On Balance!


Hi folks,

I rarely buy art, but I purchased two this week, this one being from an old friend and an artist whom I much admire, Andy Fleishman. I can't wait to see it hanging in my living room when his show is over. From: http://goo.gl/ZGLmp

I rarely buy art, but I purchased two this week, this one being from an old friend, an artist whom I much admire, Andy Fleishman. Click on the image and follow the arrows for breathtaking detail.

Just out on an evening run, cruising along a lovely trail, when a mountain biker, a guy about 45-years of age, pulled alongside and started chatting. It was getting pretty dark, so I wondered what was going on, when he mentioned that he had just had his second child. He needed to talk. Having three sons, I understand where he was coming from. I, on the contrary, have just lost my Mom, so I’m at the other end of the life and death game, which really is all about balance. Deaths have to roughly balance births, or we’ll have a real mess on our hands. You also have to balance rest with exercise, food with fasting, time alone with social activity, art with science, and so forth. Otherwise, your life gets all out of kilter. Off balance! And boy, was my life off balance the other day, when I had dehydration-induced vertigo. At one point I had to close my eyes to stand up, or the world would swirl around me inducing nausea. Interestingly enough, whilst standing there getting my bearings I had time to reflect on my senses. I realized that losing my sense of balance would be a greater loss than losing my sense of sight, not that I wish to be without either.

Later that day I was scanning my RSS feeds, when in comes this article from FoxNews.com Health Tab, in which the following quote on balance really caught my attention:

Dick Sandhaus, a healthy and fit 62-year old, says he never gave his balance a thought until he lost it.”

Dick Sandhaus maintains a blog called Better.Cheaper.Slower, where he provides some interesting balance exercises.

Interesting article on the importance of protecting your sense of balance. From: http://goo.gl/3FhQ3

Interesting article on the importance of protecting your sense of balance.

I suffer severely from seasickness, so vertigo is not new to me, but the experience referred to above caused me to linger on this article, which turned out to be pretty interesting. It is rare that people discuss the importance of balance, and how it might become impaired with age. The person referred to in the article, Dick Sandhaus, maintains an interesting blog devoted to exercise, and it was encouraging to see this critical issue raised.

If you want to undertake safe exercise for better health, I strongly recommend that you include balance exercises in your daily routine unless you want to ‘walk like an old person before your time.’ Such exercises can be very effective and simple, like standing with your eyes closed, standing on one leg or manipulating an object, such as a heavy book, whilst giving your body freedom to move around your shifting center of gravity. If you are on a long train or airplane trip, stand in the isle on one foot and see how you do, and then try it with your eyes closed (with due care to do so safely near a suitable support). You can undertake this kind of exercise in the grocery store, or while cooking, and it gives you a chance to visit your posture and symmetry at the same time.

A balanced life is a happy life, my friends.

-k @FitOldDog

Today’s workouts:

Workout PLAN Coach: Chris Hauth
Duration: 01:30:00
with 6x(3-minute hard zone 4 efforts with 3 minute recovery) and then 1x 15 minute zone 3 tempo toward the end of the ride. The rest is ez Zone 2.



  1. Seasickness

    Fifty years ago this month I joined HMS Scorpion as a boy seaman. I had spent over a year in training and this was my first ship.
    The Scorpion was a late WWII destroyer, long and narrow and very fast. She had recently been converted to a radar picket with the addition of a second mast with a very large radar array atop thos new mast. She had lots of other additional stuff added, like anti submarine mortars that were big and set quite high up. All this made her top heavy. In addition to this she had like a lot of RN destroyers a quite reckless skipper.
    Now the four skippers of the four destroyers in the squadron had a bet on who could get to Gib first from Portsmouth. So the race was on. However there was a force 9 storm in the Bay of Biscay (a nasty bit of sea at the best of times).
    During this race the, which the scorpion won, she rolled 35 degrees either way (70 degrees in total) Also she was all welded and rigid and had a strange judder in additional to pitching yawing and rolling.
    This was my first week at sea. Along with some WWII vets on board I was seasick to the point of wanting to be dead as a preference.
    The heads were awash with puke and seawater got into most mess decks so everything was cold and wet. Being in the ship that won the race by over 6 hours did not impress me at the time, I just carried on chucking up.
    After this massive assault upon my sense of balance I have never since been seasick.
    However, two years later after having been at sea over 6 weeks on small craft I got into Singapore harbour and experienced being land sick. As I got on the jetty I fell over and had all the symptoms experienced on the Scorpion – on land. Land sickness did not last as long (about half an hour).
    I guess what I am saying is you are right about balance. Without goot spacial awareness and without good and well trained balance there is a tendence away from good economy of effort.
    Get balance right and things become easier.

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.