Thursday, November 04, 2010
I've always been fascinated by trails and paths, since I was a child. I followed quite a few of them in the mountains of Wyoming, long ago, not nearly as far off the beaten path as I would have liked, but luscious and full of sustenance for the soul, nonetheless.
Sometimes I walked a trail with steep canyon walls rising high above me on both sides. Now and then it opened into a patch of sunlight filtering through the pines and lush green grass that edged the stream rushing through it. The path was covered with soft, cushy pine needles, so every footfall was muffled, and then quieted more by the gurgling sound of the melted snow searching for the lake at the bottom.
Heading for the mouth of the stream, the roar of the waterfall urging me on, I became totally lost from the world of people and machines. The spray of the water, the constant din of the falls, blocked out sight and sound of all but the most otherworldly views and brought to mind thoughts of the same. As if approaching a god. And the scent! If only I could have captured the smell of the fresh air and water and mountain pines and flowers and grasses. Ambrosia to the senses. All the while, the mountain looming upward, farther than I could see.
Mountains like these are in the tales of all the ancient religions. And no wonder, the senses are in such awe in the presence of a mountain. The eyes go upward, the heart and soul reach upward. The physical mountain is a symbol for the spiritual one that stands between each soul and its destiny. Like the tourists left behind me on the roadside, most people stand within sight of the spiritual mountain all their lives and never approach it, being content to let others dare that journey and regale them with stories of it. They avoid so many hardships that way, you see.
Most who do venture toward the mountain, use a guide or a well-traveled path tamed by many others who have gone before. But there are those whose nature it is to find their own route across the mountain; brave souls for whom the journey is a reward, even if the destination is never reached. Those that do reach it, through sheer strength of will and large doses of good fortune, become more aware than any that there is no fixed path, no single road that will take you there, but as many routes as there are souls.
If you remember the story of the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her friends went to see the Wizard to ask for gifts - things they were lacking in their lives. He sent them on a mission to kill the wicked witch and promised the gifts as a reward. When they completed their mission, they returned to find the Wizard was a fake. But they also discovered that they had found the gifts they were asking for - acquired them during their journey. Itís not the conquest of the mountain that is the reward; itís the journey there. Enjoy the journey and never be afraid of it.
If I never lay eyes on you again, I thank God for your presence in my life, this little way along the path I'm following. People join me on the path from time to time, and it hurts when we part at a crossroads. But I'd rather have had the time with you, shared the thoughts and tenderness, and cried when it couldn't go on, than to have sat here, safe and sorry, unknown and unknowing, like those travelers who only listen to tales of the mountain from the soul who had the courage to tackle it.
Sometimes you have to leap into the void.
Monday, October 04, 2010
My son and grandkids are coming from Denver.
Halloween is coming!
Thanksgiving is coming!
Christmas is coming!
What do all these things have in common?
I MUST start now to really get a grip on my eating. I've been playing fast and loose with my food plan.
So today I'm getting the regimen down again, faithfully logging in every bite and using the LOW end of my allowances.
Have to do this to avoid a major catastrophe and lose all the ground I've gained, or gain all the weight I've lost, however you want to look at it.
What is YOUR upcoming challenging event? No matter how big or how small. If it might induce you to overeat, post it here, share your worries and get some support.
At the very least, we'll keep our eyes on you, lol, so you have to behave!
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I've discovered the Fountain of Youth and you don't drink it - you SWIM in it!
Some of you remember all the pain problems I've had for years and then the discovery that I need a hip replacement. Before all that, walking was my PASSION! Joe and I used to take a one hour, 4 mile walk, in a very hilly area, every day after work. I loved it! And I have missed it, terribly, these past years. Iím very envious of all of you who can walk for and hour or more every day. Iím green with envy, in fact!
Since September 1st, though, I have really been enjoying exercise again. I meet a friend at the local heated pool and we have a good time laughing and yakking, lol. Not sure how many calories that burns! However, we are also in constant motion the entire 90 minutes - treading water, swimming, jogging, walking in chest deep water, etc.
I have to stop now and then because I'm breathing too hard to talk, lol. Can't have that. So I'm getting my heart rate up, for sure. It's been a long time since I've done anything that could be called exercise for 90 minutes straight! My body has missed it!
The first two weeks I was tired! Now I'm just invigorated and planning on increasing it to three days a week in October. I feel really good, which is not something I've said much since I had a bad flare up with my right hip.
Anyway, I haven't had any pain. NONE. I'm walking good, moving good. You can't tell I was in pain for 8 years. Miracles do happen.
I wanted to share this with you because even though Iíd always heard about water exercise being so good for you, and I had tried it on my own for 30 minute sessions, I could never join the water aerobics classes because I would always end up hurting myself.
Fear of pain is a strong deterrent.
My chiropractor told me to go to my local Boys and Girls Club. They have an Adult Swim session for three hours every day, heated pool, Mon - Fri. I would never have thought of looking at a youth club for exercise for people over 50.
One hour is a water aerobics class, but the other two hours are ďfree swimĒ, adults over 50 ONLY. Check in your area. Swimming year round is something most of us canít manage without a gym membership, but this is a pay-as-you-go ($3 per session) arrangement.
I would NEVER have believed how much GOOD this has done for me since September 1st. Instead of doing exercises with a leader and getting into moves I shouldn't make with my body, we just do what feels right for us at the time. The key is finding a buddy who promises to be there, too. No backing out. No excuses. And I certainly stay in the water 3 times as long when Iím having fun with a friend.
I hope you try year round water exercise if you are inhibited from weight bearing exercise for any reason. It is the best thing Iíve done since I began dealing with pain!
If it's the Journey that counts, this is IT!
PS - People come to this pool who are very obese. People come in walkers, wheelchairs and on crutches. Once the get in the water, a miracle happens! They are youthful, graceful, and no one sees them as disabled. A beautiful experience.
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