGE AND BLOATED. On the road again trying to knock out some lbs. 100-year old running man drifting in an out. I’m half his age and can’t get the pistons firing. Wonder if he lied about his age. (That’s not nice. But something seems off. He looks better than 100. Hell, he looks better than I do.)
On February 23, 2013, 101 year-old Fauja Singh finished the Hong Kong 10km (6.25 mile) event in one hour, 32 minutes and 28 seconds. (That’s it! I’m going to kick his a** today. I’m sick of being embarrassed by 100 year old men. It’s sad. Really it is.) [Read more…]
6 am. I’m off. No slackin’ today.
32F. Feels like 27F according to Weather Channel.
Snarky Man is on the move.
Black wind breaker. Blue sweat pants. Red shoes. Black Chargers Tuk.
(How do you spell C-L-A-S-H?)
Reach for draw string to synch up sweats. Only find one end. The other end is buried in hole about an inch back. Are you kidding me? Paused for 1 second – – no chance I’m going back to change. Veer way wide of the Man today. He going gangster. Let his sweatpants hang off his a**.
It all started yesterday. 3 am.
Morning ritual of stepping on the scale. Followed by Morning Delusion. LED flashing. Flashing. Flashing. (Think 10 pm on Christmas Eve as a Child .)
And then BAM.
Followed by SHOCK.
The scale reports a new 5-year high.
“Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.” — Augustine of Hippo
I don’t know who Mr. Augustine is. But I’m looking like a Hippo. I have one daughter and not two. And her name is Anger.
I get off the scale. Inhale. Exhale.
Technology! Has to be that I jumped on the scale too quickly. It didn’t find its equilibrium. It needs to set itself.
I gently step back on. (Like, if I treat it more kindly, I might get a better outcome.)
Flashing. Flashing. Flashing. Flashing. Flashing.
Enough. We enter Day 1 of my new weight reduction program.
And as I reach Post Road on my run this morning, I recall my first day…
I’m off. 35F. Feeling good.
It’s the day after Good Friday.
The title of LaDona’s post banging around in my head like a 50 Cent Rap song – – the tricked up Chevy heaving up and down to the beat:
This Place Was Made By God.
This Place Was Made By God.
This Place Was Made By God.
I look around. Trees reflecting on the still waters of the Long Island Sound. Sun’s up in its full magnificence. Sky is a brilliant blue. Who else could have made this?
She goes on. This place was made by God, a priceless sacrament; it is without reproach.
(She’s so d*mn sure.)
And on. The most sacred day in the Christian calendar, and indeed, in Christianity itself. Inspiration for stunning, poignant music across the centuries. Even if you don’t believe, or if you do and God seems far away, the music speaks. And touches. And heals.
(I’m right there with you Sister on the far away part. And right there with you that the music speaks, touches and heals)
Then the mind, faster than a switchback on a BC mountain highway, turns to a conversation with a colleague on Thursday: [Read more…]
I share exercise inspirations on Saturday mornings to get me off the couch and out the door. This share by Steve Layman may be the most powerful story and research that I’ve read on this topic. A few excerpts…
The story starts with a Phil Bruno “super-sizing again…He was only a mile from his house, where his wife, Susan, was cooking the usual big Italian dinner for their family of five, but he was hungry now. The urge was automatic…Ten minutes later, with a bag of burgers steaming on the seat beside him, he pulled into a McDonald’s and ordered a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, an apple pie, and a chocolate shake to wash it all down…Phil had always loved food, which was part of the fabric of his tight-knit Sicilian-American family: Grandma and her lasagna were right down the street. But he’d been athletic in his youth, playing high school football and carrying a robust but reasonable 215 pounds on a six-foot-three-inch frame. Then, in his mid-twenties, he’d stopped working out, as many of us do when life starts to chew up our time. Over the years, his regular meals and high-calorie bingeing had turned him into a physical and emotional wreck. His joints ached whenever he used the stairs, his heart hammered, and he was possessed by a strange, burning thirst that no amount of ice water could quench. “I was 47 years old,” he says, “but I felt like I was 80.” [Read more…]
Late (LATE) start. Galileo’s Sun is up. I look up and bask in its warmth. I start my run into a cold headwind. Fingertips tingling. My eyes, fill with water. Like mist on cold air over warm waters. This will clear.
Run by the corner of Noroton and Post Roads. Church Corner. Ascension Episcopal. Noroton Presbyterian. Christ Scientist. Churchgoers are filing in. Man cradling baby in a papoose. Families striding briskly, holding hands with their children. Lady holding kerchief in place from wind gusts. Elderly couple shifts right to let me pass. Community. Peace be with you too.
I usually run too early to see churchgoers. Not today. Guilt washes over me. Eric joined his friends in attending a eulogy yesterday. “Weird,” he described it. “Awkward not having been to church in years.” He lights my fuse using less than 10 words. Jung scolds: “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” Then Robert Fulghum piles on: “Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” How quickly this has escalated. Yes, “my” Son – – he’s been watching. And now I’m irritated, here on Galileo’s beautiful Sunday. NO, gentlemen. Not today. You won’t get under my skin today. No sir.
…after I stepped on the scale and saw the damage.
Late start. (LATE) Aspirational intentions at 5:23 a.m. not converted into action until late morning. Chopping through a mountain of Emails. Tumbling. Reading. Cat videos. (How many of these can I watch?) Find myself in workmanlike mode. Stress notched up a few clicks. And racing again – like mid-day on a workday treadmill at the office.
And then, I come across Terry’s post and Yellow lights are flashing…
I’m in a hurry to get things done
Oh I rush and rush until life’s no fun
All I really gotta do is live and die
But I’m in a hurry and don’t know why
~Alabama, I’m in a hurry
Oddly enough, my immediate concern is not why I am in such a rush on a Saturday morning. But, synchronicity. Why is Country Music around every turn. (Now Country music, this is something to be concerned about. Then the mind goes back to HURRY. What’s the Rush?) [Read more…]
Here’s my Wolf Pack. Our Zeke on the left. Anya, the neighbor’s dog on the right. Zeke, a pure bred Hungarian bird hunting Vizsla. Anya, a rescue mix with herding in her DNA.
Zeke was acquired five years ago for hundreds (many) of dollars. (The King’s list of demands in dog selection included a sporting/running breed. It didn’t include acquiring someone else’s problems.) Anya was acquired from a shelter with no cash outlay. (*Hold this thought on dog profile differences.)
Trail running (and all running outside) has largely been suspended this winter season. Weekend exercise has taken the form of intermittent stabs on the elliptical machine in the attic…remote control in the right cup holder and water bottle in the left. Air temperature constant at 67F. No snow. No slush. No uneven surfaces. (And No Running Posts. Zero inspiration running on an elliptical.)
Weather warming this weekend. It was time to GET OUTSIDE. So, I prep. Ugg’s on. Strap Garmin on wrist. Grab iPhone. Earphones. Doggie treats. Two Dog leashes. Dog tags. Poop bags. Car keys. And stuff it all into a fanny pack. (Black manly style fanny pack.) Put on down coat. Pull on hat. (38F. Hat not needed but run will be arduous. No need to display thinning/receding and matted hair.) Jam running gloves in pocket. Grab Driver’s license and wallet and head out the door. (With the exception of dry food, ropes, crampons and ice axes, I’d be ready for climb up McKinley. Heavy load for a trail run in snow. Pulse quickens and I haven’t even left the car.) [Read more…]
“A pair of backpackers, trail names of North Star and Shutterbug, quit their day jobs in 2012, and took 165 days to hike the Pacific Coast Trail, from Mexico to Canada, all 2,660 miles of it. And each day, they snapped off a photo of their tent.” The foot-tapping music is “Old Pine” by Ben Howard.
Bottom line: LOVED IT.
Good Sunday morning.
Source: Grindtv. “North Star” is Anna Sofranko, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Shutterbug is a professional photographer and a native of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. Both are dedicated backpackers who this year will be hiking the Appalachian Trail on the East Coast and the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand. You can find their blog @ Wandering the Wild.
Here’s an inspiration for your Saturday Morning Work-out (or something)…many wows here.
Thank you John E. Smith @ The Strategic Learner for sharing.
Off to a late start today. Could not fire the engines. Or the head. Temperature: Brisk 35F. Not a trace of wind. And gloriously sunny. Sunny but dark.
I skip the hat. Skip the gloves. Skip the extra sweatshirt. I needed cold. Needed to feel alive. Needed a new path. A fresh 5-mile route. Away from the familiar.
9:45 am: I’m heading North. (It’s quiet out. Eerily quiet. I don’t hear birds. Traffic seems to be moving slower. Everyone mourning? Newtown is North. Sandy Hook Elementary School is 39 miles due North. TV images flicker by: Mother holding phone, screaming. Children being marched out of the building. “Close your eyes. Hold your hands.“)
It all started at around 8pm last night. Susan asked: “Do you really need that?“…this in response to my complaining earlier in the day about hitting new record highs for weight gain. And after my 4th trip to the fridge since dinner time. The “that” was a peanut butter (Jiffy Creamy) and blueberry jelly sandwich. Yes, I needed it. Badly. And I didn’t need someone, anyone, scolding me. (Am I a child?) I continued lapping the peanut butter on the bread – jabbing the knife into the jar – spreading on a few extra layers. I don’t lift my head. She continues on from the other side of the room. “You know, you should read this book on life style changes in what you eat. You can lose weight by just eating healthier. You are not getting enough proteins. This is causing you to crave potato chips, sugars and salty foods.” Blueberry jam dribbles out of the corner of my mouth. I look up. Fat man’s blood pressure building…readying himself for counterpunching. I glance up and glare. She continues: “You know that I’m just trying to help.” I take the last remaining bite and jam dribbles down my shirt…well doesn’t that about capture it. Enough! My turn…trade a boulder for a pebble. “I don’t need to read a bloody book to tell me that I eat junk and too much of it. And I certainly don’t need you haranguing me about it.” Now, if I had just stopped there. Trade the ocean for a drop of water. “So tell me. If this book is so good. How’s it working out for you?” Nearing 30 years of marriage you know exactly where the nerve endings are and where to jab. Yep, direct hit. Then regret washes over me. But not enough to apologize. She knows I didn’t really mean it. Right. [Read more…]
Image Credit: ChristinaQuayer
The stone walkway may be 2.5 feet at its narrowest point. The shore line is 7-8 feet down from the walkway. It’s narrow, it is a ways down and I’m always wary. I must have been daydreaming. Or better stated, distracted by day-work-worrying.
I’m on my morning run.
My right forearm slams into the end of the steel I-beam guard rail. Here it comes. A car crash in slow motion. A Bruce Lee flick. With much less grace. The I-beam doesn’t move. But it moves me. It spins me around. Full Stop. Drop. Roll. Air explodes out of my chest. I’m gasping for air. More stunned than hurt. I’m down flat on my back for a few seconds, grateful that I didn’t plunge into the mud and frigid waters in the bay. I look around to see if anyone caught the show. No one is yelling “Man Down. Man Down.” We’re clear. Pride intact. [Read more…]
6:15 am. I finish up my blog posts. Finish bantering with Mimi. I pan through the Weather app on my iPhone for a temperature report on my set locations: Miami 61 F/78 F. Sunny. Sydney 67/81. San Diego 54/65. Home: 29 F/41 F. (Brrrrrrr. I shiver. Do I really want to do this? Maybe I should wait until later this afternoon when temps climb. Come on. Who are you kidding? If it doesn’t happen RIGHT NOW, it’s not going to happen pal…you know that.)
6:20 am: I put on sweatpants, sweatshirt and grab baseball cap. (Mind is chattering… should I drape myself in layers…thermal underwear and thermal undershirt…and Tuke/Beanie. Are you kidding? A mere 29°. A Canadian, last time I checked. Man-up.)
6:24 am: Grab headphones, iPhone and Garmin GPS watch. (Notice that I have 1 bar of power left on Garmin and 2 bars on iPhone. Irritated. Irritating. Hundreds of dollars of e-equipment and they can’t hold a charge for more than a few hours. Yep, good one – Gadget Man is blaming battery life. Be grateful. Thanksgiving. Day of Sabbath. And I’m sniping.) [Read more…]
#3: My job takes my time and energy. #4: I’m too tired. #14: The weather sucks. #15: I AM NOT MOTIVATED. There we go. They are on the table. My excuses not to exercise (again). Leo Babauta @ Zen Habits wrote a recent post titled 15 Great Excuses Not to Form the Fitness Habit that has lingered with me. He lists 15 excuses that have blocked him from exercise – along with his “excuse blasters.” And of course, I’ve added my commentary… [Read more…]
4:05 am. And STILL, no cable, no phones, no internet.(Morning routine disrupted. Motivation waning. Out of bed. But out of sync. Ranging somewhere between live fish in boat flopping around the deck to full Train derailment.)
4:07 am. Begin surfing internet on iPad. (Wondered what I used to do at 4am in the “old days.” B.I. Before internet. I don’t even remember. Ah, yes. I used to read. Like books. Real Reading has plummeted. Guilt washes over me.)
4:15 am. Still reading and surfing. Mostly surfing. (Mind shifts to AT&T 3g – confident that their gouge meter is running. I’m watching cute cat and dog videos while AT&T is performing alchemy – turning my minutes into cash.)
4:22 am. I hit publish on my work-out inspiration post. I look out the window. Black as coal. Touch window. Feels cold on finger tips. (Shut-er-down. Enough alchemy feed stock for AT&T. Mind shifts to Running in the cold and in the dark. Hmmmmm. I grab my Grandma’s hand-knitted quilt and fall heavily into the couch. Now, there’s inspiration for you.)
7:00 am. Conscience wakes me. I need to exercise NOW or this will never happen. (Mr. Work-Out Inspiration Man needs inspiration.)
“…New research this month finds that the more time someone spends sitting, the shorter and less robust his or her life may be. The findings were sobering: Every single hour of television watched after the age of 25 reduces the viewer’s life expectancy by 21.8 minutes. By comparison, smoking a single cigarette reduces life expectancy by about 11 minutes. Looking more broadly, they concluded that an adult who spends an average of six hours a day watching TV over the course of a lifetime can expect to live 4.8 years fewer than a person who does not watch TV. Those results hold true even for people who exercise regularly. It appears a person who does a lot of exercise but watches six hours of TV every night might have a similar mortality risk as someone who does not exercise and watches no TV…” [Read more…]