fitness (79)


Camping on remote beach Sunday night

Boy! Partly due to injuries, including a compoundly fractured arm from — yes, I know — skateboarding, stupid! — I pretty much quit surfing about 3 years ago. Plus it was getting more difficult to spring up from prone to standing. (Ah, what didn’t I take for granted in younger years?) But also, I really like what I’m doing in producing books and that’s meant a  lot of indoor time. And the water is so cold, and it’s such a hassle struggling into a wet suit and…and…

During these years I haven’t felt that great. Not bad, but not energetic.

I got a wakeup call when I visited Bob Anderson at his home in the Colorado mountains a few weeks ago. Bob’s the author of our book Stretching, and my visits there have always included long runs, walks, snowshoeing or cycling. Except I hadn’t been there for maybe 10 years.

We got in his car and drove about 45 minutes to a remote unmarked trail at about 9000 feet altitude, and went on a 4-hour round trip hike to the site of a plane that had crashed in the mountains in 1952. I realized I was out of shape. The next day, we “earned our dinner” by hiking up and down some really steep rocky trails with hiking poles. It was a wakeup call.

I’m swimming more, starting to ride a pedal assist bike, and getting back out with my Haut 10′ Surftek board. My 2nd time out, yesterday afternoon, got 3 rides, one prone, two kneeling. Working on getting up, but with some torn hamstring tendons plus codger stiffness, maybe I won’t be able to. Yesterday, I thought, even kneeling on a longboard is fun. Get over it! (One surfer here said to me as he showed me his new kneeboard, “I’ve gone over to the dark side.”) Not really.

Point is not to give it all up because age is limiting your chops.

I felt so great last night after getting out of the water.

How could I have forgotten?

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Lift Weights, Eat More Protein, Especially if You’re Over 40

Article in NYTimes Feb 13, 2018 by Gretchen Reynolds

People who would like to become physically stronger should start with weight training and add protein to their diets, according to a comprehensive scientific review of research.

The review finds that eating more protein, well past the amounts currently recommended, can significantly augment the effects of lifting weights, especially for people past the age of 40. But there is an upper limit to the benefits of protein, the review cautions.

On the other hand, any form of protein is likely to be effective, it concludes, not merely high-protein shakes and supplements. Beef, chicken, yogurt and even protein from peas or quinoa could help us to build larger and stronger muscles.

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Deep Old Age

In an interview in Sunday’s NYTimes Book Review section, Philip Roth, now 84, says”…in just a matter of months I’ll depart old age to enter deep old age — easing ever deeper daily into the redoubtable Valley of the Shadow.…”

And that he’s astonished that he makes it to the end of each day.

Got me thinking about aging. I’ll be 83 in a few months.

Looking back, my golden years physically were ages 50-65 or so, in terms of strength/cardio/flexibility adjusted for age. A lot of this had to do with me working on fitness books — stretching, running, weight training — for 20 years, and hanging out, and stretching, running, and lifting weights with my authors. I was serious runner for 20-25 years, swam, surfed, rode bikes and went to aerobic dance classes (usually the only guy in the class).

Then as I got to age 70, things started needing repair. A lifetime of using the body.

I tell people, the good news is that you’re not yet 70, the bad news is that you will be some day. Since turning 70, I’ve had 2 shoulders and 2 knees and one wrist repaired (no metal or plastic parts) + a compound wrist fracture from skateboarding…yes, I know, I know.

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Friday Night Fish Fry

Last (rainy) Friday night, 5 of us (Dipsea running friends) went over the bridge to San Francisco and had dinner at the R&G Lounge (specializing in deep fried fresh Dungeness crab). then to Vesuvio’s bar next to City Lights, which has had like 70 years of good vibes; Patrons that night looked like good people. Pic below is of a little tableau on the wall with miniature figures, maybe 26″ wide by 16″ tall (can you see the ghostly image at top left?) (Photo by Jakub)

I’m sort of taking a month to get reorganized with my work and at the same time reintegrating myself with the physical world, after a couple of years of being injured, then recovering from shoulder surgery — let me tell you the details — just kidding. Suffice to say I’m hiking more, clamming (tuning up my 12′ Klamath boat with vintage 15 HP Evinrude outboard for saltwater exploration and fishing, trying to remember to stretch. It’s so easy to get sucked into sedentary pursuits, like sitting in front of screens and neglecting the body in which the mind is, after all, housed.

I’ve done very little blogging in recent years about what’s going on my life, partly due to Instagram and partly because after 5000+ blog posts, I realized it wasn’t bringing in any income — so I slacked off on blogging.

I’ll be spelling out my future plans, including a new blog — my take on the ’60s –in my forthcoming GIMME SHELTER email newsletter, something I send out every few months to about 600 people. If you want to be on the mailing list, send me your address at

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