Thursday, July 24, 2008
- Tonya Bina/Sky-Hi Daily News
Moving meditation: The rhythm of rowing drawing enthusiasts in Grand Lake
By By Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News,
If only all mornings were like this.
I’m in the middle of Grand Lake, and an early morning fog enshrouds the shores like a silk-chiffon veil.
A warm and rising sun squeezes through.
I sense the giant mound of Mount Craig is only a curtain call away.
My boat is a touring skull, the bow pointed in the direction behind me.
I dip my oars, and with the power of leg muscle, thrust a stroke, sending my boat into a glide.
I then return the oars to their position for another beat.
It’s my very first time in a rowing vessel, with a sliding seat on a track, and already a quiet rhythm has begun.
If I over think the strokes — learned from Mountain Row Tech’s Simon O’Connor only a few moments earlier — no matter. I just rest my oars and float, a chance to take in the moment.
It’s this meditation that has rowers such as Diane Butler of Grand Lake engaging in
“It’s really a matching of the body and mind. It’s more than a sport,” Butler said, after her morning row. “It allows you to be in the moment, which is so hard to do, but out there you really truly get there.”
The boats provided by Simon and Candy O’Connor of Mountain Row, Grand Lake,
are more user-friendly versions than the long-narrow skulls seen in Olympic racing.
The couple searched out such boats, built in Normandy, France, for their “master of simplicity” design, Simon said. They are made with recycled plastics.
The O’Connors are former owners of the restaurant, Carvers, in Winter Park. After 15 years of early rising to meet the needs of breakfast diners, the couple opted to cater to their own appetites for exercise and a love of the water.
They opened their rowing business this spring, located next door to the Kauffman House Museum. As many as six “beginner” rowing skulls and catamarans and four more-advanced skulls are available for rent.
Included in an introductory rental is an instructional session. Rowing packages are priced from $20 for an hour to $35 for two hours.
Other than a handful of people coming out of the woodwork with college rowing backgrounds, “We’re starting from absolute zero. We’re trying to build a culture here, no one knows anything about it,” Simon said.
Rowing offers a low-impact workout that relies on leg strength, the strongest muscles in the human body.
“Maybe that’s why women are enjoying it,” Simon said. “They don’t feel like they need those big brawny muscles.”
The sport even engages core stomach and back muscles, labeled the key to physical fitness.
Through Mountain Tech, Diane Butler has arranged women’s rowing retreats that generally culminate with a shared bottle of wine. These rowing “Ladies’ Nights” take place Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
The O’Connors plan to schedule men’s outings as well.
Novice rower Kathy Gunter of Winter Park calls the experience “peaceful.”
“The smoothness of a rhythm allows you to get into that tranquil state,” Butler said.
— Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.skyhidailynews.com/apps/pbcs.dl
2008 All Rights Reserved
Monday, July 21, 2008
July 21, 2008
Remembering the Moment
Life, in all of its fullness, is happening right now. While our thoughts are sometimes elsewhere, beautiful opportunities and moments are being passed over and lost to the flow of time. And though we cannot possibly fully experience each leaf that falls to the ground, sometimes we get so attached to reaching our goals that we don’t pay attention to the wonder all around us. When we do that, we live in a world that exists only in our heads, while we miss life itself. There is so much to be enjoyed and appreciated that we need to remember to pay attention to the present moment, because it is the only space in which we can experience being alive.
We learn from our past, but dwelling on it keeps us from being fully present to life in the moment. We create our lives with our thoughts, but focusing so firmly on our imagined future keeps us from co-creating with the universe, so we might never allow ourselves to live our dreams as they manifest. It’s possible to be so happy and comfortable in our inner worlds that we lose touch with the business of life. We may enjoy spending large portions of time in meditation, or focused on our thoughts.
Life must be attended to, and if we are wise, we can enjoy it at the same time. We can awaken ourselves to the moment we are living right now by taking a deep breath and simply looking around. In doing so, we refocus our attention to our location in the real world. Then we can learn to appreciate the process of working toward our goals as much as their attainment. Balancing ourselves between the present moment and eternity, we can experience and enjoy the full range of reality available to us as spiritual beings living on earth.
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Sunday, July 20, 2008
Spreading Love Selflessly
Virgo Daily Horoscope
Your selfless nature will likely exert itself today, prompting you to embark upon a philanthropic journey that helps you touch others’ lives in a positive way. You may feel bountiful as well as generous and be driven to volunteer your skills, resources, and talents for charitable purposes. As you articulate this spirit of service and caring, you may discover that you develop strong bonds with individuals who can benefit from your efforts. Your altruistic approach to giving can help you understand the true value of your contribution and how your choices are intertwined with the lives of others. Consider, today, how you can integrate your newfound philanthropic mind-set into your daily life. You can then create the change you hope to see and make the world a better place by simply being yourself.
Service, when selfless and motivated only by your desire to improve the lives of your fellow living beings, helps you become more aware of the world around you and see that the vast web of life is interconnected through action. Since all people have been blessed with a shared consciousness—which is sometimes weak and sometimes strong—service can become an anchor that reestablishes your connection to others. Feelings of isolation are easily overcome when you recognize and acknowledge your ability to positively influence people and your environment. When your actions are free from the expectation of recompense, you can concentrate wholly on spreading love. As you serve others selflessly today, you’ll understand that your choices have the power to change lives.
This is from Daily Om Horoscopes, but it applies to everyone.
Sunday, April 06, 2008
What do you have to lose?
When I moved to my home on the mesa from my previous beach home, I weighed 165 pounds. I walked in the sunshine on the boardwalk, along the beach, and on the jogging path that ran by the front of my home, just across the street. It was so healthy and normal to be trim and fit, especially because everyday was beach day. Now I lived in the hills with new freeways disrupting walking convenience with their concrete walls and the unforgiving hills. I could walk down hill to the chic downtown area to drink coffee, shop at the bookstores, and dine, but I always had to think about the long walk back up the hill. Little by little, I started driving and stopped walking. Changes in careers and changes in schedules gave additional excuses and then one day I weighed 350 pounds, more than double my previous healthy weight. I was Morbidly Obese (mor • bid--strong interest in death, inspiring disgust or horror, relating to or resulting in illness).
I had to make a change. I needed to regain my health, step away from a poor self image, illness, and an early death or long term disability. I made regaining my health my number one goal. It was not to fit in to my old tuxedo or formal white tie and tails that I used to wear to fancy dress balls in New Orleans, it was not to look good in a bathing suit at the beach; it was to become healthy, not just looking fit, but being fit. This meant that a “diet” wasn’t enough. A diet is something that you start and quit when you fit into the “right size” again. I needed something that could live with for the rest of my life. This meant a commitment to a lifetime, lifestyle change that would include choosing food wisely, exercising consistently, and finding both the foods and the exercises that I could love and look forward to.
For each person it is different, but there are some common themes. For a truly healthy life that can be sustained at a high level for as long as you are alive, it means exercising everyday, vigorously. It means giving up calorie rich and nutritionally poor foods as the basis for our diets. Whole foods not processed, not so called “value added” foods that allows agribusinesses to process something, to puff it, to stuff it, to hype it and charge more money for less nutritional value. You can have treats, but few and just bites not binges. It means associating with people that you would like to look like or are working hard to become so, not people who are whining about how they look, but are unwilling to actually do something to change.
I had 160 pounds to lose to get to become a fit, healthy, muscular 190 pounds, not the small muscled 165 pound guy that lived at the beach. I have lost 40 of those pounds and kept them off. I am losing the next 120 pounds by exercising vigorously every day and eating whole foods. I am committed to the lifestyle changes that are necessary to achieve this. SparkPeople is part of my support system. It has marvelous tools to help me. It has a support system of people who care and who are in the same boat with me. Let’s row together until we achieve our goals.
By the way, the exercise that I love to do everyday is rowing. I do it indoors at my gym on a Concept2 rowing machine. Through their website, I compete on an international rowing team by tracking my meters rowed every day. If I don’t row, I fall behind. It motivates me. Everyone needs to find a vigorous activity that they enjoy doing everyday and just do it. What do you have to lose?
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