Tag Archives: middle aged fitness

Walking with Purpose III – Switzerland and Italy

The Via Francigena is not for the easily distracted or for those who desire instant gratification; it’s a 2000 kilometre path that starts in Canterbury, England, traverses northern France then wends its way through Switzerland and crosses into Italy over … Continue reading

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Walking with Purpose II

Last summer, I started a major walk; the Via Francegina, from Canterbury to Rome. It follows the path of Sigeric the Serious, the Archbishop of Canterbury who made the trek to be appointed Cardinal. His return trip was documented; he … Continue reading

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Walking as Inspiration

If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk. – Raymond Inmon My first response to anyone who asks, ‘what do you think about when you walk?’ is always … Continue reading

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Shared Experiences

Summers are short in Canada. School’s out; carefully husbanded vacation days are spent. We pack them full of activity. We fill our days with friends and family. We break bread; feasting in the age-old tradition of communion. We barbeque, we … Continue reading

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The Power of Trust – II

Pierre Trudeau paddled the South Nahanni in 1970; his love of paddling was clear: “What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other…. paddle 100 miles in a canoe and you … Continue reading

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The Power of Trust – I

The South Nahanni River is a true Canadian Icon, a World Heritage site. It is rugged, powerful, inaccessible, and indescribably beautiful. Paddling the 200 or so kilometers of the South Nahanni below Virginia Falls in a canoe is a legendary … Continue reading

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Wanderwegging in Switzerland

Wanderweg is German for footpath. Switzerland is wanderweg heaven; a maze of thousands of kilometres of footpaths and hiking trails of various degrees of difficulty, every path carefully marked, given a number and assiduously signposted. The Swiss, home of impeccable … Continue reading

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My Japan Pilgrimage – I

I first heard of the 88 Temples pilgrimage several years ago; shrouded in exotic mystery, it was too much to even consider. It was Japanese, Buddhist, long, culturally and linguistically unfathomable; it was too complicated, therefore unachievable and insurmountable. I … Continue reading

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In the Land of Needless Worry.

There is a difference between vacations and adventures. A vacation is about rest, relaxation and enjoyment. It is, by definition and choice, intended to lower the blood pressure, facilitate mindless hedonism and indulge the senses. An adventure is completely different. … Continue reading

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The one less traveled by

Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less traveled by And that has made all the difference.  – Robert Frost The Camino Portuguese is a 600 kilometer pilgrimage from Lisbon to Santiago. Unlike the more famous … Continue reading

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Tender Mercies

Robert Duvall won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for best actor in a sweet, oft-overlooked 1983 film called Tender Mercies. It’s the transformation of an end-of-the-line alcoholic country singer into a decent man, not by some instant Hollywood epiphany … Continue reading

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Obrigado Portugal

I have spent the last three weeks on the Camino Portuguese, a 600 kilometre Pilgrimage from Lisbon in Portugal to Santiago in Spain. I walked across Portugal, village to town to city, along ancient cobblestone paths, following the Via Romana … Continue reading

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The Geographic Cure

Sometimes travel isn’t about going to a new place, it’s about getting away from the place I’m at, even if only temporarily. Going away is getting away, escaping, retreating, running, changing. It’s called the geographic cure. Examples? All Canadians want … Continue reading

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Food, Glorious Food.

Over the past six weeks in Italy, I have consumed at least my body weight in the following; tomatoes, cantaloupe, mozzarella cheese and prosciutto. My two main dishes have been prosciutto y melon and Caprese salad. They fed my body … Continue reading

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Bottled Poetry

Florence is the place most people go when they visit Tuscany. It is a city like no other, with ornate cathedrals, museums crammed with Tuscan art and artifacts, piazzas that demand a stop for coffee and contemplation and enough shopping … Continue reading

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Cinque Terre – terroir.

Cinque Terre is one of those special places in the world, a World Heritage site encompassing five villages (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare) that have existed for centuries. That they are strikingly beautiful is a blinding flash … Continue reading

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The Law of Unintended Consequences.

Long ago, I formulated the Law of Unintended Consequences. It goes something like this – whatever I expect to happen in the future, it will not; something else will happen, something I have not even considered. The Law offers constant … Continue reading

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Medals and Memories

The Senior C team was successful beyond all expectations in winning medals at the IDBF club crew world championships this past week. This is different for me; hoping to win and winning anything beyond a participation medal has been off … Continue reading

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Here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into…

We are half way through the regatta schedule; I continue to be amazed. It’s a roiling cascading kaleidescope of events and a tempest of emotions. Chris, my paddle caddy, advisor, sports mentor and coach/psychologist is monitoring my vital signs minute … Continue reading

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Polish and Glue

We arrive in Cervia Italy, near Ravenna, on Thursday evening after a full day of travel over 9 time zones. The Hotel Rouge, our home for ten days, is a gem – a ruby. Friday morning marks our first practice; … Continue reading

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The Road to Ravenna – part 4.

The last month has been surreal. Six days a week my day is focused on TODAY’S PRACTICE SESSION. The only thing that matters is an hour or more of intense physical activity that leaves me breathless; drained and intoxicated, depleted … Continue reading

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The Road to Ravenna – Part 3

At the age of 65, well past my prime for every competitive sport except maybe bocce, I am heading for an international dragon boat competition in Ravenna Italy. My late evolving chance at glory came as a huge surprise last … Continue reading

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Drowning Fear

“the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” – Franklin Roosevelt I think I should have that quote tattooed on my arm or some other key … Continue reading

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The Road to Ravenna – Part 2

At the start of the new year, I set out to achieve something I had never hoped possible. I tried out for a team representing Canada in an International Dragon Boat championship in September in Ravenna, Italy. The False Creek … Continue reading

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Off the couch hits the interview couch on Shaw TV

I was interviewed on Shaw TV in Vancouver; it aired today. go to;   http://www.youtube.com/therushonshawtv Fame and fortune are sure to follow…

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Outward Bound got me Off the Couch…

Who would have guessed that I would be a poster boy for Outward Bound? Certainly not me, except maybe as the ‘before’ in the ‘before and after’ contrast. The attached has been shamelessly copied from Outward Bounds blog spot featuring … Continue reading

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The Road to Ravenna – Part 1

The temperature in Vancouver last weekend hovered around zero, windchill on False Creek took it below zero. It snowed all weekend; abnormal weather for the lower mainland. No one expects sympathy from the rest of Canada, locked in their deep … Continue reading

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