Friday, October 28, 2011

TA's Weekly Update: October 28, 2011


Another big week...



Antarctica Countdown 33 Days and Counting: Much Gratitude

This morning as I pulled my tire up the hill, I looked over at Natelle in the early morning light and said, "We're cracked." Natelle answered, "No, I am the truly cracked one." It's true…I had left a perfectly warm bed but I had a good reason. Natelle, on the other hand, left hers to support me. And for that I am very grateful. I'm also thankful to all who've ordered T-shirts, purchased toques, and sent donations. Each step of support gives me a deeper well of strength to draw on when the going gets tough.

I am very pleased to welcome the Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union as a sponsor for Mount Vinson 2011. I enjoyed our partnership during Everest 2010 and I look forward to sharing the journey with their clients and employees.

I'm off to soak up some sun and some warmth in Florida for the next week while attending a conference. When I return, I'll be all eyes forward to "Number Six."

Visual Soliloquy #362 The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra…

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. ~Jimmy Johnson

Antarctica Countdown 35 Days and Counting: Another Day, Another Hill

I didn't expect to get out on a hill today. Rather I thought I would be cooped up in a stuffy hotel conference room all day. Luckily for me, we had a few hours off from the AUCC 100th Anniversary conference today to get out and explore Montreal. I, of course, headed directed to Mount Royal. If I lived here, it would definitely be on my training agenda. I enjoyed climbing all the stairs to the top, circumnavigating the trails at the top, and watching all the folks getting out and active on a lovely fall day. The maples are in full red glory and I was reminded that fall is my favourite season.

35 days…five weeks…wasn't it just 49 days and 7 weeks a few days ago? Now 35 days sounds longer than five weeks. I continue to fill the tug of the tension between "It's coming on way too fast and I won't be ready" and "Alright already…I'm ready-let's go." I hear the weather hasn't been very cooperative yet and few polar expeditions have made it to the ice yet. Vinson expeditions will begin in about three weeks or so.

Visual Soliloquy #361 Do what you can, with what you have, where you are…

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. ~Theodore Roosevelt

Visual Soliloquy #360 Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win…

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. ~Jonathan Kozel

Antarctica Countdown 37 Days and Counting: Someone Please Steal This Idea

The Dreaded 100 Stairs on Signal Hill

The Dreaded 100 Stair Staircase on Signal Hill

I've had this idea before. And I am sure many others have as well (it's hard to have a truly original idea I think)…but anyone, I hope someone will see this post, seize this idea, and run with it. You don't even need to cite me :-)

So there I was, pulling my tire up Signal Hill, littering the hill with sweat droplets because the sun decided to shine today for only the 32 minutes during which I was working very hard to take my tire for a walk up the hill. Then the re-eureka moment (as I said I've had the thought before)…"I wish pulling this tire up the hill was doing some good. Some real good."

There it is…the birth of a new exercise movement…"Working Out for Good." On so many occasions, I've lamented that much of all the working out we do in North America is good for ourselves but not good for others (it is good for others in some ways-the exercise keeps us healthy and keeps us out of the health care system, etc…). So as I was labouring hard up the hill, I wished my labour was doing some good like carrying serum to Nome to fight diphtheria (The Iditarod Races commemorate that historic overland trip), heaving huge bags of food relief across a refuge camp, sledge-hauling towards the South Pole like Amundsen and Scott, or building houses with Habitat for Humanity.

Yes, my labour was getting me ready for the rigours of Antarctica but I wondered if it could be doing more…

I dream of a clearing house for Working Out for Good…perhaps a website…where folks who need manual labour done could register and folks who need to do manual labour (i.e. most of us…we usually call it exercise or fitness or training) could be brought together to have our workouts work for good. When I was in boot camp last spring, we used to hit a big tire with a sledge hammer…imagine if I was driving posts for a community garden instead of just whacking the tire. Last week when I was doing sand bag get-ups and moved over 2000 pounds of sand in ten minutes-might it have been better if I moved than ton across a Habitat build site. Now, I admit the logistics would be tricky…and we all like to have our work-out/training routines…I get that…it helps me get them done too…but I'm sure there is some bright creative people out there who can solve these tricky little hitches and have me carrying someone's groceries up seven flights of stairs instead of my backpack up the Signal Hill stairs.

So let's harness all this good working out we're doing for good…let's start generating energy with all those treadmills, stationary bikes, and rowing ergs. Let's move building supplies, fertilizer, and groceries instead of barbells. Let's get working out for good. Some please steal this idea…I'll be the first to sign up! And if you know of any such programs like this-please send the info my way. I'll pass the info around.

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Thanks for following my adventures and remember that comments are always welcome.
TA Loeffler Ph.D.,  Professor
3M National Teaching Fellow
School of Human Kinetics and Recreation
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NL A1C 5S7

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Those who lose dreaming are lost.
Australian Aboriginal Proverb

Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.  The soul that knows it not, knows no release from little things; Knows not the livid loneliness of fear, nor mountain heights where bitter joy can hear the sound of wings.
Amelia Earhart

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