Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Perfect Balance

A recent post by Richard Machida got me thinking, and that's always dangerous.

Here's the Link:

After the driving restriction from my heart problems was lifted, my goal for getting to and from work was to ride Max, walk or take the famous Canadian Subaru (Monty) in roughly equal proportions. Lately though I have been failing miserably at attaining that goal. I was riding Max too much. (Is that even possible?) For the last 3 weeks I had ridden the scooter almost every day. The walking hadn't been entirely abandoned because I walk the dogs frequently. It was poor Monty (the famous Canadian Subaru) that was being ignored.

So today I took out on foot to maybe achieve "A Perfect Balance". To hell with the car, I wanted to walk.
East Central Avenue in the early morning. Not too much traffic yet on a Friday.

I track my exercise with a phone App called Endomondo. It uses the GPS device in the phone to compute distances, calories used and all sorts of not very useful information. But it's fun and it shows that I have walked almost 500 miles in the last year or so. Not spectacular, but not bad. I have to admit I feel better for it. When I walk, I think. It helps clear out the cobwebs in my mind. Today as I walked, I was thinking about Richard's post. I was considering the balance in my life. Almost a Zen feeling. It was a beautiful morning, not quite as hot today. As I walked along, I crossed over a creek with not much water in it.

This creek never has a lot of water in it, but it's damn near dry right now.
I was thinking that it would be more of "A Perfect Balance" to have a little more water in that creek. Not so much as to flood it, something more in the middle. We could sure use some rain.

Walking is an excellent form of exercise. Here's a pic of the dogs on a recent evening walk. After dinner and a short nap, they are always ready to go and see what has happened in the neighborhood. My wife and I alternate nights to walk them, but we do it almost every evening.It's good for them, too.

Madeline (in front) is 16 yrs old. Sophie is 3.
Recently we were in the Taos, New Mexico area and did a little hiking near a ski resort. Now there's some walking for you. Uphill at 7,800 ft elevation. The dogs loved it. The humans did too. (Even me, the Cyborg)

The dogs tried to be in charge of the route, but seemed more interested in chasing small creatures.

Now some people are interested in extreme sports. I own a Subaru and a motorcycle (scooter). The next picture has a Subaru and a motorcycle, could it be me?  Naaah. A little too extreme for me, not quite "A Perfect Balance".

Taken from UK's "Top Gear" website
But I admit to doing something a little more extreme lately. My daughter and her husband have been doing some riding on mountain bike trails and have encouraged me to try one of the courses out. So on a Sunday evening we headed out to Millers Meadow.

My daughter looking pretty fierce just after our ride. She's a helluva rider and was my guide for the evening.
Endomondo says we did the 5 mile course in about 44 minutes averaging about 6.7 mph. Now that may sound slow, and it was, but let me tell you, some of it was pretty gnarly. (Yes, I said Gnarly)
Some of the gullies that had very unsettling bottoms to them. At times the path was just wide enough for your handlebars, not to mention ruts from the parched earth.

Will I do the course again? Probably, but I think I prefer just a nice smooth bike path. Maybe something a little less extreme, but it was fun and I hadn't done anything like that since I was a kid. I never fell that evening, but I admit to stopping and walking the bike through a few really deep and scary gullies.

A little blood was the result, but it was a lot tamer than it looked. You see, taking heart medications, including a coagulant, makes it a little harder to stop bleeding. This was just from brushing up against a tree branch.
Now, you have to realize that there are at least two ways to achieve "A Perfect Balance" Balances can be achieved in both a physical and a spiritual sense. Take this next picture for instance:

Just like from "A Field of Dreams", having a dog and a beer at the ball park.
If you drank beer and ate hot dogs all the time, obviously that wouldn't be too good for you physically. But moderation is possible in my book. Spiritually, though, spending an evening at the ball park with my son can be very rewarding. Some hat, huh?

When I was in college, as an elective, I took a course in nutrition. Thought it would be easy, it wasn't. Thought it might be boring, it wasn't. The professor was really good and I learned a lot. One thing I always remember is that she used to say that your body has a tendency to know what it needs for you. It will make you hungry for things that it needs. Now some nutrients, like most sugars, in excess can be very bad for you. But in moderation, all things can be good.

As I walked this morning I went by this fast food restaurant, popular in this area. They have nice greasy hamburgers, shakes and fries. But they also have fairly healthy turkey on pita sandwiches. I bet they serve more burgers, but at least they maybe try to achieve "A Perfect Balance".

Fast greasy food here with a balance of some healthy options.
Then right across the street from the eatery and at the end of my morning walk is the ER where I spent some time 18 months ago. A lot of this "Balance" stuff is my attempt to try and avoid this place in the future.

A place to avoid if you can, but pretty fantastic people there if you really need them.

Maybe the best way to achieve "A Perfect Blance" is to spend time with your loved ones.

At the ball park with my wonderful wife. We tested out a few beers that night. Everything in moderation.

Ride On and Carpe Diem, my friends.



  1. Sorry for inadvertently encouraging you to partake in a dangerous and reckless activity i.e. thinking. I try to do it as little as possible ;-)

    This is a really thoughtful post as it is challenging to balance family, work and recreation. During my month long road trip, I felt a little guilty taking the time for a recreational activity that only involved me. And this week, I've been working out of town. This balance this is a challenge...

    1. Richard, I have had the same feelings from a couple of little trips I have taken. I felt a little "selfish". At the same time the balance is doing something sort of solitary that will generate a lifetime of memories against doing something with others that might also be very memorable. Too bad motorcycling can be a little solitary. But I bet you are going to have incredible memories of your trip.

  2. RichardM does that sometimes. Through several of his postings I got coaxed into walking (every day), and guess what my health improved, and I feel great (lost some weight, too).

    Make sure you stay away from that hospital thing.

    1. Sonja,
      Walking doesn't, on the surface, appear to be very exerting, and it really isn't compared to running or bicycling etc. But the amazing thing is that there can be huge benefits without a ridiculous amount of effort. I can also attest to feeling better. I am a big believer now.