Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Diana’s Sixty Minutes Sixty Years Challenge

I posted a photo of a hike I took with Dave and Tim up Miller Canyon in the Huachuca Mountains back in March, the ‘back to Bisbee III entry.’ Well, here’s a photo of that section on mountains now. Dave emailed me the story and photo.
I forwarded it to Tim. He has plans to come back to the area next winter for mountain biking. Tim emailed back saying that Sandy, at Gray Hawk Nature Center where he volunteered last winter, has some evacuees camping there and a couple of her friends have lost their homes. I want to call Lynn to touch base and see what she has to say about it all. She has a friend who was evacuated. It’s pretty bad down there.

A comment from Diana on my ‘aging and disuse’ entry led me to her ‘Sixty Minutes Sixty Years’ blog.

Just before Diana turned 60, a WW challenge caught her eye—choose a goal in minutes of fitness-focused activity to work toward each month. She tweaked it a bit, relating it to turning 60 and making it more challenging—be active for 60 minutes each day for a total of 1800 minutes a month. Makes me feel like a wuss.

Studies show that being physically active may shave 10 years off one’s biological age. Then there’s the fact that regular exercise helps maintain joint function, reduce stiffness, and relieve fatigue. It helps relieve aching joints by strengthening the muscles that support them. All sounds good to me. Many of the supposedly unavoidable and debilitating physiological effects of aging are misguided and downright bogus. Being sedentary is much more of a risk factor for extreme declines in muscle mass, strength, flexibility and endurance than is simply getting on in years. Lack of exercise and a poor diet kills more people each year than does cancer. Studies had previously focused on sedentary older people. When more active older people were studied, the results contrasted with those previous studies. Why am I not surprised? It would be nice, at some point, if this data starts to sink in with people. More and more might start gettin’ off their butts, go out and give thanks for the body they were provided with and improve their health and quality of life.

I’m trying this challenge for the month of June, shooting for 1800 minutes. So far it is going well and I will enter minutes for the last few days the next time I have access to the web. I’m leaving Chama soon and will be working my way up through Colorado in July.

6/1 —105 minutes (80 trail run & 25 mtn biking to the trails and back)
6/2 —35 minutes (dumbbell walk with a pair of 10’s doing numerous exercises)
6/3 —90 minutes (30 working on quads, calves, & pecs and 60 pushing a mower)
6/4 —115 minutes (90 trail run & mtn biking to the trails)
6/5 —70 minutes (40 dumbbell walk w/10s and 30 pushing a mower)
6/6 —95 minutes (50 medicine ball & rim-rope exercises, & stretches and 45 pushing a mower)
6/7 —135 minutes (110 trail run & 25 mtn biking to the trails)
6/8 —60 minutes (medicine ball, tension-tubes, rim-rope & body weight exercises & stretches)
6/9 —60 minutes (ditto but different exercises for each)
6/10 —120 minutes (85 trail run, 25 mtn biking to the trails & 30 pushing a mower)
6/11 —100 minutes (35 dumbbell walk with a pair of 10’s, 50 pushing a mower, & 15 clipping around trees and rocks)
6/12 —45 minutes (mostly new bodyweight exercises)
6/13 —130 minutes (85 trail run & 25 mtn biking to the trails & 20 pushing mower)
6/14 —100 minutes (20 cardio circuit, 30 exercises & stretches and 50 mowing & raking)
6/15 —60 minutes (cardio circuits, exercises & stretches)
6/16 —95 minutes (70 trail run & 25 mtn biking)
6/17 —30 minutes (mow, rake, & clip)
6/18 —60 minutes (cardio circuits, exercises & stretches)
6/19 —115 minutes (90 trail run & 25 mtn biking)
6/20 —20 minutes (cardio circuits and exercises)
6/21 —70 minutes (cardio circuits, exercises & stretches)
6/22 —50 minutes (exercises and stretches)
6/23 —240 minutes (hiking)
6/24 —105 minutes (45 cardio circuits & exercises and 60 clipping, pushing a mower, & raking)
6/25 —0 minutes
6/26 —90 minutes (65 trail run & 25 mtn biking)
6/27 —70 minutes (exercises)
6/28 —0 minutes
6/29 —60 minutes (cardio circuits, exercises, & stretches)
6/30 —35 minutes (exercises – the gnats were WAY too aggressive!)

I made the active 1800 minutes challenge for June (it’s easy where I am house sitting) but missed baggin’ sixty minutes each day. It would be best for me to keep it up. I definitely have the time and all kinds of fitness-focused activities to fill it. I’m also not into harming myself so exercise is important to me. I should at least be able to swing 420 minutes a week if not 60 a day in July. We’ll see. I’m not optimistic. I tend to go in spurts. One thing that gives me a tad of hope is that one can generally break a bad habit or pick up a new one in thirty days, if one works at it every day.

Physical activity has a tremendous impact on every cell in the body, reducing inflammation, increasing blood flow, and in some cases even reversing the natural declines in oxygen efficiency.

I wish I kept the article so I could quote it. The gist of it was a nursing home in Florida started an easy exercise program with a group of boarders confined to wheelchairs. At the end of the program, nearly all of the participants were out of the wheelchairs and one even went into assisted living. It’s never too late to start working on one’s well-being.

People talk about all the freedom they’ll have after they retire but many end up living in bonds. Look around and listen to people to understand how they have let their body, due to neglect, restrict their life. Can’t quite see how that makes sense or why so many just take it as a given and live (?) like that. You can probably image how it goes if one of these people who are doing nothing to help themselves start whining at me.

Some days it’s tough to go out to give thanks and work on my well-being. Just getting outside sometimes is enough to get me started. I also have an iPod Nano loaded with upbeat tunes in a number of genres that I reserve for times when I’m doing something active. I put it on ‘shuffle’ so I never know what tune will play next. And once I’m up, outside and moving around, I’m generally good to go.

When one is thankful for the things he has, he shows it by taking care of them. It all starts with one’s body.

I have a doozy of an entry for July—informative, hopefully a bit inspiring, and somewhat humorous. The August entry will get back to the lifestyle. I’ll probably spend most of July in Colorado. There’s a tentative plan to meet up with a friend around Buena Vista for some hiking in a couple weeks and meet another in the Wind River area of Wyoming at the end of the month for some camping. Should all be new territory—backroads and traveling between the roads.

Some people count time, others make time count. Anonymous

RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

short segment north through NM and
what a woman finds attractive in a man

This will probably be the last year that I work my way north through New Mexico. I really don’t like driving through the middle third of the state and it’s not the kind of land that I enjoy camping in. I did manage to finally see Taos this year though. Now that is a town that I could live in. Or rather just outside of. Seems like a nice community and there is ready access to some awesome mountains. If I come back this way in October as I head south, I hope to spend some time there.

I knew it was a dry winter down here but it didn’t sink in until I stopped at some spots I visited in the past and found dry creek beds. Not good. They also started fire restrictions in the Gila’s in early April. Then elsewhere there is extensive flooding. Unreal.

Early one day I took Carson National Forest road 439 off rt518 and that could have been a big mistake. It was a fairly steep, narrow, rutty road cut into the hillside. About a mile up was a pipe gate with a ‘road closed’ sign on it. Luckily the gate was open. There was no place to turn around. It was early in the day so I decided to turn around in the meadow past the gate and try another forest road. It would have really rotted backing down that hill with the curves, ruts and a steep drop-off on the side. One of those times I wished the casita brakes worked in reverse. Nope, sure would not have enjoyed that.

Didn’t find any new stellar spots to camp this trip. Some okay spots that would no doubt satisfy most campers but I guess I’m getting too picky since I know what can be out there miles down dirt roads. There were five days where I only stopped for one night. Definitely not the norm. Have no idea what M&M were thinking, being put back in the Dodge each morning after they’ve been out and about for a couple hours. Had a 103 mile day, a 141 (pretty much my max. It’s not like I have the RVer’s mindset.), a 43 mile and a 44 mile (real nice), a 57 mile, and a horrendous 291 mile day. I would definitely bag this lifestyle if that were the norm. RVers take days like that in stride and most do quite a bit more. Hell on earth. Wonder what I’ll come across up in Idaho and Montana this summer.

I enjoyed spending time in the Carson forest west of Taos. Probably would be too many people for me during the summers. Dug my longbow and judo-pointed arrows out and went off huntin’ Ponderosa pine cones. Had some good late afternoon walks with M&M. I swear wind through Ponderosa has a unique sound. Could be wrong but I sure seem to recognize it. I love it. Like the sound of a raven’s wing-beat is so recognizable.

Back in Chama, NM for some house sitting and running in the mountains. Sure enjoyed it here last summer. Looks like I’ll be continuing on north the last week in June. Sure hope I can find a place to squirrel-away in Colorado for the Fourth of July weekend. Stopped in to see Paul at Three Ravens Coffee House in Tierra Amarilla (December 2009 entry) on the way into town. Definitely like that place. M&M flushed a duck on one of our walks and I walked over to look. Tried six times to get a useable focus on her eggs but did not succeed. One day I saw a hummingbird so I went into town for a bag of sugar. One morning the water was froze solid. Birds came over and it was like, ‘What the …’

Here’s the contingent from the house in Chama out on one of our walks.

It seems strange that so many people who move out to the country, bring along their suburban mindset—outside night lights, symmetric planting of shrubs and trees, extensive mowed lawns and whatnot. Many move out to the country for a more laidback lifestyle. Yep, that goes along with spending close to two hours a week maintaining a lawn. I guess I have a more bohemian outlook on it—natural ground cover, native plants, xeriscape, just let it be, etc. Or maybe winding paths, the width of a mower, through the tall grass and open mowed ‘islands’ with a bench, a couple chairs, a sculpture, or an arrangement of rocks or stumps—something zen-like, maybe paths for kinhin. I can understand a small section of cut grass if one is actually going to use it for various activities. But for aesthetics?! Guess I don’t have that status quo ring in my nose and I most assuredly would prefer to be doing something else, week after week, month after month, year after year. As some get along in years, they begin to simplify their life by cutting down on possessions and activities that take up their time, things they ‘have to do.’ Seems to make sense.
Simple living encompasses just about all aspects of life—how one cooks, entertains, decorates, vacations, use their time, look at life and on-and-on. Some even use the concept with friends, choosing to have a few close friends rather than many. The ‘many’ tend to be more like ‘acquaintances’. One does not have to scale down to a small dwelling with few possession. There are people into simple living who live in huge lofts in New York City and San Francisco. It’s a mindset that leads to a sense of being free and all that comes with it.

June humor—what a woman finds attractive in a man

A study conducted by Tulane's Department of Psychiatry has revealed that the kind of face a woman finds attractive on a man can differ depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle.

For example: If she is ovulating, she is attracted to men with rugged and masculine features.
However, if she is menstruating, or menopausal, she tends to be more attracted to a man with duct tape over his mouth and a spear lodged in his chest while he is on fire.

No further studies are expected.

Things work out best for those who make the best
of the way things work out.

RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’