Confessions of Outdoorman

I spend quite a bit of time outdoors, partly because I have trouble finding my way home. I swam almost every day this summer but ran over my all-time favorite swimming goggles with my truck. They were gifted to me and had lasted two seasons. No problem. I went online to order another pair. They cost $48, so I decided to just swim with my eyes closed. But I needed a helmet to avoid concussing on the sides of the community pool. The lifeguards would forget to hook the stairs back after swim meets and I noticed an older lady would take a stepladder into the pool. I was too cool for that so I exited like a worm scaling the bait bucket. I was a beached whale flopping around with stand-up muscles made of rubber. Each day spectators gathered when I attempted to climb out of the pool.

I made another awkward exit on a hike in Mount Rainier National Park when the bottoms of my ski poles got stuck in the slamming door of the Sunrise restroom. Incoming patrons waited patiently while I extricated myself. I told a young man, “This is why you do not take hiking gear into the restroom.” He just smiled, probably wondering why anyone needed poles to hike or why I thought somebody would steal 45 year old poles if left unattended outside.

My latest outdoor epiphany occurred while watching my granddaughter roller skate with knee and elbow pads. I have decided to purchase some for running and walking because I do occasionally fall. I have not yet sustained a serious injury but cannot count on that luck holding forever. I have not seen any runners using such equipment, so I will either be embarrassed or start a trend.


54 thoughts on “Confessions of Outdoorman

  1. I’m curious how much the pads cost compared to the goggles you passed on.
    Oh, by the way, you’d be pleased with my own gas station failure last weekend. First, everyone was pulled in against the direction of the ground-based arrows, so I did, too. Only to realize the focus that required negated the pep talk is given myself about pulling up to the pump on the correct side as my gas tank. 🙄

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    1. I am glad you brought cost up. My word limit forced me to drop the bit about shopping for a swimming helmet. Luckily, we have old bike and ski helmets. But my granddaughter’s knee and elbow pads did not fit me. I wonder what the pricy goggles will cost when I cave in and buy a pair before next swimming season. I do appreciate your gas station story!

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    1. The Community Rec Center is around the corner from our house, so I get in the habit of swimming most every day from May to September. I have never been a good athlete but am amazed at how I am especially bad at swimming. Fortunately I am now old enough that everyone expects me to be slow. My one consolation is that I have been blessed with good joints (knock on wood) and can run daily (a non-coordination sport).


  2. Since my hair went from grey (or gray) to white, I try very hard to stay upright because I sense whenever people see me, they expect me to topple over at any second. Maybe I should start wearing hats. In a pool, I’d have to have a swimming cap covering the white or I’m sure lifeguards would cautiously swim alongside me. Even though I’m in good shape for my age, my hair is absolutely betraying me. Then again, most of my friends are bald and hate me for having hair in the first place. So, there’s that.

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  3. Last time I ran, except to and from the refrigerator or bathroom, I had so many support braces that knee and elbow pads would have been the height of elegance. There’s a neighborhood fixture, a bent man who walks 12 miles a day, I call him Bent 12 Mile Man, who has different colored braces on knees, one on an elbow that holds it like Les Paul and occasionally a sling on the other arm. He looks miserable, but he’s out every day. I’ve asked him why he walks 12 miles a day, and all he ever says is “got to” and keeps moving. I’ve never seen him fall. But if he does…

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  4. You’re the only hiker I know who has been able to hold on to hiking poles for 45 years. My sister has been considering getting a cane (she’s pushing 80 almost as hard as I’m pushing 70) and I advised her to get a hiking pole instead. It makes a whole nother statement about one’s mental state. Perhaps delusional.


  5. “roller skate with knee and elbow pads. I have decided to purchase some for running and walking”

    Would running shoes not be the cheaper option?

    I use knee pads a lot but l have never tried walking in them unless kneeling and crawling counts?


  6. Don’t fall. I fell down in a store a while ago due to the fact that one of my shoes was caught by something underneath a shelf. I actually was telling myself that falling was not a good thing just when I was falling down. Fortunately no damage was done. I just got up, a little embarrassed and walked away.

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  7. Every now and then I question my sedentary lifestyle, one that avoids running, swimming or even excessive walking. Then I read a cautionary tale like this and my life is right again. Thank you for this important public service.

    Liked by 1 person

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