Category Archives: Fitness


I like to beat the bag like it owes me money. Sometimes it feels savage, sometimes it feels like more effort than it’s worth. And while many might think there’s catharsis in such activity, I feel like doing it for that reason alone is dangerous . . . because even when you do it for the physical aspect, when it gets you dialed into a meditative state, makes you sweat, makes you want to win at everything — it still trains the brain to know what it’s like to punch something. And sometimes when you’re dealing with a particularly difficult person, part of you is curious about what that feels like.

Of course, for me that’s very rare. I tend to be cool, and when things heat up I’m more likely to walk away than lash out, because the skin of my temperament is so thick its lineaments do little to betray the scars of my youth; the rifts and cracks long left behind now barely show, to the point where I sometimes question their continued existence. At this point, they’re fading quickly into the past. That’s where they belong.

There are days and then there are days — those days when you happen to find the one person who is going to test your patience. My thinking is, it’s best to have a deep, deep well of patience if you hit a bag on the regular.

No issues here, and no regrets. My well is so deep.

Haiku Today 2015.06.15 —

(Copyright © 2015, Robert W. Ross CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

a boiling page,
we etch our spells onto
the dreaming sky


Suddenly we are in a frenzy to find a good deal on a pair of kayaks. How did we get to this? Mme. Ross and I said last autumn that it would be cool to try kayaking together this year, to take on the swift Missouri River in a pair of plastic boats with a single paddle apiece, and only a life jacket to ensure our safety. 

This past weekend we went to Harmon Lake, a man-made body about eight miles north of our town. There we were able to rent a couple of stand-up paddleboards (a.k.a. SUP) for an hour and we spent some good time paddling around the lake with Little Miss sitting on one or the other, trying to help paddle with her hands. I found I was able to stand on this calm water with relative ease, and I decided that I was hooked on this. I’m not a big “let’s go swimming!” kind of guy because I really think it’s boring, but I really like the exploratory feel of getting out on a craft and physically guiding it. Mastering the mechanics of paddling, steering, and turning. Standing up and knowing that I can be seen standing on a board after failing to do so when surfing last summer (which is not at all uncommon.)

Mme. Ross was also hooked. After we pulled back in at the beach she asked to try out a kayak, and we paddled back out, I on a board and her in a green kayak. 

Now we’re looking to make water sports our “thing” this Summer, and in years to come. The equipment will likely pay for itself versus the rental fees, and it just so happens that we have a spare car we will gladly sell to help finance this adventure. It’s almost like the Universe wants us to do it. 

Are you having your Summer adventures yet? I’d love to hear about them in the comments . . . 

now get out there and explore.  


Haiku: Ready?


Adventure beckons!
(Photo credit: VernsPics)

If I put it off —
wait for the right time to come —
it may not happen.


You know that thing you want to do, but you can’t do it until this or that condition is satisfied — do you really want to let things get in the way of your intentions, or do you propose to master the Universe come Hell or high water? I’ve had this issue crop up recently with my running. I’ve kept fit for the past three years or so, and this winter I’ve had to lay back a little for a few reasons: buying/selling a house, travelling over the holidays, too much work, bitter cold weather, &c.

All of these are excuses – some better than others, but none are insurmountable. The thing is, I have cold weather running gear; I have a little time to spare here and there – why not twenty minutes to run? Holidays are over, houses are bought and sold, and now I feel like the excuses are so thin I could cut through them with a whistle.

So I did. Although my phone died because it got too cold to function and thus I have no proof on Runkeeper, I ran – for the first time since November 18th – for about forty-five minutes on Sunday. It was tough, but it was also very satisfying.

(Image credit:



“Run for fun? What the hell kind of fun is that?”



That’s a good question, Mr. Haney. You see, there’s a reason running isn’t more popular – it’s hard to get into. But once you’re there, you live for the run. You grieve for each run lost to inclement weather or hectic schedules. You gauge yourself by your accomplishments, and all too often you mercilessly whip your spirit with your shortfalls. This is the depth of the true runner’s dedication, and once found it is not easily given up.

I will not give up so easily; I’m ready for this adventure – now go live yours.

P.S. if anyone has any practical experience with a product that will keep my phone warm on cold weather runs, please give me a heads-up – I’m in the market for one.

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Why it’s better to never start in the first place:

Have you ever shook your head sadly at the folly of another? Continue reading Why it’s better to never start in the first place:

Surfer Rob: King of the Island!

Is there something that you feel you can’t live without?

Continue reading Surfer Rob: King of the Island!

Portland Home Massage: What People Really Look Like

Portland Home Massage: What People Really Look Like.

“Let’s start here with what nobody looks like: nobody looks like the people in magazines or movies. Not even models. Nobody.” 

This is great, and the last line is completely worth the quick read.

Do I really need new running shoes?

And the answer is yes.

photoWell, I did it: yesterday I had to order a new pair of running shoes. I certainly had put some miles on my old ones; but I did not expect to wear through them so quickly, especially considering that I haven’t been able to run as much as I have wanted to.

Maybe I’m wrong about this; I have been running longer on some of my runs, and the stride is known to break down over the course of a long run. So at the end of a two-plus hour-long run, it is possible that a less-than-ideal running stride would cause excessive wear on the outer ball of my left foot. It’s interesting to note, however, that even though I pay careful attention to my stride on shorter runs, there still seems to be more and more wear at the end of each run.

Of course, I might have to expect to go through two pair of running shoes every year. If that’s the case, then I’d rather buy them both at once. I was so happy with the features of the SKORA running shoes that I’m wearing now that I decided to buy another pair of SKORA shoes, this time the “Base” model. Since their best features are built into all of their shoes, so I didn’t really see a need to spend an extra $30 on the high falutin’ shoes when the cheaper shoes would do just as well. Ask Billy Joel, he’ll tell you it’s still rock ‘n roll to him.

But I think the best way for me to look at this is like a toothbrush; they have to be replaced every so often, and a lot of people don’t replace them as often as they should. In that case, it’s better that I have a good pair of shoes with thinner outsoles, because I have more of an indication of when I should replace them, and thus my feet are healthier and stronger over the long-term.

What do you think? Do you run, and if you do, how often do you have to replace your shoes? Where are your wear patterns, and are they weird, or right where you expect them to be? Let us know in the comments.

Weekly writing challenge: my philosophy of health

Health (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

For a long, long time I have been concerned with my health. It probably started some time in high school when I began to take vitamins, concerned that I wasn’t getting enough nutrients in my diet. I can’t quite remember why I thought so, but I was probably on the right track. I grew up not knowing much about nutrition except what they taught me in school, and so I ate whatever I wanted to eat. And I often ate a lot; in fact, I often ate twice as much as a normal kid would eat; I was a compulsive snacker, too. You could say that my appetite had been stretched out.

Today, it’s not quite back in the shape that a “normal” appetite would be in, but I have it under tighter control. Over the years, I’ve flirted with fitness, diets, supplements, and various degrees of fasting in order improve my health. Having finally found what works for me, I now have a philosophy of health. I actually shared this with a friend not too long ago when she was looking for tips on losing weight and getting fit. I said “eat less, exercise more. More of what you eat should be good stuff, less of it bad stuff. If you stick to your guns regarding those rules ( and yes, get a little OCD about it) then you should do quite well. But don’t forget to let loose from time to time or else you’re not going to have any fun doing it.”

Main health effects of sleep deprivation (See ...
Main health effects of sleep deprivation (See Wikipedia:Sleep deprivation). Model: Mikael Häggström. To discuss image, please see Template talk:Häggström diagrams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I would add that you have to ensure that you get enough sleep every night – not that I do. I’m a total hypocrite about that, but lack of sleep leads to stress, and stress makes it harder to resist your urges, especially when it comes to eating. I can do it most of the time, but eating is a classic way to instinctually counteract the stress response.

That’s not the length and breadth of being healthy, though. In addition to doing the right thing for your health – your personal health – you have to ensure that you’re happy, too. Everybody has to work, I know that. But you have to allow yourself some time for your own hobbies, and to spend time with others. This is social health. We need to have a positive outlook and consistently work on our emotional weaknesses through reflection and thoughtful application of modified behaviors. That’s emotional health.

Health comes in a bazillion varieties, and it’s not easy to cultivate the apex of each one simultaneously, so we have to work on them bit by bit, day by day. Get in the habit of improving, and you should never have a problem becoming whoever you want to be.

This post was prompted by the Daily Post Weekly Challenge.
Featured image source: 316th ESC on Flickr
License: attribution

Fitness myths: Busted!

I found this on Fit for a year and thought it would be great to share. I love infographics, and I love busting fitness myths.

Fitness myths - Busted


Double rainbow, all the way!

So I had to bring on more love from the morning run. This morning I had to try to get in another little run between paying mid-month bills and going to work, and I managed twenty minutes. Not bad. The ground was still damp in places from a rain that had fallen some time during the night, and I started out by taking some nice, colorful sky pics:


Then I saw the rainbow. The double rainbow.



I’m like, thank you Apple for the panoramic function on my phone’s camera. Then I saw this.

I think Mother Nature violated a state ordinance with that rainbow, but that’s still pretty darn cool.