I was complaining to My friend Frankie the Tax Dude about my feet, back, and neck after I got back home from 5 months of backpacking the Continental Divide Trail. Frankie recommended that I have a few sessions with William Armstrong, up to Belfast, ME .
Just three sessions with Bill did it for me. I found his approach fresh and useful. My neck problem is gone. Bill also assisted me in making the switch from the gym to the outdoors as well. I have been a gym rat for the past 40 years, but no more. I can’t stand spending sweat time indoors when I can be outside, with trees, streams, and rocks around me.
With just a foam roller, a couple of solid rollers, two dumb bells, and an eight pound medicine ball , I’m good, even if it’s too miserable to get out. I can use this stuff at home too, if I am watching backpacking or music videos on the TV. Bill also suggested specific exercises for me to try, garnered from a variety of sources. I am now engaging in backpacking and biking specific routines.
Some of Bill’s simplest recommendations surprised me. For example, after 6 decades of wear and tear on my body, I assumed that one needs some assistance with balance. Bill was observing me put on my socks after one of his sessions. I had one hand out against a wall to keep myself steady on one leg as I aimed my other foot into my sock. “Bad idea”, he said.
“Don’t hold onto anything, keep wobbling.” Interesting.
Bill also suggested that I could make several adaptations while I was hiking outside. For example, with the deep winter snows now almost gone, I am able to go into the edges of the woods lining the road and do some things that helped me, like using a natural chinning bar.
Here is a map of my outdoor gym. It is a three mile out and back ciruit, and gains some elevation going up Moody Mountain at the end point. If I have enough time, I keep going to the saddle at the top, where I do a turn-around :
I found my chinning bar today! It was not 10′ from the side of the road at the 1.1 mile mark. It’s a maple limb, about 8 and a half feet off the ground, just at the right height for me to stretch my arms over head and leap up and hang off the ground. I could only do two chin-ups , and hope to work up to 10. Yeah!
Next, I’ll make a final selection of a big rock that I can jump up and down from. Then a distance from that would be a slightly elevated rock that I can step up and down from. I started jumping a couple of years ago, after I learned that non-impact sports like biking do nothing to keep our bones strong. It’s a good thing to do to keep osteoporosis at bay.