ACLAYJAR   129,460
100,000-149,999 SparkPoints
ACLAYJAR's Recent Blog Entries

Did I lean my ladder up against the wrong wall?

Thursday, January 02, 2014

I completed every goal I set for myself in 2013. Among other things I read 52 books, walked 100 different Volkssport events and blogged each one of them here. Perhaps there is always some let down after completing a big project, but I asked myself, "Did accomplishing those things get you to were you wanted to be at the start of 2014?" "You climbed the ladder to the top, but where did it lead you? Was that ladder leaning against the wrong wall?"

My response, "yes." Having the goal of 52 books, meant they were read quickly. Ones that could have benefited from a second reading or further study were set aside for the "priority" of quantity of books read. In some ways the Volkssport goal was the same. The national Centurion Achievement Challenge was to walk 100 events in the calendar year 2013. I, of course, had to raise the bar and walk 100 different events. As a result I found myself doing more short distance walks. I don't feel I am as physically fit as at the end of 2012, the year I walked 1000 miles. Many of the blogs were not my best effort because I "had to get the walk blogged."

These goals were not a waste.

I learned that I would rather enjoy the books than make quantity of reading a goal. I may never get through all those books I purchased; perhaps it is time to give them away. In 2014 my reading goal is to tackle two classic works and 2 non-fiction works. In both cases I want to treat them like a class; I want to take notes, re read sections as necessary.

I learned my walking goals should relate to distance if I want it to be a fitness goal. For 2014 I will to complete 1000k in sanction Volkswalks. While that is only 62% of my 2012 goal of 1000 miles, the lesser goal will allow me to support an organization for which I have great admiration without the pressure of making every exercise session a sanctioned walk.

Blogging, even though many were not my best effort did accomplish three things.
1. I have a beautiful record of my walks in 2013 complete with photos, descriptions and what was happening in my life. I am printing the blog and keeping in in a binder on the coffee table to celebrate the success.
2. It has helped me to sharpen my brain. While I was walking I focused on the walk, what would I write in the blog, what about each event would be interesting to share. Writing made me "use my words." In retirement I must make opportunities to communicate and keep my verbal abilities in use.
3.I found I like to write and I like to write about my walking. In 2014 I would like to continue to do this by writing one or more articles for our regional Volkssport Magazine or even the national Volkssport newspaper.

Sparkpeople is a great site; I rarely "meet" anyone who wants criticize or condemn. Even when someone can see a fault in my thinking or behavior, the members are considerate, helpful and tactful. I should add a #4 benefit of this blog. I gained some new Spark friends. Thank you to all of you who have read my blog and encouraged me through your comments. I appreciate you!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HILLSLUG98239 1/2/2014 7:08PM

    Excellent insights. You're clearly someone who understands that the journey matters at least as much as the destination!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KTLASERS 1/2/2014 5:44PM

I love how you turned that around!

Report Inappropriate Comment

I did it! 100 different walks in the book.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Blogging the Centurion Achievement Challenge in 2013 #100

Each month I have a standing date to go on a hike with Carol. We’ve known each other for years and even though we have done a variety of walks, she had never been on a Volksmarch. I invited her to join me as I hiked the final walk of my American Volkssport Association Centurion Achievement Challenge.

Walk number 100 would be Queen Anne Hill in Seattle Washington. There are several walks that include this neighborhood just north of downtown Seattle. I chose Year Round Walk #1530 “Queen Anne Counterbalance” because Carol would appreciate the elevation gain and loss and I appreciate the trip through family history.

The walk starts at the top of Queen Anne Hill at the Bustle Café. They are such gracious hosts. We sat a table in the back room and I showed Carol how to register for a year round event.

Exiting the Bustle, we walked down the steep North Slope of Queen Anne and into the campus of Seattle Pacific University. It is a beautiful campus, and my parents’ first home previously stood where the student union building now stands. Crossing the street was walked along the ship canal toward the Fremont Bridge. (FYI, Fremont is the self-proclaimed center of the universe.)

Leaving the canal we find a staircase hidden from view and begin our first set of stairs going up.

We walked up stairs, through a pleasant park, walked down a steep street, found more stairs up to another park.....and repeat. This was like a game of chutes and ladders and a real thigh burning workout. Finally reaching the top, we walked across the top of the hill to the west. Looking for the checkpoint we found this this character in a tree. Smaug?

Starting down the west side of the hill, we passed within a block of the apartment building my grandfather owned and lived in when I was small. Carol insisted I have a look. (I discovered the 5 unit building is now 7 units, and the ones in front have a lovely view that I never appreciated.)

More down hill and up stairs until we came to this lovely brickwork staircase.

The instructions for this route would have us bypass this and continue down hill, but we had to walk it and see the view from above. Lovely. At the top I saw we were near Kerry Park and one of the most photographed views of Seattle. I had to take Carol to see it.

We rejoined the route and walked up the eponymous “counterbalance.” The South slope of Queen Anne Avenue is called this because street cars travelling up and down this hill would hook up to a 16-ton weight attached to a cable that would move the opposite direction of the street car. The weight aided the electric cars in climbing the hill, as well as reducing the use of brakes on the downhill route. The cars have been gone since the 1940’s but the name sticks.

At the top of the hill, we stop into the 5 Spot Café for lunch. Then back to the Bustle to finish walk #100.

We did make a few side trips so instead of 6.2 miles my pedometer reads 7.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:



Report Inappropriate Comment


Report Inappropriate Comment
JUDYAMK 12/21/2013 11:00PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon I cannot say enough of your accomplishment. What an awesome Christmas gift to yourself plus you shared the 100 walks & photos with us.
I to wish we had something like that where I live.
Take care

Report Inappropriate Comment
DELIA38961 12/19/2013 8:07PM

    great accomplishment emoticon I wish our area had something like that

Report Inappropriate Comment

If you can combine a walk with visiting family graves, you can combine a walk with almost anything.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Blogging the Centrurion Acheivement Challenge in 2013 #99 - Lake Forest Park, WA

In December my parents and my cousins gather at a cemetery in Lake Forest Park, Washington to put flowers on the graves of our grandparents and my cousins’ parents. It is not a somber occasion. We catch up on each others lives as we use the mausoleum anteroom to arrange flowers, then sing Christmas carols as we walk the halls to put flowers on the crypts. Then we leave the building and leave wreaths on those who are interned outside.

I had noted earlier in the year that walk Y1144 includes this cemetery in its route description. I had completed 98 walks this year and wanted to walk #100 with a friend on Monday… #99 was going to be combined with the annual family gathering.

The start point of this walk is at a shopping center/community gather place in Lake Forest Park Washington. Crossing an interesting bridge,

the route climbs a hill and passes through a n interesting neighborhood

before descending and walking the perimeter of Acacia Memorial Park. (Refer to first paragraph.)

Leaving Acacia, the route crosses busy Lake City Way and steeply descends to the Burke-Gilman Trail.

Walking on the former railroad bed turned trail, I can see views of Mt Rainier and Lake Washington as well as some nice waterfront homes decorated for the holidays.

I’m on the trail for about 4k before coming to Log Boom Park in Kenmore, WA. The history walk in the park is interesting as the area has a rich heritage, yet as only been an incorporated town for 25 years,

Crossing busy Bothell Way, the course navigates more neighborhood streets before returning to the start.

#99 successfully completed!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ACLAYJAR 12/17/2013 11:08AM

    Judy, thanks for your comments. The yellow thinks on the bridge did not seem to have a function, just decorative. The long pier is community access to the water. One often sees people fishing or bird watching there.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JUDYAMK 12/17/2013 8:51AM

    Thank you for taking us on a hike through this beautiful place. How awesome is that to see Mt. Rainier, The bridge indeed is unusual, what are the yellow things poking out all over? Is that a pier or a road leading across the lake.
That is nice you all can get together at the mausoleum & to hear what is going on in each others lives, & to sing Christmas carols as you are going along.I think that is all so beautiful and not sad at all where you are all meeting . Thank you so much for the photos and for sharing your hike with us. Take care

Report Inappropriate Comment
NELLJONES 12/17/2013 6:51AM

    Yes, walking can go with just about anything, and it looks like you had a lot to enjoy!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Walking Issaquah Washington 12/12/13

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The sun was shining on Thursday morning. It seemed the perfect day for a walk, so my husband and I headed to nearby Issaquah Washington to enjoy walk #Y825.
The walk begins in historic downtown Issaquah, which was established in the late 1800’s to service the mining industry on the nearby mountains. (Shoppers are still drawn to Issaquah, but most of the retail businesses have moved away from congested Front Street.) The town has promoted its heritage, preserving historic buildings, posting historic markers, displaying antique logging equipment and public art.

Issaquah is home to the Issaquah Alps Trail Club, founded in the 1970’s to promote and preserve trails on the surrounding mountains. The route passes their headquarters as we join the Rainier Trail and walk up into the Issaquah highlands. (Due to trees down on the trail we had to detour on neighborhood streets, but it was still a pleasant walk.

Coming back down into town, we pass through the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery and note the many interpretive displays. In the autumn, visitors can see salmon spawn from a pedestrian bridge across Issaquah Creek. (It’s also the checkpoint for this walk.)

We continue back through town and out again to Boehm’s Candy’s where we take a factory “tour”. The little store was busy; we decided not to wait in line. Instead we headed back into historic downtown for lunch, and then returned to the start/finish. Walk #98 is in the book.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ACLAYJAR 12/14/2013 11:23PM

    Hi, Thanks for reading my blog...This statue of the woman on the bench is near the library and the "legs" of the bench are books.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JUDYAMK 12/14/2013 10:28PM

    Thank you for the photos and some history of the place.what is the statue of the person on the bench ? I think the statue with the fish is really neat.

Report Inappropriate Comment

A Walk on Mercer Island

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Blogging the Centurion Achievement Challenge #97.

I won't tell you how cold it was as I began the "mid-island" walk on Mercer Island this afternoon. I'll show you.

Keep in mind this is the warmest part of the day, and flowing water is the last to freeze.

Walk Y1050 starts in the city of Mercer Island, whose dedication to public art is shown in the various works displayed along its streets and paths.

Leaving the town, the route climbs the island crest passing through parks.

At the top of the hill, the 10k route turns and walks through neighborhoods of beautiful homes, past more parks, community centers and schools. I have limited time today, so I chose the 6k route which headed back down the hill towards the town.
I went through a park with this fun toy -- my boys would have loved it as children.

I passed the post office (and mailed in the "start card" for this walk) a beautiful fire station, then returned to my car.
Thanks Trailblazers for sponsoring another nice walk.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ACLAYJAR 12/11/2013 1:14PM

    Yes. Usually our area has mild winter weather, but this cold has lasted a long time.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WALKSFAR 12/11/2013 8:41AM

    Wow you got blasted with super cold too!

Report Inappropriate Comment

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Last Page