The “Saturday Some” — a new thing, kinda sorta

If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you may have wondered what happened to my regular “Friday Five” post.

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Yeah … well, the long answer is, “It was sunny and bright, so I decided to go out for a long drive to a wonderful place I haven’t visited for quite a while,” and the short answer is, “I got lazy,” so feel free to take your pick.

Anyway, in lieu of the “Friday Five,” let me offer the very first “Saturday Some,” which is basically just a bunch of stuff I’m rambling about, off the top of my head. Plus memes! Lots and lots of memes!

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Anyway, I’ve been doing a lot more walking lately, and really enjoying it, too. Now that the weather’s getting nice and hot, though, I may have to go back to the gym and hop back on the treadmill. Which doesn’t particularly bother me. As I’ve said before, I do enjoy the video treadmills at Anytime Fitness (AF).

However, it does bother me in the sense that, given a choice, I’d MUCH rather do my walking outdoors. There are so many great places to walk in Southern California (yes, people actually DO walk in L.A.!) that I hate to give that up.

But once the temps start climbing up above, oh, 85 or so, it’s either the treadmill or the pool. And I do love me that 24 Hour Fitness pool, too, as you may recall!

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Still, it’ll probably be the AF treadmill more often than the pool, mainly because it’s much closer to home, and also right next door to a Ralphs. Which means I can do a couple of miles on the treadmill, then trundle over to the grocery store and do ANOTHER half-mile (I measured it!) in the store.

(And get cat treats, of course. That’s the main reason humans go to the store, according to certain purrsons.)

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Where was I? Oh, yeah, walking! And walking, although it probably doesn’t burn anywhere near as many calories as, say, kickboxing or weightlifting, if you do it every day … or every other day … or at least on a fairly regular basis, you’ll burn a few calories. Even if you can only walk around the block a couple of times, that’s some quality exercise there, my friend.

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More importantly, you’ll relax and enjoy life a little bit more. There’s just something about seeing the world at two or three miles an hour that makes everything else seem oh, so right. Except maybe your knees, if you have arthritis. Which I do. And I have to admit, my knees do get a bit sore the day after a really long, satisfying walk.

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Still, it’s the price I pay for staying in such fabulous shape! And we’ll find out how that translates into actual weight loss on Monday. Hope you’ll join me then! Meanwhile, have a GRRRREAT rest of your weekend!

(unused WordPress Daily Prompt: all of them! read here if you’re interested in some kinda “inside baseball” stuff!)

 

 

 

Friday Five: Yes, you CAN get in shape without a gym — here’s 5 ideas to try!

While it’s true I’ve been going to the gym a lot more lately, it’s NOT because I think going to the gym is the only — or even the best — place to exercise. Au contraire, Pierre! As a matter of fact, during this past week, I haven’t set foot in a gym, and yet I managed to get some perfectly cromulent exercise under my belt!

See, out here in sunny Southern California, we have this annual weather phenomenon known as “June gloom.” According to the always reliable Wikipedia entry:

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June Gloom is a Southern California term for a weather pattern that results in cloudy, overcast skies with cool temperatures during the late spring and early summer.

It’s usually in June (duh!), but sometimes, like this year, it stretches its icky tentacles back into May. The City Council unanimously voted to rename it “May Grey” (though they continue to dispute the “Grey/Gray” spelling), and it seems to have become a more or less permanent fixture out here these past couple of years.

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However, as depressing as all those icky clouds may be, there’s always a silver lining, and that silver lining is that May Grey (Gray) and June Gloom (Glüm) are GREAT for outdoor exercisers! I’ve actually enjoyed bypassing the gym this past week, and ambled all around the achingly beautiful San Fernando Valley.

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Old Stagecoach Trail, Santa Susana Pass

And there’s lots of other stuff you could do outdoors, too, thus seguing neatly into my Friday Five list:

  1. Walking. (See above!) In case you didn’t already know, walking outdoors is my all-time fave exercise. Mainly because it’s so interesting — you can walk around the same area multiple times and see something different every time. Whereas on the treadmill, I’m pretty much seeing the same thing: a TV screen and a brick wall. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Still, given a choice, I’d prefer this — wouldn’t you?
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  2. Biking. Pull that rusty ol’ Schwinn out of the garage, wipe off the dust and spiderwebs, pump some air into the tires, and roll! More and more cities have dedicated bike paths, so if it’s been a while, you should be able to find someplace to practice without worrying about evil bike-hating drivers.

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    Don’t Shoot the (Bike) Messenger,” by Eben Weiss, Outside Magazine, 05/02/2018 

  3. Exercise with a friend, or perhaps just a casual acquaintance. I go to the Sepulveda Basin sometimes to do my walks. It’s a great place — basically a big giant neighborhood park on steroids. But even in the smaller neighborhood parks, there’s groups of people who work out together. Some groups do yoga or Tai Chi, others do more strenuous stuff.
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    The basic idea, I guess, is that if you’re embarrassed to move your body around in public, you’ll be slightly less embarrassed if a few other people are standing next to you doing the same thing. (Hmm, wonder if that’s how churches got started!)
  4. Get your game on. I’m definitely NOT a sports aficionado, but I understand there are people who enjoy throwing or hitting balls, aiming for things like nets or bases or goals or some such nonsense. Maybe you can find some other like-minded people who want to throw or hit things, gather them onto an appropriate field of some sort, and throw/hit some balls together. It may not be MY thing, but it’s definitely exercise, so go for it!
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  5. Swimming. I left this for last, because honestly, who wants to jump into an icky, ice-cold lake or, God forbid, ocean when it’s cloudy and gloomy? Still, there are a lot of nutty people out there who prefer the cheap showiness of nature to that beautiful, clean (or at least clean -LOOKING!) pool at the gym. So, if there’s some form of water near you that’s big enough to swim in, go for it! That’s definitely some good cardio there, if you don’t get eaten by sharks, which, as I understand from my TV viewing, happens quite a bit.
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So definitely, enjoy the outdoors before the temps zoom up into the stratosphere and we have to go back to the air-conditioned treadmills. Just watch out for the sharks!

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Unused WordPress Daily Post Prompt: Archaic

 

Walking or Crossfit? A Southern belle ponders the choices!

Well, as promised, I’m gonna start morphin’ the ol’ blog format a little bit this week, just to shake things up a little bit. (When you work from home, you take your fun where you can.)

Anyway, I thought instead of trying to cobble together a list of five random things connected only by the snapping synapses of my KFC-greased brain, I’d just post five(ish) photos I took this week from various places that I walked.

I’m doing the walking just about every day now, and I have to tell you, if you’re looking for an exercise that’s easy to do AND makes you feel great, this is the one. It works on so many levels. Granted, as some fitness gurus will tell you, it doesn’t burn as many calories as, say, pushing heavy truck tires around a la Crossfit.

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On the other hand, the idea of pushing truck tires around makes me perspire, in a genteel Southern belle sort of way. “Frankly, my dear, if there’s a truck tire that needs to be pushed somewhere, I’ve got AAA on speed dial, thank you very much.”

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So that’s just not something I’m gonna do anytime soon, no matter HOW many calories it burns. But — the idea of putting on my waist pack/water bottle and just heading out the door, to see the sights here in the achingly beautiful San Fernando Valley (and points beyond), makes me strangely happy. It took a while to get to this point, but now, my day doesn’t feel complete if I haven’t walked SOMEWHERE for at least half an hour.

And if all you’re doing is pushing truck tires around a Crossfit track, you’ll never get to see nice horsies like this one:

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or read scathing political commentary on local bridges:

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or see the L.A. River in both its concrete

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and natural forms.

Yeah, walking beats Crossfit by several miles. If you disagree, feel free to sound off in the comments. But be aware — I’m in a feisty mood. Maybe that’s because it was stormy today — and STILL no measurable rainfall!

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Yeah, the drought goes on. But at least it was a nice, cool day to walk!

So — whaddya think? Walking or Crossfit? Or maybe something completely different? Let me know!

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(unused Pingback of the Day: Silhouette!)

In the Bleak Midwinter: a midweek meditation

I had some reservations about doing this post, because I’ve settled into such a nice little routine with this blog — weigh-ins every Monday, and the Friday Five. Why rock the blogging boat?

But I know many of you are dealing with cold, wintry weather right now. And not too many years ago, I sat in a hotel room in Alamogordo, New Mexico, waiting for a break in the relentless, torrential rains that were ravaging the entire Southwest and playing havoc with my trip home.

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Gloomy view of Super 8 parking lot, Alamogordo, NM

As I sat there, staring sadly out the window, wondering whether I’d ever see sunshine and blue skies again, I looked at my phone and Googled photo after photo of sunny, blue skies, and felt hope rising in my heart again. I began to believe that, yes, even though I couldn’t see it right now, there WAS sunshine, somewhere in the world, and I WOULD get through this storm, and get home, somehow, someway.

And — just a few days later — I was there!!

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Casino Morongo — almost home!

So here I am now, in sunny Southern California, and maybe you’re stuck somewhere in the Midwest or the East Coast, needing a little of the same kind of comfort. The following photos are from the walks I did this past week, Tuesday and Friday. Both walks were in the beautiful Sepulveda Basin, in Encino, California. Enjoy!

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Los Angeles River Trail detour

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The “Little Grand Canyon” — aka “Oops! Part of the trail fell in the water!” I actually had to hold onto the edge of that fence post in the distance and pull my way around it back onto the detour — exciting!

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Signs, rapids, and a very steep path down to the river’s edge, which I very prudently did NOT attempt!

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At the end of the trail, a lovely little stream feeds into Lake Balboa. Great place to sit and meditate (but watch out for angry giant geese!)

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Climbed this tiny little hill, felt like I’d scaled Mount Everest!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this brief interlude, fellow SAD sufferers! Just keep reminding yourself: spring IS on the way! Hang in there!