Good Physical Shape and Why You Should Stay in It

good physical shape

In the past, I have always advocated staying in good physical shape.  I even mentioned it in a blog just the other day.  I have always been blessed with the ability to walk long distances without any problem and even at over 70 my joints are still good.

The other day a friend of mine calls up and says that he is going to hike a trail in Yosemite that he heard has some beautiful views.  Since I do enjoy photography, and he says it is all downhill I figure why not.  Now I have not been hiking regularly for some time (getting lazy in my old age) but since it is downhill why not.  I am not in what I consider good physical shape.

We get up early and leave at 4:30 for the four-hour drive to Yosemite and then have a one-hour bus ride to the trailhead.  We start down and his information is right, the views are beautiful.  The first mile is almost level and we are really enjoying the hike.  Then we reach the switchbacks and the trail starts down and it is steep.  At some points, it is even steps and there is loose debris on the trail which makes it slippery in places.

good physical shape
This is before the trail starts to get real steep. By then we had lost interest in taking pictures

We have not gone down very far when all of our legs are starting to complain. Then we see the sign that say it is three miles to the bottom.  At this point, we are beginning to hope that the trail levels out.  It doesn’t it only gets steeper.  Another mile or so and my legs have turned to rubber and I feel like I am staggering.  My legs are now starting to get weak and at times, I have to sit down to let them recover so that I can go on,  I finally reach the bottom of the trail with a whole new respect for very steep downhill trails.  After arriving at the bottom, we then have to hike a mile back to the car.

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Today I am not too bad, at least none of my joints hurt, just muscles.  After a day or so of rest, I will start hiking on a regular basis again.  I am again reminded of the fact that just because you are getting older doesn’t mean that you won’t do something stupid.

Time for me to get back into good physical shape.


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1 thought on “Good Physical Shape and Why You Should Stay in It”

  1. Howard,

    I’m a few years younger than you, but at 66 I find it important to walk daily. If I get lazy for even a few days I can tell the difference! My long driveway is 1km uphill at 10% grade to get out to the State maintained road to the mailbox. I walk that daily, and ski or snowshoe it in winter, depending on conditions. Treking poles are your friend. I also work in the yard and garden, cut and stack my own firewood. I enjoy walking down the mountain about 1/2 mile to my favorite trout stream in season and then have a 15-20% grade back up to the house. Slow and steady like the tortise does the trick, but downhill is getting tougher on the knees…

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