Monday, November 30, 2015

An Exercise in Resolve, Month 11

November started off rainy and markedly cooler than the previous month. I finally increased the weight of what I routinely carried, which represented a key step forward, going from a "light" load of up to 10 pounds to a "medium" load of 10-20 pounds. I also sporadically supplement my routine with a few pushups, situps, chinups, or bench presses, but the walk is definitely my main exercise and that is why carrying gear is key. And, now that I am carrying a day pack again, I am able to carry my walking stick on the walk up to the mailbox and often have a couple pounds of mail in the pack for the balance of the walk. Entries in quotes are taken from my Twitter posts. 

November 1 (Sunday): Walked 0.6 miles with a light, c. 9-pound load. 
November 2 (Monday): "Got in a two-mile walk with a light load. Perfect walking weather, sunny, bright, and cloudless but also cool here in Texas Hill Country!" 
November 3 (Tuesday): Walked c. 0.75 miles. Added a day pack and increased equipment load to c. 15 pounds and intended to walk two miles but tried to help someone catch their dogs and, in the process, dragged my trailing foot over a cactus and ended up with about 20 spines of various sizes in my foot, ankle and leg  including one so deep in my big toe that I had to take off my shoe and pull hard to get out. 
November 4 (Wednesday):  Walked 1.5 miles at twilight with a medium, 15+ pound load. 
November 5 (Thursday): "Got in a 1.5-mile twilight walk with a 15.3-pound load! Unseasonably warm today here in Texas Hill Country but cooled off a bit in the evening." 
November 6 (Friday): "Got in a two-mile late afternoon walk with 15+ pounds of gear! Has been raining and was damp and very cool here in Texas Hill Country." 
November 7 (Saturday): No walk; was part of an author panel at Bulverde/Spring Branch Library and got back too late.
November 8 (Sunday): No walk but mowed the lawn for a full hour. 
November 9 (Monday): "Got in a two-mile late afternoon walk with 20+ pounds of gear; was overdue increasing load and glad to have done it twice so far this month!" 
November 10 (Tuesday): Did a brief, 0.6-mile walk with 20+ pounds of gear. 
November 11-14: Getting ready for three weeks on the road and certainly walked to some extent during this period and know that I did some prolonged mowing sessions on probably a couple of the days. 
November 15: "Brief, 1.2-mile walk with 17-plus pounds of gear. Wore boots instead of sneakers to make sure they were in good shape for my upcoming Africa trip." 
November 16-22: Traveled to and spent six days in the Washington, D.C., area. Did not try to observe a regular exercise routine but got decent walks or workouts in a number of days; e.g., one day hauled 100 pounds of luggage crosstown on the Metro from Silver Spring, Maryland, to Alexandria, Virginia, and on Friday, November 21, walked a mile-and-a-half from my daughter's house to the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station and then probably a similar distance around D.C. with my friend Paul Knorr. 
November 23-30: Spent last week of November in Ethiopia! Did not try to maintain a regular exercise routine but stayed active and got some substantial workouts in some days. Most significant was a 15-mile roundtrip hike involving a 1,000-foot ascent, from the city of Lalibela to a mountaintop monastery during Day 5 of my Ethiopian Adventure (shown below is a picture of me during this excursion). 


3 comments:

Rebecca Kavanaugh said...

Michael, thank you for participating on the Author Panel at Bulverde/Spring Branch Library. Your insight was helpful and the stories interesting.

Rebecca Kavanaugh said...

Your wife's commentary was a wonderful addition, too. Hope you will be on another program at the library.

Michael Varhola said...

Thanks, Rebecca! I always enjoy events at Bulverde/Spring Branch Library a lot and am always at your disposal when you want me to participate in something. Ah, yes, my wife has trouble getting through anything I take her to without quipping about the lawn ... At least no one at the author panel had heard that material from her before!