Tag Archives: physical fitness

Road Running with Roosters

 

In Utah, it was renegade cows.  On St John in the U.S. Virgin Islands?  Wild donkeys on the patio gave room service a new twist.  There were wild chickens in Bermuda.  And the diminutive island of  Vieques in Puerto Rico often had the feel of a petting zoo with a menagerie of animals wandering at will.

Running the roads of Vieques took sharp eyes and a little bit of nerve.  Thick foliage gave the narrow roads a corridor-like feel at times, and we quickly learned that rustling noises to either side could portend the appearance of a chicken, or more likely, a whole flock of wildly speckled fowl.  It was equally possible that the chicken noises would, instead, reveal wild dogs or horses.  And so our morning run was undertaken with a greater degree of focus, defensive agility and with our leg brakes at the ready.

Horses and chickens were harder to read than the seemingly well fed and sociable stray dogs, but the tethered horses in the schoolyards did look like a better ride than the typical yellow bus.

In the end, our best response (beyond some impressive vertical leaps) was to run to a beach. Come to think of it, not such a bad strategy at all…

*Most of these photos are lower quality images taken with my cell phone and are not “click-able” to a larger image this time.

“Tracking Turtles” (underwater video from Isla de Vieques)

Family Vacation on raveable

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Record Snowfalls, Record Fun

Snow memories (and winter “survival” strategies) from February 17, 2010:

Cocooning is overrated and easily overdone. Long periods of inactivity may be a course of self improvement for caterpillars, but the results are generally not so favorable for people.

If there were ever a winter to compel hibernation, this might be the one. Record snowfalls and low temperatures make for interesting reading and better than average “how about this weather” conversations, but they also make it more likely we’ll have to live without bananas and bread for a few days.

My winter survival strategies include traveling to “summer” somewhere else in the world and taking time out for some of the indoor attractions that are forgotten with warmer weather. But my best game plan for a season that always seems to linger a little too long is simply to bundle up and get right out in the middle of it all. Then it’s fun again.

My daughter assures me that none of her future books will include a chapter on how her mom once made her run in snowstorms. I do hope, however, that she will remember the silly fun of making snow angels in the middle of the road after a trail run through Highbanks on the day we got over nine inches of snow.

Columbus Things To Do

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Chilly Challenge

This time, the adventure belonged to another. I was but an observer standing silently to the side, impressed but uninspired to follow.

Walking in Wellfleet, Massachusetts on pristinely beautiful Cape Cod one October, I happened upon one of the area’s many kettle ponds. These freshwater basins —Thoreau’s Walden Pond is one of the better known examples— are virtually self-contained ecosystems dependent upon precipitation for their continued existence. Formed by melted glacial ice, they receive no waterflow from a river or stream. Their clear fresh raindrop waters sparkle blue within settings of verdant evergreen forests. Striking. Captivating. Inviting.

But still…  the air temperature was struggling toward 60 degrees Fahrenheit. I was bundled and zipped into a winter coat. And as I admired the vivid crisp color of this particular pond, I saw a splash. I watched for the fish to leap again. Instead I spotted the steady stroke of a swimmer making his/her way through frigid waters. No wet suit. Warmed only by the standard insulation with which our bodies are equipped.

As one with an aversion to cold water -who always does the toe dip temperature test before diving into a lake or pool, I was awed by the swimmer’s fortitude. I watched as he/she reached shore’s edge and then began the long swim back. Methodical. Unwavering. Uncomfortably chilled by my few stationary minutes spent watching, I pulled my zipper just a little higher to my neck and finally turned away. Walking briskly across pine needles to warm myself again…

Cape Cod Things To Do on raveable

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