This past weekend my father & stepmother traveled to eastern Tennessee (via northern Virginia) for another wildly successful & entertaining visit with me, my wife & (most importantly) Little Baby Holland Joy.
Physically fit like no other father I know of, my pop easily took the challenge of once again hitting the trails with me, his youngest son of 34, for a 2nd impressive time. He & Christine visited our home soon after the baby was born about 4 or 5 months ago, and on a warm morning following their arrival, the 2 of us ran the 3 main hills of King’s Crown. And immediately following our trailrun (his 1st ever), I ran him through a battery of some of my summer-weather strength training exercises: Prison Burpees followed by Heavy & Light Bag Work, followed by Dumbbell Chest Presses… 3 nonstop sets of 15-20 reps. It’s a revolving angry monkey of aggressive extremism and he handled the made-up routine with a sort of slow, yet form-perfect controlled ease.
This past Saturday I decided we’d explore HawRidge out in Oakridge since I’ve only run that circuit of trails once before (See Now It’s 2010 posting) & I wanted to take my father somewhere which was both more visually interesting, as well as more physically challenging than that of the trails of IC King.
Considered by most hiking & mountain biking guides as a “moderately technical” course to be avoided after heavy rain, the decision to make the drive north up Pellissippi Parkway to Hawridge was easy, for the main difference this time around with my dad was the weather. It was about 40 degrees… & sloppy wet from 3 steady days of cold drizzle. As I’ve written before, nothing stops a trailrunner from running, minus absolute darkness. Treacherous puddles & shin-splattering mud only provide the novice & lazy with cheap excuses on why they should stay home.
No matter, as an experienced hunter/angler, I had very little concern with my father’s footing & all-terrain ambling around the up & downhill slicks. At one point, as we traversed from one jagged-shoaled mountain trail to another, he reflected on how the landscape reminded him of his Idaho elk hunting trips along The Rockies. The comparison made me smile, for he was applying our trailrunning to potential training for some of his more physical trips. A smile because I apply all of my extreme running to something larger & grander in scale. Whether it’s militant or survivalistic in nature, or for tournament training, or basketball… or perhaps even for fighting off the invisible demons of age & time, the trick is in the application, and the realization of said application.
And in the end, I don’t believe he fell or slipped once… an impressive feat for even the most weathered of trailrunners. The run itself was a good one. We hit a large portion of the western edge of the Clinch River, as well tackling 3 of the area’s major summits. Unlike the King’s Crown run a few months back, there was very little waiting around for my dad to catch up this time. It should be noted that on the uphill climb to the day’s highest summit, we both passed a gaggle of sissy mountain bikers.
At an impressive 65 years young, his trailrunning was steady & strong… and I reflect back now, with great admiration for my old man, how I can easily think of a dozen or so of my same-age peers & acquaintances and how they couldn’t even begin to think about running what the 2 of us ran this past Saturday. I can only hope that my current & future training will have me competing at the level my father is currently operating at when I’m his age.
The next morning (Sunday) we woke up early & worked through several of the Muay Thai core exercises mentioned a few posts back. It was my father, The Wanderer readership may recall, that sent me the Thai-Core workout in the first place. And while I only used the regiment a few times since my initial posting, my dad had already been implementing the whole thing into his normal, everyday formula & had become pretty familiar with the different forms & proper mechanics .
And I soon found myself, once again, as we were both sprawled out on the carpeted floor of my home, working through the foreign-influenced exercises, manipulating our tightened cores through swinging weights, arms & legs, in absolute awe of my father… of his physical ability, as well as his personal desire to become stronger…to workout through applications not standard or readily accepted by his peers and/or Western society.
My father, a successful chiropractor (from a long line of Bowman chiropractors), gave out unsolicited, yet extremely welcomed life lessons/lectures on several things this trip. I will add to this posting as I remember them:
- JKB talked about the importance of mixing up one’s physical exercise routines… on the great significance & healthful benefits of experiencing all types of different methods of training. From a physical, cardio, and mental standpoint, keeping your mind open to all different forms & philosophies of training is key. Don’t become stagnant in your exercises & thinking, either physical or mental.
- When the sweet tooth response kicks in, typically after a full meal, eat fruit… and keep nuts around your house to munch on. This is extremely difficult for me!
- In cold weather, wear the expensive types of neoprene shirts to run in –the EXACT opposite of what I write about in my TRAILRUNNING BELOW 40 DEGREES posting. I talk about running in layers of cheap, tattered cotton and then just take it all off as your body heats up, binding the shirts or sweaters around your concentrated core.
- Don’t swing on rope swings tied to low-hanging branches or death will result.
- Don’t grill in enclosed areas or your house will catch on fire like the horrible chiminea mishap of Reston, VA.
- Use orthopedic back pillows EVERYWHERE you may find yourself sitting, or thinking about sitting.
- Trust & act upon your instant “blink” instincts, unless you’re not experienced in the areas of which you are attempting to apply your “blink” instinctual power(s)??? This is a little muddy and I may have to come back & edit this bullet point, for at the time of this specific lecture he had not yet finished reading the book from where this info was obtained from.