Monday, 12 February 2018

Natural Consequences

"Family Day" today.. A trumped up statutory holiday conceived by a increasingly unpopular Provincial Government that have since been relegated to the "official opposition." Though recognized across Canada, here in British Columbia, it was deemed necessary to observe it uniquely, on an entirely different day. The out casted "Liberal" government, a decidedly right-wing party, that co-opted the name "Liberal," though their policies are anything but; also endeavoured through the creation of this holiday, to be seen as a regime, that had concern for, and valued families. Meanwhile, they hacked and slashed at programs across the spectrum of publicly administered services, making it ever-increasingly difficult for "families" - particularly those of the single parent variety.

As the scope of this post is not a political expose, I will end my "rant" there. Apparently, it was there ripe for the telling - and so it was.

I already had the day off so it wasn't for me, a holiday per se. The only way it would impact me would be those services that were closed for the holiday. I had been up particularly early to meet and friend for a hike at a local mountain. We met at 7:00 a.m. the objective being, to get up the mountain to an optimal viewpoint, in time to see the sun rise.  We managed to  accomplish this feat, by accessing, literally, a "deer trail" up the east face. Footing was stable (despite a decidedly "un-groomed" trail) the challenge then, the acute vertical climb. I have been fairly active on a regular basis for quite sometime now. However, I haven't spent any focused time on cardio development. This climb certainly gave me some insight as to where I was in that respect. It definitely pushed it, just the same in relative short order, my breathing and heart rate stabilized, so I was happy to see my fitness level is decent. It wouldn't hurt to address some cardio training more consistently and then activities such as that, would be more within, a established baseline of fitness (memo to myself).

After a stunning vista of the sunrising, frame by a crystal clear sky and Salish Sea, the hike down allow us to observe the early signs of returning Spring.

After treating myself to a hearty breakfast - butternut squash yams, red onion & goat cheese with some added avacado; I drove across town where I had a dvd to return.  That put me in close proximity to the local sea side, so I decided to go and walk the beach. The combination of a brilliant clear (albeit brisk day) & the afore mentioned holiday, did have an effect on numbers at the beach.

Throngs of people, young children and dogs were enjoying the long weekend and a respite from what was, a fairly consistently rainy January. Heartening to see so many families out enjoying the natural world and each other. I'm one that can when I choose to, rather handily block out extraneous chatter etc. so though there were a great many people, on the pathways above the beach and along the seashore too, it was minimally distracting. Though not my intention to "eaves-drop" on any conversation... I couldn't help but hear snippets of various conversations as a walked along. It was a little like spinning the tuning dial on the radio, briefly allowing it to stop on a station, long enough to hear what was being said in the moment, and then the broadcast changed, as the dial was set in motion again.

The recreation centres that I utilize were closed today for the holidays, which created a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of nature's playground. Trudging through the thickly dispersed stones along beach offer challenges in terms of the varying terrain. Walking along from log to log (anywhere other than the logs being "molten lava.....") is wonderful for balance.... challenging stabilizing muscles through out the legs and hips, as well as the body's core. Why would an adult indulge in such activity one might ask? Multiple reasons! For one thing, it's free! That ought to be a powerful incentive in itself. It's out in the fresh air. It provides a connection opportunity with the natural world, it's powerful energies and resident wildlife.  In North America, a significant percentage of adults suffer fractures etc. from falls. This is not a natural repercussion of aging! It is more a natural consequence of immobility. Aging (without exercise) can bring about a decrease, in lean tissue (muscle) - inactivity can cause further atrophy & decrease range of motion. This not only affects strength, power and endurance; but also the smaller muscles, responsible for stabilizing. Add to that a decrease in bone density and there you have the right and perfect storm for falls and subsequent fractures/injury.

Some time for rest and relaxation is certainly beneficial. Push that too far into an excessively sedentary lifestyle - and it has a negative impact. The body is "engineered" for movement. Human nature is nature; though modern living can increasingly disconnect us from our very nature.  Gyms have their place and can provide the equipment necessary for some specific forms of training. The natural world and a little creativity, can provide a physically challenging playground, that not only useful for the physical heart .. it is fabulous for "heart and soul.." 

No "wellness" program can hope to live up to it's name, if it just pounds away at the physical (though you can't entirely segregate the different levels of our being).

A walk in the park is not just good for your pooch - though if you are an animal lover, getting one is apt to get you off the couch, at least to walk your four-legged friend. Then you get the benefit of the natural world and the unconditional love of your canine guru!!

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