Tag Archives: sports

Short, Slow And Relatively Easy…

“Mostly, two miles an hour is good going.”

-Colin Fletcher 

This morning was probably the nicest day of the summer. When I got on the trail at 6:30 am, it was 49 degrees. I was actually a little cold as I headed out into the woods but it only took a couple of minutes though for that nice chilly feeling to go away!

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As has been the case almost all summer, I didn’t see a single person the entire hike. Granted, the hike was shorter than most I have done but on a day like today, I expected to at least see some trail runners. That’s ok, the woods were practically silent as I made my way down the trail.

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If you take a left at the tree that is marked instead of going right as the trail markers tell you to, you can add another half of a mile to your hike. Today I didn’t and continued right. Most of the trail at this point is soft dirt with some rocky spots mixed in at different points.

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The picture above marks the beginning of only two short hills on this particular hike. This one is about halfway through the hike and the second one is almost at the end.

One of the cool things about Ward Pound ridge are the bridges that are found throughout the park. Although the ground was wet, I couldn’t see any running water and if you wanted you could just use the rocks on the left to escape the mud.

The rest of the hike was pretty easy. Nice flat trails and as I got closer to the finish, a breeze started blowing that didn’t help with trying to stay warm. But it was nice weather for the end of August.

I can’t complain about any aspect of today’s hike and tomorrow is looking just as good!

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hike #28-8/26/19-3.7-123.7

Back On My Feet, Again

“Never let a stumble in the road be the end of the journey.”

“Injuries are our best teachers.”

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The view at the start of the hike an hour later than usual.

Being injured sucks. Not being able to hike sucks. Even if it’s only for a few days. Last year I couldn’t hike for half of the year because of the surgery on my ankle, and over the course of the last couple of weeks, my left knee has been bothering me. Bothering me to the point where I haven’t been able to hike or ride the stationary bike.

Is my injury a result of getting older? Overuse? Could it be genetic? I know that many in my family have bad knees and maybe it’s now my turn. I certainly hope not. Some of my family members can’t walk a straight line these days. The fact that I have been very, very careful with what I have been doing the last few months has me thinking really hard about what could have caused it. With that said, the bottom line is I need to get back out into the woods.

I am going stir crazy. Utterly crazy.  If you follow my blog, you know that hiking is my refuge, the thing that I do when I need to think or blow off steam. When I can’t hike, I get really cranky.  As it stands right now, I am in super cranky mode.

So today to I headed out into my sanctuary to see how the knee feels.

I actually picked a decent day to head back out. I ended up starting about an hour later than I am used to, but that’s ok. When I got up at 5, there was no way I could get out of bed so I waited until 5:30 and pretty much walked out the door. When I got to Ward Pound Ridge, it was a crisp 59 degrees with a slight breeze. This is not typical weather in our area for mid-August. At this time of year, we are usually looking at a great deal of heat and humidity, even at 5 or 6 am.

Needless to say, my knee didn’t feel that bad. I did make sure to keep the pace relatively slow and I avoided any rocks that looked sketchy. I know that sounds kind of wimpy, but I didn’t want to hurt myself anymore than I already was (or had been).

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More huge rocks at Ward Pound Ridge.

The picture below represents parts of the Leatherman’s Loop. As with most of the trails at Ward Pound Ridge, they are made of soft earth and tend to be rolling rather than steep ups and downs.

Overall I would call this hike a success. It was nice out and even though I started later than I have been, I didn’t see a single person. Pure bliss!!!!

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hike #25-8/12/19-4.5-111.1

Is It Worth It? I Think Not!

“The safety of the people shall be the highest law.”

-Marcus Tullius Cicero

“If you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm.”

-Frank Lane

Twenty years ago I would have hiked in any kind of weather, and I did. My friend and I even hiked in a blizzard to Anthony’s Nose just to see what the Bear Mt. Bridge looked like when it snowed. We used to go out at noon on days when the temperature was near 100 degrees and the humidity was almost as high. Days when it was raining? No problem.

These days, however, I am a little more cautious when I hike. I know that I have mentioned this before, but with the renal failure I experienced last summer, any forecast of excessive heat truly scares me. So for our area for the next three days, this is what the weather looks like:

EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 8 PM EDT SUNDAY… * HEAT INDEX VALUES…AROUND 105 TO 110 TODAY AND AROUND 105 TO 115 SATURDAY AND SUNDAY. * TIMING…12 PM TODAY THROUGH 8 PM SUNDAY. * IMPACTS…EXTREME HEAT CAN CAUSE ILLNESS AND DEATH AMONG AT- RISK POPULATION WHO CANNOT STAY COOL. THE EXCESSIVE HEAT MAY QUICKLY CAUSE HEAT STRESS OR HEAT STROKE. 

I have decided that even though I go out very, very early in the morning, I am not going to hike today, tomorrow or Sunday. When I went out on Wednesday and hiked 5 miles, I drank two 32 ounce bottles of Gatorade Zero (Orange of course) as well as two 48 ounce bottles of water. When I got home I immediately drank another 48 ounces of water and continued this throughout the day.

Folks, don’t be stupid. If it is going to be this oppressively hot and humid, it just isn’t worth it. Now if you live in an area where this type of weather is the norm, some adjustments can be made, but you still have to be careful.

The good thing is I will still be able to ride my stationary bike which is in a nice air-conditioned room with a television. I will also hydrate as if I was out hiking.

I guess the bottom line is this: Is that hike really worth it? Especially for folks that may be a little older or have a chronic medical condition, hiking in hot and humid conditions like this could be a death sentence. Much better days are ahead!!!!

Take it from someone who knows. It isn’t worth it.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments section.

Why Do They Have To Grow Up?

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Hope on her way into the rink for her last home game.

Today is another one of those bittersweet days that as parents you kind of hope doesn’t happen. But as time passes they do. They happen and we wish they wouldn’t. For the better part of 17 1/2 years, our children have played either roller or ice hockey. Both involved a commitment of multiple nights per week, weekends and lots of traveling.

Today marked my daughters last home game playing ice hockey. Like her brother, she began by playing roller hockey and moved on to play on the ice. First, she played with boys and for the last few years, she has played on a girls team. We have now played on the rink at Trinity Pawling for nine years.

Watching her play and grow has been an amazing experience. She has developed into a level headed, smart and well rounded young woman. I couldn’t be more proud and could not have asked for more.

With both of my kids, I spent countless hours behind the wheel going to practice, coming home, going to games and tournaments and returning home. Day in and day out.

My colleagues at work know my story and they have listened to me bemoan my situation. Traveling to all corners of New York, to Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Massachusetts. Last year we thought it was the end based on the fact that we didn’t think we had enough girls to play. But then we did.

But now it really is over. My daughter is a senior and will be attending college next year. There will be no more long talks in the car. No more stories of what she had done in school that day or what she was planning to do with her boyfriend that weekend (who by the way is an outstanding young man). No more stories of her plans for the future and what she wants to study in college.

Folks have been telling me for the last couple of years that despite the driving and the long hours that I would miss it when it was over. I would always stoically reply that I wouldn’t miss it at all.

Life, however, has a funny way of sneaking up on you. After our last home game today we have two games next weekend in Saratoga Springs and then it will be the end.

The thing that I think I will miss most is looking to my right as she talked and seeing her eyes, bright with enthusiasm as she chattered on about her hopes and dreams and me, sitting in the driver’s seat thinking that last day was always a lifetime away and I would have these special moments forever.

But that time is now here. It really is over. Soon she will be in college and I won’t have to drive to any hockey practices, games or tournaments. Even as I write this I have an empty feeling inside knowing that both of my children are now grown up. My wife and I have done our jobs and we can only hope for the best.

But to be totally honest, I already miss the smile and the look when she turned to me and would say, “You aren’t going to believe what happened today.”

 

A Beautiful Day (For Hockey)

“Every day is a great day for hockey.”

=Mario Lemieux

Sorry to move away from the hiker theme of the blog, but I got some good photos of my daughter celebrating her two goals and after a collision! Even though they lost 5-3, it was a hard fought game and the entire team played well!

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Hope celebrating her first goal of the game.

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Hope on the ice after scoring her second goal.

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Back on her feet celebrating a couple of seconds later!

And the last two pictures showing her after a collision with someone from the other team.