A couple of weeks ago, I met up with my friend Frank, who he asked me if I wanted to join him on a hike up to the top of Mt. Battie in Camden Hills State Park . It’s a three mile walk with an elevation gain of 600’ that has frequent ocean views, particularly this time of year when the leaves are off the hardwoods. The road is closed to cars in the winter, but even so, a lot of people go up, so the trail was packed into the snow. We had a good walk and talk, and in no time were at the summit, where we walked up the stone tower and enjoyed the “ commanding view of Penobscot Bay below and the ocean stretching out to the horizon”.
Frank has a black belt in Kempo and is always talking about different activities he is involved in , be it mountain biking, or hiking around. He encouraged me to get a hold of a DVD entitled Yoga Burn, by Rodney Yee, subtitled “ Challenge your body and mind like never before”. It is different than classic yoga poses in that the moves are done slowly, in a continuous manner, and the sequence emphasizes three “ reps” of most of the poses, in order to build strength as well as flexibility.
My wife Marcia, finally tracked down the DVD for me in Augusta and the first time I did it, I was pretty discouraged. It was freaking’ hard, 54 minutes of hard! I did like what Mr. Yee was trying to get me do, and could see that I really needed to be much more flexible and get strong in this manner, not by just standing at attention and curling an old school barbell. My second session was surprisingly better, I was more familiar with the moves, and even was able to complete one that was impossible for me the first time. I plan to do another session tomorrow.
I felt I was in shape this fall, coming off my AT thru- hike, but I am doing all I can to keep things that way, so that when I start hiking again for longer periods of time, I may not have to suffer so much in the initial stages of the season.
What I do now is walk outside still, try and get in at least 5 miles on the road out here. I go to the YMCA, where I favor the Stairmaster, and ramp it up for half hour sessions and try to keep my hands off the bar and let the full weight go to my legs. Most folks on the machine are hunched way over, actually holding up body weight to make the leg work easier. It is hard to do with no hands, and requires really fast stepping. I think keeping my hands off actually helps my balance too.
The one other program I favor is the Core Performance materials, which is Mark Verstegen’s work. I now subscribe to the program on the web site, which is http://www.coreperformance.com/ . I can download my workouts, which I print out and take to the gym with me. I like the variety, and again, I particularly need to be strong in a more flexible manner, which is what is emphasized in the program. The web site is pretty overwhelming, it has so much on it you might not know were to start. The easiest way to get into it is to read one of his books, and the one I think is a good one to start out with is Core Performance Essentials.
I am headed down to Florida in two days to hang out and camp and play music and walk a lot. I should have time there to write some more entries into this web log of mine. I have some ideas that I want to ramble about.