Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Dusting off an old wish list (part 2)

At the end of last week I posted about dusting off an old wish list, and mentioned things like dancing, and gardening, and marathon running, and bike riding, and climbing Mount Hood in Oregon. I never got to finish that story. If you couldn't already tell, I like to talk and I have a lot to say.

When I was living in England for the year between 2006 and 2007, I made some inquiries about learning to dance. I found someone who really wanted me to learn Salsa dancing. Apparently, it's a very high energy way to have fun and burn lots of calories. If I had stayed there, I might have pursued it. Now, it's something to aim for but I'll have to start with something a lot more gentle.

I have an ongoing interest in gardening too; both from a practical food supply point of view and from an outdoor, fresh air, activity perspective. At this precise moment I don't have easy access to a backyard or a garden, although I am maintaining quite a collection of indoor plants. My desire would be - some day - to have a large organic fruit and vegetable garden somewhere in the fertile Willamette valley of Oregon. When I was living in California, back in 2010, I started a vegetable garden from scratch, using a heavy mechanical tiller and manually turning over the soil with a spade.
Beans, tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, lettuce and other things - Chico, Ca., 2010

It was hard, physical work. I will probably never be as prolific as my English granddad, or my dad, but I'd like to be able to manage it physically without my stomach hanging in the way, and without getting out of breath so quickly.

When I was in my 20s (two decades ago), I used to run for fun. My favorite places was in Nottingham (in England) which had some great canal paths and such next to the tranquil River Trent. I never entered any competitive races, just ran recreationally. I always imagined that my first 'race' would be the Robin Hood marathon in September. Maybe, one day, I'll do it. To begin with though I'll be content to do my hiking at a slower pace and work my way up to 26.1 miles steadily. There have to be some seniors' races that I will eventually qualify to enter, right?

I used to cycle to work when I was living in Chico, CA. IT was an 11 mile round trip from home to two local schools and back home again. It was a good workout, and the weather in northern California was always really good for it. I have a bike now (thanks to a dear friend) which is in a closet, waiting for the day when my stomach isn't dangling in the way. One thing for me to look forward to when : being able to increase my radius of operation, so that I can reach more places more quickly (quicker than I can on foot as a pedestrian, anyway).

Okay, so the Mount Hood thing might actually be beyond me, I don't know. I try to draw inspiration from adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who has achieved SO many great things, pushing himself so hard even at an age when other have retired and chosen a sedentary lifestyle. Check out his website for details: http://www.ranulphfiennes.co.uk.

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