Tags: exercise

new year


Mr S came back from burning prairie yesterday and assured me that this burning season is finally over. It's been a hell of a long one. He goes off for fourteen-hour days, climbing bluffs and whatnot with a pack, and comes back all blackened and smelling of grass fires. Some years it's just a couple weeks in March or April, from the time the snow melts until things green up enough that a fire can't sustain itself, and-or it starts seriously raining. This year, weather was permitting. They burned marshes and prairies and habitat for the endangered Karner Blue butterfly, and didn't torch any evergreens by accident. The planet is in peril, we must make firebreaks.

Coincidentally, I've been reading Rebecca Solnit's A Paradise Built in Hell, which coincidentally turned up at the library book sale, cheap, after I was wowed by the review last fall in the NYTimes. It starts out with the San Francisco earthquake in 1906, which was more catastrophically a great fire, and one of the reasons it was such a big fire was that the soldiers called out to restore order tried turning some blocks of the city into firebreaks, when they didn't know what the hell they were doing. Like, using a warehouse full of flammable chemicals as part of your firebreak: bad idea. Shooting citizens who are fighting fires by hand and digging people from the rubble, also bad. This is the sort of response that comes of expecting the worst of people. I'm up to her chapter on William James and the Moral Equivalent of War, an idea whose time must surely have arrived. Right. Now.

Although we don't see much of Haiti on the news lately, what with the surfeit of interesting times and all, people there are still doing what Solnit says people do in catastrophes: building shelters, taking care of the injured and dependent, scavenging for each other, and feeding people. This is pretty much what they were doing there before the earthquake, if one considers the building codes (lack thereof) and (unreported) graft.

When this gets to be too much, besides reading Sherlock Holmes in annotated entirety, I've started again on Solnit's book Wanderlust on the history of walking. This is also quieter reading than McDougall's Born to Run which Number One Son gave us for last Xmas, although along the same philosophical lines. There is enough buzz now about those wacky finger-shoes (Madison is that kind of place) that I suspect I am going to actually buy a pair, and see if they actually fit my feet, although I'm not betting on it. Henry David Thoreau said that just walking to everywhere within a ten-mile radius of your home could keep you busy and interested all your life. Then I thought, that means ten miles out, and ten miles back, which is a daily walk would actually take me all day if I were even up for it which I'm not. But the point is, it's nothing extraordinary for a healthy human animal. Even uphill, in the snow, as we used to say.

Number One Son (who is studying for exams and has one each day this week) says, Exercise Is The Cure. But he doesn't mean the exercise with bad attitude that most industrial populations seem to think is required. He means, like, jumping rope, playing outside with your friends. (Mr S and I often play Plant Identification, which is sort of like Name That Song except he gets more of them right, and you have to walk around outside to do it.) Number One Son has just finished a semester of being a personal trainer and studying geriatrics, and says, when you feel bad, exercise a bit, stop while it still feels okay before you do anything bad to yourself, and then think about how that worked and what you liked.

This morning I remembered that I neglected to register for the Balticon art show. I've been so out of it for months. But I could start packing for WisCon now. Also, does it even need saying, I'm going for a walk. This is just me trying to work a bit of writing back into my day.
new year

My exercise journal

Saturday I spent an inordinate amount of time figuring out how to put a map of the neighborhood into my exercise journal. I wanted actually a clip kind of illustration, rather than an interactive you-can-track-my-movements thing, which was good, as the online mapping programs were not about to be shoehorned in there. I found out how the geocaching people have been complaining about that gizmo being broken since November; and then figured out how to take a screen shot and then crop it and upload it like a picture or scanned piece of art. Still struggling with how to make photos the right size, after forcing them through the various programming funnels and screens available to me, and Blogger has its own ideas about how little I should need to know about making the text flow around.

Anyway, in celebration of having it kind of presentable, I thought I'd post a link to it here (above), otherwise known as http://jaewalkingetc.blogspot.com. It's not all that interesting, I suppose, particularly if you don't know the neighborhood I walk around every day, which is why I wanted the map. Includes yoga routines, for those who speak yoga.

The very first post I made in January also includes a link to the document I used for the whole month of December as an exercise journal. In that I wrote some rather long bits about pain management, and the various kinds of exercise I have taken over many years, and other stuff. This all started after Number One Son and I had a bit of an argument about him always giving me well-meant workout advice, being as that's his field of study and all, and me feeling always like he isn't crediting me with what I think is already a rather substantial effort. He has had some good suggestions -- like the journal itself -- but always sends them in email. But you are welcome to Comment. Be the first on your continent!

I actually thought I was going to be doing a new blog about Park Inspections this year, but this one is taking up enough of my time and energy that I've put that off. As I crawl up the face of the learning curve. Meanwhile, fragments and photos of Park Inspections sneak in.
new year


1. I've been successfully dissociating from Xmas as Not My Holiday Nothing To Do With Me, until today the big tree and tinsel was all over the lobby at the clinic when I walked through. D'oh! I got a couple of cool cards from calligrapher friends. That's one thing I like to do this time of year, answer correspondence and mail art. I'm still not buying any guilt, or any sweetness n lite.

2. Altho Mr S braved the mid-afternoon crowd insanity today to pick up new YakTrax at REI. Because I am seriously wearing out the heavy-duty Pro set he got me last year. They keep shedding little springs, and he keeps replacing them, although he says they are made of Really Hard Stuff (he who bends all metals to his will) but then they get walked around on... (He has an extra one to use for parts, from the first time he wore his in the woods last winter and one of them went sproing like a rubber band right off his boot and flew off into the snowy forest.) But now the rubber band parts are beginning to shred. I still have most of the springs on the front toe parts, and as long as the two feet are balanced they seem to work all right on the packed snow and ice, so I am just going to wear them out completely.

3. Considering the above, it's surprising my feet aren't in worse shape, cause I walk around on them every day exactly the same distance and in the same conditions.

4. Number One Son has got me keeping an Exercise Journal, which is good for around 500 words a day describing my various walking routes, the weather conditions, mileage, painful body parts, pain medications (none lately), and yoga practice. It's on Google Docs, and the first such thing that someone else actually looks at instead of me (I just like being able to work on my stuff from a number of different computers. Even the library!) Not sure I'm going to keep it up in this format, though -- I'm thinking I might incorporate it into my LJ, or bibliofile suggests just start a new LJ, cause plenty of other stuff finds its way in there.

5. Like Park Inspections. But that wants to be a whole nother blog. On a blog site, not a mere LiveJournal. With photos.

6. Number One Son actually reads it and emails me helpful questions and suggestions though. I think he is practicing for next semester, when he has to learn about training and conditioning for old people, which is not going to be nearly so easy as training high school kids or fellow athletes, and he will have to get up at like five in the morning because you know how early old people get up.

7. Unless of course they have stayed up all night to finish reading some novel, and then sleep in.