When I began this blog I had in mind to write regularly about home repair and primal diet and exercise. If you’ve followed me here at all, you know it has not worked out that way; that, far and away, most of my posts are poetry with some prose paragraphs and book reviews thrown in.
But today I want to revert to one of my original themes – primal exercise. You will get a different definition for that term from just about everyone you ask, but surely one common element would be that primal exercise is best and most often conducted outside. It should have the feel of play about it and it should get you in touch with the sun and air and ground.
My favorite exercise these days is cycling. While I do my very best to keep that from getting me in touch with the ground, it does fill the other two requirements quite nicely.
I live in West Virginia; a mountainous region in the southeastern United States. We have what we call a “temperate” climate here, which means that we experience all four seasons – icy, snowy winters; cool, wet springs; hot,humid summers and crisp autumns.
We’re in the hottest part of the year right now. It’s not unusual for the temp to get over 90 degrees at midday and the humidity is very high now, too.
But I nonetheless make myself get out on the bike almost every day. I take it for granted, I guess, but my bike route is almost ideal. It’s the kind of ride that serious cyclists would move somewhere to take advantage of. I can ride directly from my house – no car, no driving involved – up the river that runs through my little town and then over a few hills and up the creeks and branches that feed the river.
This time of year it is very hot for starters, but I soon get onto roads that are more or less entunneled by the tall sycamores and oaks and maples that grow like weeds around here. I go up and down long, steep hills, sweating on the way up and screaming on the way down. I took these photos just the other morning. They show you the river I follow and the kind of road I travel and one of those nice, cool, shady stretches that make it all worthwhile.