Archive for Unicycling
I broke my personal record today, pedaling my unicycle 0ver 12 miles (12.1 to be exact)! I’d say that’s not bad for a 57-year old guy who just started back riding about a year ago. My goal, however, is to be able to go at least 50 miles a day without my body falling apart.
The reason I’m doing this slightly-offbeat thing is two-fold:
- 1. I love and need the exercise and hate going to the gym, and
- 2. I’m training to ride this summer for Bruce & Susan Keenan’s charity – sending orphan Nepalese kids to school.
If anyone wants to sponsor my ride, please contact Bruce Keenan and say you’d like to be a sponsor of the Unicycle Ride for the Keenan’s Kids. Or you can make a donation at www.HimalayanCharities.com.
Meanwhile I’m still looking for the right venue for my ride. Suggestions?
Just for fun, Brigitte and Michael Craig visited their friends Chuck and Melinda Powell on Tybee Island, Georgia over the Valentines Day weekend. Michael had a chance to get out and chase seagulls on his unicycle. Exclusive footage; enjoy!
In the last two blog posts, I wrote about the uncanny power of our own mental potential, and about how our weakest link is our CONSCIOUS MIND. This post is about how to strengthen this weakest link without going through a lot of psycho-analysis, self-help courses and books.
Enjoy . . . and USE it!
Happy Pearl Harbor Memorial Day. This is the day that America made a decision to go to war . . . and finished that monumental task in fine fashion (at least from our point of view!). We set a goal and accomplished it.
On a lesser note, this is also the day that marks only 17 shopping Days â€˜til Christmas!
Are you out looking for that special gift for that special someone?Â Or are you, like me, waiting until the very last minute and ordering online, hoping to get that thing in before the US Mail decides to shut down on the 24th?Â Assuming the Postman decides NOT to cater to our whim, we have a â€œcontingency planâ€ of begging and blaming, i.e., give her a card with sincere apologies along the words â€œWell it SHOULD have been here by nowâ€¦â€
I notice we all do it â€“ sabotage our success. But why?Â The road to success is not easy, but really quite simple.Â As the lesson of Pearl Harbor taught us, just finish what you start.
â€œItâ€™s not what you do in life that counts; itâ€™s what you finish.â€ â€“ Kathryn Hepburn
Oh, there are plenty of excuses (and lots of blame to throw around) but why would we bother to agree to something and proceed NOT to finish or do it properly?Â Is it laziness?Â Inherent stupidity?Â Are we at the whim of a vengeful God?Â Or are we just overwhelmed with possibilities, donâ€™t know how to say â€œno,â€ and forget what we agreed to??
I vote the last one. Remember the story of the dog with the bone in his mouth?Â He was standing on a bridge staring into his own reflection in the water.Â He wanted SO BADLY to get that OTHER dogâ€™s bone that he dropped the one he had in his mouth to jumps into the water to get the other one.
Like that, we make a snap â€“ mostly reflexive â€“ decision about some item that we feel should be on our agenda, then jump before we realize it is all part of our own illusion.Â This promised â€œboneâ€ is very seductive, if only because it is new and fresh.Â It could be a
- â€œonce-in-a-lifetime money-making opportunity,â€
- â€œmust haveâ€ new pair of bejeweled jeans, or a
- lover who â€œgets usâ€ so much better than our existing mate.
Whatever the reason to jump ship, cut short our existing project or commitment, or just spread ourselves too thin, is it so important that we give up our very center?Â Our peace of mind?Â I think not.
Part of a complete â€œmental detoxâ€ program is to actually DECIDE (consciously, not subconsciously) that a particular course of action is worthwhile . . . then proceed to finish it NO MATTER WHAT.
By doing this even a few times, you will build up the mental strength (i.e., habit) to continue doing this over and over again.Â Then you know what?Â You WILL accomplish your goals.Â You WILL gain that elusive peace of mind.
â€œBut Dr. Craig, what if I decide half-way through that this course of action is a waste of time and counter productive?â€
Hey, if you REALLY feel it is that way, then quit. Be aware, however, that every time you start something and quit, you are driving another nail into your own â€œsuccess coffinâ€ and weakening the mental strength you would need to finish other, more important project!
Do this simple exercise: If you have trouble completing goals â€“ say finishing a whole book – make a very small one, like reading two pages by next week.Â Then DO IT.Â Then set another goal, i.e, read 3 pages before another week.Â Then do that!
Before you know it, one of two things will happen â€“ either you will complete what you set out to do, or you will do MORE than you set out to do, get bored, and do even more!
I did and it made a HUGE difference in my ability to accomplish my goals.Â With the help of Raymond Aaron, I set out last May to ride my new unicycle 3 miles in one month.Â Now I ride almost 3 miles per day, and I did this by setting (and completing) very small goals each time.
Try it for 3 weeks, long enough to establish this action as a new habit.Â Then write me to say how it went!
The second important element of a Logical Soul complete Natural Detox Program is to engage in some fun exercise.
This is the point where my eyes usually glazed over – every Tom, Dick, Harry, doctor, nutritionist and high school dietitian will tell me the same thing, i.e., diet and exercise, exercise, and diet . . . and exercise.Â Enough with the exercise sermon already! You’d thinkÂ it would make you healthy or something.
Well, the truth is, it does.Â And it doesn’t.
On the one hand, exercise tones the muscles, moves the bowels and lymphatic system to flush out toxins, expands the lung capacity and works the heart to increase blood flow.Â On the other hand, however, exercise can lead to a condition of hyper-acidity, put too much stress on the heart, and cause various injuries to joints, tissues and organs.
The bottom line is this: If you are over 40 and exercising to try to get healthy, you’re wasting your time.Â Much better to get healthy FIRST, then enjoy the fruits of this good health by exercising.Â That means stick to an alkaline diet, detox the body of heavy metals and parasites, and balance the endocrine systems.Â THEN you will be healthy enough for exercise.
An equally important element required for good exercise results is FUN.Â If you enjoy going to the gym and pushing iron, like my friend Don Sherrill, then that is fun to you and you should keep it up.Â Personally I hate the gym;Â I’d rather visit the dentist!Â Consequently, my workouts have little value for me.
My fun and joy is riding a unicycle.Â I try to do this every day, and often go “out with the boys” whenever I get the chance (see video below).Â Do this yourself . . . #1, get healthy.Â #2 Find some exercise or sport you love to do, then #3, go DO IT!
I rode a unicycle in the 1960’s as a kid for about 5 years, and started back in April of this year.Â I have NEVER actually ridden at the same time as another human being.
Until today, that is.
Robert Coggins invited me to the Atlanta Unicycle Club’s monthly ride around Stone Mountain, and I was eager to participate. Finally I would get to see what its like to be part of a group of one-wheelers instead of my usual group of one.
It was pretty special – other than the rain. It started pouring ten minutes into our ride and we decided to cut it short and head back. I slipped in a puddle, fell and bruised my knee, hip, and left leg, but that’s a small price to pay for experiencing this turning point in my life.
Thanks guys. I look forward to doing this again!Â This helps me get to my goal of riding the Cherohala Skyway in April!
I thought I was crazy… I finally found someone “crazier” than me!
Join me on Tuesday, October 20th at 6 pm on Logical Soul Talk where I get to interview my new friend and mentor Terry Peterson. Terry calls himself as “the Unigeezer” since he’s a 53-year old Unicycle rider, but that doesn’t exactly describe what he actually does!Â Like me, he has turned his golden years into a love for traveling around on one-wheelers.Â Unlike me, however, he apparently has taken his love of the sport to extreme heights!
I’ll be asking Terry about the moment he made the decision to do REALLY extreme stuff – like ride his Uni off-road on the Hummingbird Trail in Simi Valley, California (see video below)!!Â While I’m in training to ride the Cherohala Skyway across the TN-NC border sometime in the spring, I feel some relief knowing I’ll be on a paved road.
If I can talk Terry into coming East and riding with me, while I may not be the FIRST to traverse the Skyway, at least I would (probably) still be the OLDEST, since I beat Terry’s Geezer Factor by four years . . .
Check out this totally insane video . . . and yes, I’ll probably be asking Mr. Peterson about his “family jewel” protection!
I made the bold claim back in April of this year that I would be the first one to traverse the 43-mile Cherohala Skyway across the TN-NC mountains on a unicycle. Blind ambition led me to fantasize about how wonderful that was going to be, and how nice the views, etc., etc..
What I didn’t count on were the multiple problems that would arise from such an undertaking. You see, unlike a bicycle, most unicycle riders (at least the ones I know) can’t “coast” down a hill. Downhill riding on one wheel is a scary proposition requiring a massive effort to put pressure to almost back-pedal in order to prevent an out-of-control lunge forward. I would have to invest in some hand brakes for the wheel, then learn to use them…
And pedaling uphill – especially over multiple steep inclines – requires a leg strength and forward-falling balance that will take a long time to master.
The other problems involve traffic (heavy in the summer) and riding space (no shoulder). And drivers in the mountains might get a little impatient with a one-wheeler blocking their path for several miles. Without a shoulder, sharing the road with motorists is required, and one irate driver could send a poor cyclist over the mountain at any time.
I’ve naturally hesitated to make this ride . . . but now I’m reconsidering.
Bruce and Susan Keenan of Atlanta have inspired me to get involved with their non-profit Himalayan Children’s Charities, and I want to ride to raise money for the noble effort of saving Nepalese orphans from a life of poverty and suffering.
Stay tuned to the blog – from time to time I will post an update of my progress, and let you know when and where this ride will take place. Right now I envision it will happen sometime in the Spring before the traffic gets too heavy (and dangerous), but I will let you know.
If you’re open to doing something for the orphans right now, visit http://himalayancharities.com for details on how you can donate to this worthy cause. There is also a Donor’s Event scheduled at Tribble Antiques, 747 Miami Circle, Atlanta, GA 30324 from 6:30-9:30 pm on Saturday, November 14, 2009. Call 678-575-9912 for details and directions.
In spite of hard times here in America, the orphans in Nepal have it much worse. Help me and the Keenans in this effort to fund a home and education for these kids. Thanks!
It happened on Sunday in Roswell, Georgia, north of Atlanta. Actress Jane Seymour, star of Bond films, a retro-romance movie with Christopher Reeve, and TV’s Medicine Woman, appeared to auction off some of her latest “wearable art” creations to raise money for “Beauty Becomes You,” a charity formed by Alison O’Neil Andrew to give shut-in Senior Citizens a loving connection with beauty and other “touch” caretakers.
See if you can guess who’s riding the unicycle…
Don’t miss my interview with the fabulously-outrageous Raymond Aaron tonight on Logical Soul Talk at 6 pm. I will be asking Raymond questions about his life’s turning point that led him out of being divorced and $100K in debt at age 39 to making his first million by the time he was age 41.
I’ll also be talking with Raymond about his Monthly Mentor program and the special discount he is currently offering.Â You can benefit from these specialÂ giveaways right now at www.monthlymentorreview.com.
I also want to find out if Raymond has retrieved his unicycle from storage and started riding it again. Don’t miss this unique radio interview – and check out his program!
I didn’t know what to expect.
I took aÂ sort of “scouting expedition” to Tennessee this past weekendÂ to determine the suitability of riding the Cherohala Skyway on my Unicycle next year.Â My early optimism quickly vanished.Â
I discoveredÂ that the CS is rather lackingÂ in its Â accommodation to cycles of any persuasion, whetherÂ a Â bicycle OR unicycle.Â There is no road shoulder at all, and the traffic is rather thick (at least duringÂ this Fourth of July weekend), and the curves and hills were a bit trickier than I remembered!Â
I figured I have three options as far as riding the Cherohala:Â
1) Join the bicycle event next June so as having extensive company during the ride,Â 2) Ride in the dead of winter when traffic will be very slight or non-existent, orÂ 3) Don’t ride the Cherohala at all.Â
The first optionÂ appears to be the most logical – and accommodating, since I’dÂ be “covered” by many others during a ride.Â The only problem with that option is that I would be slower than theÂ 2-wheelers, henceÂ still vulnerable to the onslaught of summer traffic when alone.Â Also, the bike ride did not go the length of the Cherohala anyway, but took several detours.Â
The second option is not appealing for obvious reasons (i.e.,Â cold, ice and snow!) and the third option was viableÂ only if I could find a suitable riding alternative.Â Â I may, in fact, choose this one if I can find a more practicalÂ venue within the next few months.Â
While in the mountainsÂ I visitedÂ Indian Boundary Lake (just off the Cherohala) to let my wife enjoy theÂ beach while IÂ traversed the 3.2 miles of bike trails around the lake perimeter.Â It was great fun, but muchÂ harder than I amÂ used to!Â The trail was not paved, but consistedÂ mostly ofÂ packed and loose gravel, mud,Â roots, narrow bridges, and the occasional big rock.Â I fell four times and dismounted an equal number of times during this trek, but finally made it back around.Â I was tired, but felt the glow of a sense of accomplishment.Â Â
I also experienced the exhileration of riding over theÂ dam, aÂ 100 yard wide,Â Â 18 inches thick concrete structure at the river cutoff point.Â Â TruthÂ be told, it was covered on both sides by aÂ chain-link fence, but still . . . the sensationÂ of balancing on a concreteÂ highwire wasÂ something that rarely presents itself!Â Â A fall would not have sent me over the edge, but would certainlyÂ have produced a fewÂ nasty results!
I’llÂ be returningÂ in a few weeks to check out some other trails, roads and path alternatives to the Cherohala.Â StayÂ posted!Â