Let me start by being completely honest.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get on the A.T. but meanwhile, increasing fitness level continues.  I am using the revolving stairs-type stairclimber at the gym and recently (believe it or not!) have started to jog/run again.  And even more miraculous than starting the jogging again is that my knees are not acting up about it — or the stair climbing either for that matter.  Yes, still doing many reps of squats, lunges, deadlifts, dead rows, cleans and overhead presses with about 35#’s on a bar.  It’s a class, to music and hardly any breaks either.  Add to that lists the other things we do in that class like chest presses, tricep and bicep stuff and anything else you can do with weights — lots of functional stuff too.

The weight is now down into around the mid-130’s.  That represents a BMI of 24% correlating to a body fat number of approximately 33%.  So that’s definitely easier on the knees–the weight loss.

I haven’t blogged here in ages, but I’ve not had anything to report really.  I mostly go to the gym and walk around the neighborhood.  Need to get on our local 5-mile hiking trail soon — it contains hills.  I think the ole’ bod will handle the whole thing better now.

And when I get o that stair climber, I try to visualize myself hiking up a steep hill. 🙂  Oh, and by the way, if you ever see someone at the gym using that thing, just know it looks easier than it is.  That thing really gets your heart rate up there in a very short time.  There’s Jacob’s Ladder at the gym too but I haven’t given that a try yet.  Will post if I do.  LOL  PS  don’t hold your breath.

Not much more to report on this end.  Maybe if I keep posting, someone who reads this will want a hiking partner.  I do things alone most all of the time –pretty independent that way. But I’m thinking that hiking the A.T. would be a big exception.  I don’t have all that much time left since I’m to be 71 this year, 2018.  Can’t believe I’m that old.  Oh, I am including a recent photo of me and my youngest granddaughter here.

Hope your hiking dreams come true . . .

that’s it for now. 🙂





Hike at Disneyworld – Fitness Level Increasing

Disneyworld April 2018 with daughter on my right 

Awoke this morning thinking about this blog. It’s been ages since writing a single word here.  Maybe someone will read this or maybe not–maybe this ends up to be a personal journal.  Either way, here’s an update that comes on the heels of two days at Disney World walking 20,000 steps per day or roughly 8 miles.  Granted, we’re talking flat terrain for the most part–minimal uphill or steps.  Yet, the body was no worse for the wear really.  This enabled me to feel encouraged about my physical abilities as it applies to the dream of hiking the A.T. — maybe just a very small portion of it.

My legs and knees were fine but the bottoms of my feet were not too happy–even with the perfect shoes that were actually newer but broken in.   And if I had to do a full squat, not sure about handling that in the midst of the fervor of walking from one ride adventure to the next.  But a more serious hike (where one is not determined to ‘see it all’ and get one’s money worth out of the day), would surely include more breaks for stretches.

Oh and we were carrying backpacks both days and while not knowing what the pack weighed, will say that while it was no problem to carry for two days, after getting back home my gym bag and pocketbook felt like feathers!

Weightlifting class is still part of my life 3 times per week — this includes a bar with about 35# on the back doing lunges, squats and also biceps, triceps, pecks and yeah pushups, sit-ups.  Pretty well-rounded strength training. especially the core.

Yoga has been a more regular part of my exercise routine than ever before.  This enables one to determine where the muscle imbalance is in the body so that stretching in the asanas (postures) enabled me to stretch the quad, calf, hamstrings, and hip flexors which released the knees, equating to less discomfort.

I’ve lost a total of 22#’s since last summer — but have been stagnating in that area since the beginning of the year, having gained and lost and gained again the same 2 or 3#’s getting nowhere with additional weight loss.  But the weight loss does help my knees feel better too, which is of course obvious.

I do some uphill and downhill work just around my own apartment which is located on a hill and surprisingly the knees handle it like champs!  Must soon get myself out to the state park and see how it goes on that 5-mile uphill/downhill hike.  Planning that sometime soon before it gets unbearably hot.  It’s early May and our temperatures here in North Carolina are as follows:  highs 70’s/low 80’s daytime and 50’s/low 60’s at night.

That’s it for now.  The photo with this post is me with one of my youngest daughters last week.

If you are still reading this:  How are your hike’s going?

Weight Lifting Class Description – Prep for Hiking

No, no.  I did not give up the dream.  It was the knee, then the gall bladder surgery and still, it hurts on the downhills on the local trail.  More work is obviously needed.  To that end .  .  . here’s an update about recently starting strength training class at the gym.  I’ve been biking and doing that crazy elliptical and added yoga too, but anyway . . . I wrote about the class this morning.

It’s nearing the end of the hour.  I watch myself in the mirror.  I stay with the others and the beat of the music as it vibrates up through the floor like a monster rising from the deep, entering through our feet, hits our hearts and goes out through our hot breath.

It’s heavy.  The breath.  And so is the bar.  Heavier now with every bicep curl.  Biceps struggle, shoulders try to help.  I am fighting old age.  I think that is why I do this.  I hear “Agent Smith” in the final Matrix Movie as I write this.  He says, ” . . . why, why, why do you persist?” And Neo says, “Because I choose to.”  That must be my reason too.  The mind just said so.  That’s why I do this. It’s the same reason that I write this now.  Because I choose to.  Yet, old age is never far from my thoughts.

So it’s about choice or at least part of it is.  Because I must see if I can.  And because of the challenge.  And because I chose to.  The muscles struggle and cry out with the effort that is required to get on board with my choice.  “Sixteen more lifts, fight for it” blasts the voice of the trainer.  We’re all in this together.  She and about 30 of us.  I don’t know how anybody else is doing.  The sweat makes my eyes blurry.  There’s only enough Continue reading

Creating my Path – Hiking on Horizon

hiking horizonMy last post here was April 23rd (just checked the date). Time.  Illusion.  It’s May 31st, 2016.  I’ve come to report progress.  It’s been pathetically slow.

It has been only in the past 3 or 4 days that another milestone was achieved.  That saying.  Time flies when you’re having fun.  True.  If you’re a hiker and you are actually able to hike and out there having fun, think of me the next time, eh?

It seems like just as soon as the idea came up to hike the A.T. and when starting to reach for that goal, a major setback happened. I refuse to be a victim — as victim-sounding as this may all seem.

Dealing with my knee pain and swelling since January has not been fun.  One MRI and Steroid Injection and about 5 weeks later and some serious progress is happening.  After the huge swelling dissipated, I was left with what’s been there a long time — a compromised knee with ligaments, cartilage and meniscus issues (very little bone on bone problems thankfully) — but added to that now loss of muscle which has been decline in strength adding further to knee instability.

It’s a catch 22.  You got to get the muscles surrounding the knee stronger without stressing the knee further which happens easily b/c of atrophy of the muscles.

Gimmie’ a break!  Yet, it’s all true.

But I’ve been spin biking and doing little squats. I still don’t have a good signal when balancing on one leg (it’s like I don’t feel where i am in time and space–as if it’s numb) and this causes a bit of a balance problem for a nano-second or two.

I’ve been walking pretty darn good with a grocery cart but without any support whatsoever . . .  well, let’s just say not so good.

Now here’s what I to report . . . 

Upstairs at the Y there’s an indoor track.  Sixteen times around that and you’ve got one mile.  Well, until a few days ago I could only go around 3 or 4 times.   (I’d try it every few days and could only get around 3 or 4 times before the knee screamed.)

But the other day I managed 16 times around — a full mile!  Yeah, baby!  A break through!

No trekking poles like I use on the trail and no shopping card like in the grocery store.  Just pure, raw,  honest-to-goodness walking one-full-mile without any support. Just me and my knee!   Of course, it’s all level but still . . .

Over this Memorial Day weekend, I walked a mile up and down paved hills here where I live to the tune of one full mile too! Continue reading

Ch-Ch-Cha-cha-Changes! Hike Hope

Joy  4-22-16
My knee doesn’t throb and swell anymore!!  Yay!

I’m here to report a few developments – life is full of surprises.  The day after I wrote the last post about how I’d never be able to make it hiking my routine local trail—well, guess what?  I totally “lost it” and headed for the woods anyway.  I brought something to sit and read in case my hiking efforts resulted in failure. 

I had to try and I had to get into the woods—nothing else would do.  (Turns out there was an Arbor Day celebration going on in the State Park when I got there by the way.)  I think the trees were calling out to me.  Like I said, I decided  to read under the canopy of green leaves and brown trunks by the lake if my body couldn’t handle it.

Bottom line:  it took me twice as long (and more) as my slowest pace per mile (Yes–Mile!!)  and…

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Update on Hiking Potential

May you stay forever young!

I looked at the blog title space when beginning this.  What do I title this mess of words that are about to be recorded?  The dream or obsession about hiking the AT is slipping through my fingers and truthfully at this point is long gone.  I had an MRI of the knee and while I want to get the results and see the images myself (I’ve had some medical training) and read the radiologists report slowly–the ortho doctor that I saw read the report fast and his message to me was pretty consistent from the first visit which was:

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Setback but Coming Back!

My new place!

My thoughts wander to those who are  heading toward Springer Mountain this time of year and just about to start hiking to Maine on the AT right about now and here I am with no hiking in for well over … well, at least 2 months.  No hiking at all–!!

I’ve every excuse in the book for that.  I think they’re valid but the reader must decide.  It’s just that since I haven’t posted in ages some may think I gave up my intentions and rolled over by the wayside.  No Way!  But ‘stuff’s been happen-en’, ya’ know?

Let’s start with the good news!  I was able to manage somehow (with the grace of the Angels and Saints and all that–which I don’t take lightly by the way)… but anyway, was able to move away from the smoker!  Up until the 13th of February… Continue reading

Trail Angel and Catching Up  <— that’s my first bit to share.  I can’t believe how long its been since I’ve been around!  H

Dawn and Me JJ's 18th
My daughter has started hiking!  Maybe someday she will hike the AT, if I never make it

aven’t blogged here in what seems like ages!
But back to first things first.  The link above is one that I completely enjoyed about finding peace on the AT.  If you have a moment to view it, you may enjoy it as much as I did.  It came through on my Facebook page.

Now.  Hiking hasn’t happened for a while.  I’ve been having exercise asthma issues.  Fine until I get into about 15 min. of outdoor walking or about the same amount of time indoors on the treadmill.  I’m going to blame it on the cold, dry weather and my age but I’m sure that the smoker next door’s 2nd hand smoke doesn’t help!

As soon as I get a whiff of her poison, I open a window even if it’s 20 degrees just to let some air in to balance.  When she puts on her central heat unit, I smell her smoke even more so I’m sure she smokes inside and outside both.  When the wind whips up and she’s outdoors sucking in the poison, it blows right on in as if she’s standing in my living room.

I’ve spoken to her numerous times and the rental office too which is like talking to the wall, but for the fact that I’m assured of moving into another unit (away from the smoker) as soon as one should open up.

I’ve hiked maybe 3 times since my last post here but

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