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Old 01-01-09, 06:49 PM   #1
Neil_B
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Getting off on the wrong hoof for 2009

My 2009 didn't start as expected. My job required me to work until 11:30 last night. I met a friend at a bar just in time to celebrate the new year, and I spent some time with him there and at a diner later. (One of the perils of being a non-drinker is that you are ALWAYS the designated driver.) I didn't get to sleep until 4:00 AM, but I dozed off, still clothed, dreaming of going out for a short ride in the afternoon.

At 8:15 AM the phone rings. "Neil, there's a problem. Can you go into the office?" Never one to say no, especially when jobs are a little more scarce than usual, I got up and drove into work. A few hours later I was on the way home, exhausted. I was feeling very down that I couldn't start off 2009 'right.' Getting only four hours of sleep didn't help matters.

Then, as I was driving through Valley Forge National Historic Park, of all things a recent post by Little Brown Bat jumped into my mind. The Bat posted a reference to a recent article that stated most Americans engage in less than 15 minutes of outdoor physical activity a day. I thought, "I may not have the energy to go for a long bike ride today, but I'm not so tired I can't stand and walk", and as I approached the parking lot near the Von Steuben statue I made a left and parked.

I wasn't dressed for a hike, or for the cold weather. But I thought I could get about a mile in on pavement with the shoes I was wearing, and so off I went. I had the camera in the car so I brought it with me. Here's the statue of General Von Steuben, the man who turned the Continental Army from a demoralized group of rebels into a polished fighting machine. He stands in front of the "Grand Parade" grounds - the area where the troops would be drilled.



Closer view of the General:



Multi-use path running along Rt. 23 in Valley Forge. The path is narrower than most bike paths, and a heck of a lot hillier. Riding those rollers will remind you why General Washington chose to take his army here for the winter of 1778-1779 - it's work to get up and down those hills!



Replica cabins are found all over the park. These were part of a group of four at the point I turned around.



So I got my mile of walking in, and at least 15 minutes of outdoor activity. And I felt better as I drove home. While I may not have engaged in the exercise I wanted to do, I did exercise. So perhaps I didn't get off on the wrong hoof after all. Now to catch up on my sleep....
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Old 01-01-09, 06:54 PM   #2
epcolt
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At least you got out and did something. I hit the gym at 8 AM for 3 hours.
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Old 01-01-09, 07:49 PM   #3
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Hey, a nice walk/hike is a good thing.

I've been contemplating adding some hiking to my activity list. I had the same conclusion in that it would be a nice way to still do something if the bike idea just wasn't working.
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Old 01-01-09, 08:11 PM   #4
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Another photo of the General Von Steuben statue.



Photo across the Grand Parade. In the distance you can see the 100 year old memorial chapel.

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Old 01-01-09, 08:17 PM   #5
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Good on ya!
Walking actually burns more calories anyway.

I had planned on doing a 38 mile organized ride but wound up riding around 11 miles with the wife and best friend instead. It was a great way to recharge.
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Old 01-01-09, 08:32 PM   #6
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inspirational!
a little of something is better than.....
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Old 01-01-09, 08:48 PM   #7
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As other have said, you did SOMETHING, which is far better than nothing. Look at it this way, you still have 364 days left to ride!
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Old 01-01-09, 09:14 PM   #8
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You started of the new year exercising and thats what matters. Great job!
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Old 01-01-09, 09:44 PM   #9
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Nice walk! I'd say a good way to kick off the new year. Looks like you had the place to yourself.
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Old 01-01-09, 10:36 PM   #10
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At some point this spring I'll make sure to ride down Battle Rd in Lexington, MA and post some pics - once the mud clears for my road slicks.
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Old 01-02-09, 12:32 AM   #11
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Is it just me, or is teh General wearing cycling tights?? Good for you, would have been soooo easy to just head on home and hit the sack but you made the time and effort to get some fresh air time.
Not a bad start for the new year!
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