The New Year

Lets see a quick review
of the things that I want to do
now that the New Year has already begun
and we have started to have some fun
no resolutions did I set
knowing that I would soon forget
at keeping them I am not very good
as least not as good as I should
and generally it is a waste of time
and so I have drawn the line
and instead will outline this years plan
hiking of course of which I’m a big fan
and taking pictures while I am out on the trail
with words to fit I shall prevail
and post in my blog for all to see
how words and pictures make harmony
I plan on losing a little more weight
for that what I have is extra freight
to carry around an unnecessary risk
to eat less is the way to the fix
along with working out at the gym
to try to make the body more trim
and regain the muscle that I have lost
as old age creeps on and is really the boss
so really there is a very short list
one that I can easily fix
take pictures and hike as far as I can
write in my blog for all of my fans
cut back on my eating and lose some pounds
and work out at the gym myself to confound
with just how easy it really can be
to make 2019 my legacy.

Written 1/10/2019

Working Out

lifting weights
I worked out at the gym today
with many others who like to play
with weights and complicated machines
all trying to follow their dreams
of losing weight and looking sharp
as they huff and puff walking endless miles
on machines of various and different styles
some for walking or running fast
others for sitting and pedaling around
with the same purpose of calories to burn
or to raise the heart rate and make it sound
there are some who are here with a friend
pushing each other to the end
or companionship as they make the rounds
helping each other to better heights
others like me, work alone
all of us living within our zone
of comfort as we make the rounds
with a nod and a smile to each other to say
“Glad to see you back today”.

Hiking the Greenbelt 2-21-2015

Barton Creek

Barton Creek

The weather had warmed up and it had been a while since my last hike so I decided to take a short walk in the Greenbelt in Austin. This time, I entered by the Scottish Woods Road off Loop 360. There are a lot of cars parked on both sides of the road as it is a popular entrance to the trails. It beholds us visitors to be nice and respect the neighborhood and the people who live there.

The entry is across the road at the very top of Scottish Woods Road and is actually off Camp Craft Road and it leads immediately onto the trail known as the Hill of Life. They were not kidding when this trail was named as it is a real killer. The terrain is rocky, with concrete steps here and there and is very rough underfoot. What makes this a real tough trail is the steepness. It seems almost vertical but of course, is not. It is steep though. My guess is that it is probably between a half and three-quarters of a mile long.

Some people use this for their exercise and believe me, it is a work out in both directions. One lady passed me going down and then passed me again on her way back up. As though this was not humiliating enough, she passed me a third time going in the opposite direction. Finally, feeling a bit like the old man that I am, I asked her if she just walked this hill for her exercise. She said that she was aiming for three times up and down and that would be her work out. I congratulated her on her fitness and continued my weary way back to the top. By the time I reached it, my legs were really tired. Below is a picture of this super fit lady on her way up.

Lady Climbing the Hill of Life

Lady Climbing the Hill of Life

I made it to the bottom and headed west off to the right in the direction of the Twin Falls, not too far from the bottom of the Hill of Life. As it was such a beautiful day, there were many hikers, cyclists and of course dogs. Lots of dogs, all enjoying themselves. Below are some pictures of the walk down the Hill of Life.

The Twin Falls are about a quarter of a mile along the trail from the Hill of Life and many people were enjoying its beauty, which can change depending on the amount of water flowing through the Creek and the time of the year. I took a picture of the Falls but the sun was giving me problems as you can see from the picture. It is possible to walk across the Falls and continue the trail on the other side. As I was watching, one avid cyclist was carrying his bike back across and managed to slip on the rocks and took a tumble into the creek. He still hung on to his bike and manfully climbed back out and made it across as nonchalantly as possible as though he had never fallen in.

Twin Falls

Twin Falls

Continuing on the trail, I chatted to some of the hikers as we passed including a group of four young ladies who were obviously enjoying their walk taking pictures on their smart phones. Seeing my camera, they wanted to know what I was taking and why and of course, I was more than happy to tell them. Their eyes opened wide when I said that I would probably take more than a hundred pictures and would only keep 20-30 of them. Below are some of the pictures that made it..

I came to one area that was exceptionally green as a small stream was continuously running. It is amazing what effect water has on plant life. Most of the scenery was more drab and grey waiting for Mother Nature to break out in all of her glory and this particular stream and rocks really stood out.

As is true of much of the Greenbelt, the rocky areas added to the scenery. Some had small caves carved out of the hillside but they all presented a grand display.

As it was getting late and because I knew that I had to climb up the Hill of Life, I turned back about a mile beyond the Falls and passed the same group of young ladies making their way home. I reached the bottom of the climb and made my way upwards into the clouds (well it seemed like that) passing the lady I mentioned previously. Actually, she was passing me, three times in fact. I finally reached the top as one thing I have learned as age has crept up on me and that is how to pace myself. Slow and easy is the word and just keep moving. Below are pictures of the hill looking up. Unfortunately, they are not in 3D so do not really show how difficult it is.

I already talked about the lady working out by climbing the Hill but several athletic people were also using the Hill and were quite literally, running up the Hill albeit at a slow pace. Even so, I take my hat off to them. All in all, I covered nearly 5 miles and enjoyed every minute of it, Hill and all. I plan on going back…

Working in the yard or sweating in the gym

lifting weightsI went to work out in the yard
where I hadn’t done much in a while
I had stayed indoors because of the heat
and worked on pieces for the blog

Instead of starting in the morn
I waited until my work was done
so when I finally stepped outside
the sun was high and shining bright

I grabbed the rake to clean the paths
full of lot’s of good intent
but after raking a couple of them
my shirt was soaked and covered in sweat.

I thought, “To hell with this,
I do not need to be out here
and put up the rake and went indoors
and changed my sweaty clothes for shorts.

I jumped into the car as I grabbed my bag
making sure to have a water bottle or two
and went to the gym where I worked out
until I was sweating just like before.

The difference being gym sweat is good
as it means that I am working hard
as opposed to sweating out in the yard
just thinking of raking all those leaves.


Raking Leaves

Two hours later I was through
and drove back home and walked outside
and decided that I was way too tired
and the leaves could keep so I let them ride

I guess the moral of the story is
to pick and choose at what to work hard
and weigh the benefits  to the mind
and choose the most satisfying kind.

When a young lady smiles at me…


There is a girl at my gym
she is just a pretty young thing
who always treats me in such a nice way
where others have not the time of day
she smiles and greets me when I walk in
and even though it’s a professional thing
she does it all in such a way
that it lifts the spirits as though to say
“Go for it old man for you know that you can
work hard, pump iron and bring back your youth
roll back the years along with the strut
and show everyone how you do your stuff”.

Ginny lifting weights

Canine weight lifter

When a young girl smiles that way
it is such a nice way to start the day
to chat with you even just to say
“Hello, how are you feeling today”.
it brings back memories of my youth
when lifting weights was easy to do
and impressing the girls was part of the play
and if a girl so much as interest showed
then the pursuit was on with a long way to go.

Alas now I am old and grey
and the body parts have fallen away
and those that remain are not worth much
and are mostly out of touch
not working well or not at all
mere shadows of their former selves
so when a young girl sends me a smile
I know that there is no beguile
she is just being nice as young girls can
to give me encouragement all the while
that ready for that workout am I
enough to show the other guys
that all it takes to make me work well
is a smile from a young and beautiful girl.

Old weightlifter

Old weightlifter

Then I look around the gym
and see all of the younger men
pumping iron at triple the rate
that I can manage at seventy-eight
and I look for  older fellows but  few
and most are riding the exercise bikes
and those are going at a very slow pace
as though they have given up the race
against time with death not far behind
and are making one last stand, one last fight.
before Nature puts out the light.

I guess in truth I am the same
trying for my youth to reclaim
hoping against hope to buy more time
to right the wrongs that over the years
I have inflicted on my body with scars
to show the damages I have caused
as I pump the iron and lift the weights
and hope against hope that this one last fight
will be enough to buy a little more time
and when that young girl gives me her smile
and says,”Have a good workout” I know all the while
that what she is really saying to me
“Go for it, old man, good luck with your dream”.

Muscle Man

Muscle Man

Back to my “Normal” Routine’s

Planet Fitness at Oak Hill

Planet Fitness at Oak Hill

Yesterday, I went to the gym for two hours
so what is special about that, you say
it used to be a routine for me
every second day working out this way.

Then my ponds on the tour were volunteered
and preparation got under way
every day for  months at a time
I did not have any time to play

I did get a workout on the ponds
for some of that work like lifting rocks
is the same as lifting weights in the gym
with a little more risk and a lot more knocks

The Pond Tour came and was quickly gone
one day to show off all that work
three hundred people came to view
with lots of fine comments as my due

But wait you say, that was only one month
what happened to the other two
I’m glad you asked as the rest of the time
was taken in writing and videos too.

For Editor of the Ripples is me
a reporter of sorts and cameraman too
as videos I took of all twenty ponds
to show the members in review

It took a month and a half to complete this task
with ten-hour days on many a time
no physical work did it take
and no workout  either for my sake

Hooray it is done I’m happy to say
and I live to spend another day
back to the gym is where I belong
working out, pushing weights to make me strong.

With the hope that all this effort for me
will help me live for eternity
well, maybe not quite that long
but at least to a fine old age and still strong.

Bring on the weights and the exercise machines
now I have time for my regular routine
back to the gym every second day
is my idea of fun and play

Oh yes, I forgot that while I work out
my earphones are on and listening to
an Audiobook with authors so fine
Tom Clancy, Stephen King come to mind.

One of the reasons that I like to work out
is to listen to authors much better than me
to learn from them as the stories they tell
in the hope that a writer like them I can be.
and though I know that as much as I try
the gift I don’t have is the reason why
but still I have words that want to come out
and so I write them in verse so there is no doubt
that although a great writer I never will be
having fun with words is my destiny.