Rowing for the Disinterested

All my dreams or plans of touring anywhere any way depend on living a long and healthy life. And living a healthy life means eating right and getting some exercise.

Exercise, for those of us that don’t enjoy it for its own sake, and who in their right mind really does, becomes and exercise in figuring out what we can enjoy. Or at least what we can do on a regular basis that we don’t hate too much.

For me that exercise is rowing. It’s not the most appealing of all exercises, but it is the one that I can pretend to enjoy that is the best all around workout I know of. It has the advantage of working the lower body, the upper body and the cardio system as a natural function of the exercise itself. And it can do it all without building the type of mass that lifting heavy weights will do to you.

If you like riding around on a bike (and I have one of those exercise cycles too) then keeping your muscles in shape but not getting too heavy has to be the goal. Much like running for distance, riding a bike when you are packing a bunch of muscle mass is not ideal

Imagine Rowing

So the thing is that I have a indoor rowing machine set up in a corner of my bedroom that I hop on occasionally. And by occasionally, I mean on a regular schedule that is not every day. Regularity is the catchword when it comes to exercise. You need to be on a schedule that allow your improvements to hold and to be built on.

Enough of the lesson. I get on the rowing machine for the same reason that I said. It gives me a good, hard all around workout in the quickest time. And when I use the indoor bike, I can just do a relaxed workout to kind of keep everything rolling the way I want it to.

Over the last several years this is the best way I have found, for me, to stay in shape for what I want to do when the weather is good. And it does it in such a way that I don’t lose my mind.

Touring for the Cheap of Heart

I have always thought that touring Europe or South America on the cheap sounds like the best way possible to tour. You have to be brave of heart to do so though. Perhaps that is why doing so is something more for the young. The young have so much less fear of things.

Why is it that as we grow older and supposedly wiser that instead what we become is more fearful. Is is wise to be afraid of things that might never happen? Perhaps it would be wiser to accept that things might be a bit dodgey at times and use our wisdom to take the proper precautions. Reasonable precautions.

notre dame

I think that would probably be wise. Imagine it you can regain your young heart and bike your way across the continent, staying at hostels and eating places that normal people eat. How can you truly get a feel for a place when you only view it from the third floor of some swanky hotel, or through the windows of a moving train?

I guess it’s a bit of reverse snobbishness to assume that the best way to tour a country is to do so in a way that has the best chance to keep you where you will mingle with the common folk. Still, it is an opinion that has validity. Unless of course, the people you want to mingle with are the hoity toity.

Still, a person might not to go so far as to stay at hostels. Or at least to be very careful when vetting which hostels to stay at. It sure seems that there is trouble to be had at hostels (even not counting the movies), but the truth is that they are not bound to all be that way. And the experience, if you can stand living in a community setting like that for a night or two, is bound to be an interesting one.  So get a bike or a hiking outfit and prepare yourself to enjoy the experience of other cultures in as real a manner as can be.


Vacation in Style

No not by having the finest ride or the nicest clothes or the bestest restaurants. Vacation in your own style and might I suggest that that style include leisurely rides across the countryside of whatever country you happen to be vacationing in.

Might I suggest you start with Spain? The varied countryside to be had in this wonderfully popular destination allows you to choose your dream vacation. Want a vacation at the beach? Come on. Attracted to the beauty of the mountains? Come on.

Perhaps you can spend some time in all of the pieces of country side that Spain has to offer, and when you get tired of that perhaps you can venture on to all of the other countries of Europe and experience their varied and storied cultures and countryside.

Only a suggestion of course, I’m sure you could spend many happy hours touring the countryside of your home. Every place has its beauty, and you really can’t enjoy that beauty when you travel from place to place holed up in a metal box. Sure you can have a good time in the locales you end up in, but it’s just not the same as experiencing the hills and valleys you pass through the way you can on a bicycle. You don’t see and smell the vegetation of the woods and of the fields, of the rivers and streams. Smell is one of the strongest senses there is when it comes to evoking memories. To tour the countryside slowly out in the open is to be constantly surprised by odors that evoke memories, some that you can nail down and some that purely bring on feelings that you can’t.

Touring in this manner then becomes an emotional experience beyond the memories you are making, it is also a tour through your past.