When I lived in California I used to go hiking, often. I also rode my bicycle to work at least three days per week, and every weekend as well. I went to Pilates classes twice a week and was in the best shape I had ever been in my life.
Then we moved.
Now before I say another word you must know that I adore where we live and have no intentions of ever going back to suburbia.
That said, I do miss the ease of being able to hop on my bicycle to go anywhere I liked, and my hiking friends who kept me on the trail as often as I was able to go. Since moving I have been plagued with back issues and this finds me in not very good shape at all! I have gained two inches around my waist, and lack the vigor I once had.
I am 59, and I believe too young to be this bad off. So this week I have started a new path to regain my health. I ordered two books which are:
- Hiking Alabama, 3rd: A Guide to Alabama’s Greatest Hiking Adventures (State Hiking Series) by Joe Cuhai
- Rail-Trails Southeast: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, from Wilderness Press
You may find these helpful books, or others for your locality, available through Amazon. (I received no compensation for these endorsements!)
Now I am not going to jump into cycling marathons, or try to hike an 800 foot elevation change, but I have to start somewhere and so Wednesday I started here…
This is a paved, level, two-mile round trip. I saw a total of two people here during my visit.
Now some might find that lonely, but there were other encounters along the way…
Silent sippers at a trail side Butterfly bar
One graced me by landing on my shoulder. She was lovely!
A shy little turtle. Don’t you find the pattern on his shell lovely?
A lazing caterpillar who warmed itself in the sun
And while I was busy with eyes looking through the lens of my camera, the clouds moved in and threatened rain!
I stopped. “Just one more shot.” I told my companions. “You see, I have been working on getting water droplets to clear up and pop in my photos.” (I think I am very close with this one!) I think they were unimpressed…
A tulip tree leaf that was still wet from the morning’s rain.
Stopping at the paved trail’s end,
I promised myself to return another day and continue on, taking the shady trail into the woods.
I turned to my companions and found them looking wistfully in the direction leading back to the car.
“Ok Boys, let’s go home!”
What do you enjoy doing to stay fit?~*~
33 thoughts on “Photo Friday: on the trail again”
You have inspired me to get fit again too! I loved this post and the pics – it gave me a feathery feeling.
Glad to hear it Julie! Now we can cheer each other on. There was another benefit of all this walking… My blood sugar dropped down to 107 on Thursday morning’s reading, and dropped some more to 100 this morning! It has been riding in the 130 to 150 range in the mornings for too long. ~ L
Walking is SO GOOD, and i do wonder and i am sure you have too, whether a drop in your fitness has contributed to your back problems, do you still do the yoga stretches? If I forget for a few mornings I ALWAYS pay, farm work never gives you time to warm a muscle up before you use it! I bet your back to fitness push makes a difference all round! c
Yes, I am certain of it, Celi. It was just an awful downward spiral. Having my back feeling better gave me the impetus to try again. Getting the books for hiking and biking gave me safe places to do my favorite activities without worry. And yes, it is already making a difference in my blood sugar readings in the mornings. 🙂
This is great, Lynda! Good for you! It looks like a lovely day and I can’t believe a butterfly was on you, that seems like such great luck!
These were all very lovely pictures, thanks for sharing!
Thank you Ginger! Yes, the day was lovely and so was yesterday as well. When I got home after my walk I was thrashed, but then yesterday morning I suddenly had more energy than I have for a very long time. You can’t believe all the stuff I got done around here. It is amazing! ~ L
Just about everything I do around here keeps me fit, but the number one challenge that I take on once a week is mowing the slope of a 30% or more grade. I start at the top with the push mower and by 1/3 of the way down I have to talk myself into not collapsing! Sometimes I take a couple of water breaks before I have finished. I have asked for a self-propelled mower for my birthday.
I love your companions! FD and I go hiking once in a while in the nearby Wichita Mountains. He’s goat man, ambling up the trails with ease. I’m way behind him, twisting my ankles, complaining about bugs and the heat. Still, having a camera and taking in the beauty all around is well worth the effort!
Lori, you are the first woman I have ever met that wanted a self propelled mower for her birthday… I hope you get it! 😀
As for the companions, I never go out walking without them. Those couch potatoes need it as much as I do! And yes, just getting out to see all the loveliness in nature is definitely worth the effort.
I’ll have to see what books might be available for our area. Good for you getting out there. I enjoyed seeing all the things you encountered, but you probably know of my fondness for butterflies. 🙂
Thanks Patti! I was surprised at how many different books are available that list the trails with maps. Walking/hiking and/or biking trails are everywhere! ~ L
Great post, enjoyed! 🙂
Thank you Amy!
Amazing…wish I could see such beautiful creatures as the turtle and butterfly on my local walks!
Emily, this walk involved a drive to get there. The good thing is there are 5 nature preserves within a 15 mile radius of Huntsville, AL. So I don’t have to waste too much gas getting to any of them. Also, anytime I drive to the city of Huntsville I try to combine my errands for the day, so now I will be adding a little hike when I go into town too!
Your comment surprised me. I always think of England as the land of gardens with butterflies and little garden creatures. I guess I read too much Beatrix Potter as a child. So do you live in a town and keep your bees in the country? ~ L
I live in London, where our gardens tend to be either non-existent or tiny, though it’s true that a lot of flowers can be packed into even the weeniest space. There are some nice parks nearby but we’ve just had a month of non-stop rain, which seems to have killed off all the butterflies. Plenty of pigeons and squirrels to spot though.
I take a couple of buses to get to my bees, they are kept in a local beekeeping association’s apiary in a little spot of land the council lets us have.
Oh, too bad about the butterflies, but they will rebound when it dries out a bit. It is so different there! Here we keep our bees in our own back yards, but then if space is such a premium there I can understand the need for a central location.
The weather has been too dry here. Everything is parched. But we have just been having 24 hrs of steady rain and that should improve things a bit. ~ L
We all have to start somewhere and what a lovely place to start, so green and verdant. And I’m sure your companions enjoyed themselves too !
Hello Clair, yes, yes, and YES THEY DID! They have also missed their little walks, and Buddy was one of my trail hiking companions in California. We have all gotten a bit soft in the past four years. ~ L
I’m keen to see some more of that trail into the woods, Lynda. I used to be a big walker years ago. I loved it. I loved that adrenalin kick after the first 7 mins of brisk walking.
Alas, I can no longer do a lot of walking, or for that matter very brisk walking. I have literally worn the fat pads away from under the front of my feet and have chronic pain and an inflamed nerve tumour in my right foot. I’ve been told to stop walking, but I can’t bare to give it up.
And with a heart valve blockage, I am forced to stop for rests every so often too. So these days it’s a very slow leisurely stroll stopping every 20-30 metres taking photos.
Well done you. After about 4-5 days regular walking, you should be able to walk 3-4 mile easily. It’s amazing how much more energy one has after regular walking. I don’t know whether its the fresh air, the extra oxygen pumping around the body & to the brain, or the communing with nature.
I still think a walk in the garden, park or countryside is the best antidote to life’s stresses.
You are absolutely correct, Victoria. The less you do, the less you want, or feel like doing much of anything. I must say that from all the lovely photographs you take and share, that you are making the most of your adventures outside. I am happy that you can still get out and enjoy nature in spite of your limitations. 🙂 ~ L
I love walking!! Some friend/coworkers and me walk three times a week right after work. We just go to the Monrovia community center and walk around the track – most days we walk 3- 3 1/2 miles. Also we try to walk Saturday mornings at 6 for at least an hour if not two. (Still training for the half marathon in September.)
Which trail did you walk? Have you checked out Indian Greenway? “Round trip” it’s four miles long…
Anke, how exciting about the Half Marathon! I have not seen much of the trails here, but I looked up the Indian Creek Greenway and found it and many more trails surrounding Huntsville. I want to try them all as my ability improves. 🙂
Sadly, as you get fitter and start whizzing along the trails on your bike at 20 mph, you won’t get to see so many wonderful things to photograph. You’ll have to walk sometimes too.
So true, Tom! I like to do both, but when riding doesn’t it feel exhilarating when the wind rushes by on the downhills to cool you off? Totally worth it! 😉
The pattern on the turtle’s shell is one more thing in nature that could well be transferred to an article of clothing.
Steve, as soon as I read your comment I thought of a Mola. If you don’t know, a Mola is a hand made picture in fabric that is several layers deep and then carefully cut, turned and sewn, one layer at a time to reveal the design. It would seem that the ladies in Panama have already made the discovery of the turtles back. LOOK: http://www.molaartandcraft.com/large-multi-view/Marine%20Life%20Animals%20Mola/156842-1-11019/Marine%20Life%20Animals%20Mola.html#.T67cTPmYe70
What a fun suggestion! Originally I think they were for clothing items but now you see them made into everything. Thanks 🙂
I spent 1968 and ’69 in Honduras, so I do know what a mola is, but I hadn’t thought about molas any time recently, so I’m glad you reminded me that some of them depict turtles. There are plenty of things in nature in central Texas that would lend themselves to appearing on molas or other types of clothing or artwork.
Very good post 🙂
Thank you! It was a great time for me and the dogs! 🙂
One of my customers has a mola with a turtle on her boat – she also has stylized fish, and birds. They’re beautiful pieces – when I saw the magenta and orange combination in Steve’s thistle photo, I thought of them.
Good for you, on the new regime. I’m still trying to figure out what is up with me and my can’t-stop-eating routine. I’ve put on twenty pounds in the past two years, and they need to come off now. Period. There was a lot of medicinal application of ice cream during my mom’s last year or so of life – after a day of working and taking care of her, I’d come home and grab and carton and the spoon. 😉
It’s just a matter of breaking a bad habit – I know that. But knowledge and will are two different things. Even though I know I’d feel better, I can’t seem to get with it. Keep us updated – I’ll use your progress as inspiration!
Posting again today actually. 🙂
Linda, I know that the loss of a loved one can cause a gain in weight. I gained 60 lbs about 25 years ago. Over time I had lost 50 of those pounds, but the last twenty have been such a struggle! We need to encourage each other, and if posting my struggles and progress will encourage you and others, then post I will! ~ L