Man, I was totally impressed with the dude shown in today's "My Workout" feature in the Portland Oregonian.
And the fact that I happen to be that guy doesn't take away from the sincerity of my compliment.
"Paddling a longboard keeps him feeling young" spoke the truth. Nice job, reporter Nancy Dow. You captured the essence of my Big Stick Stand Up Paddling Longboardedness, as well as other details about My Workout.
Who: Brian Hines, 64, Salem; 6 feet, 180 pounds. Hines is a writer who retired from the health planning and policy field. He has a daughter and a granddaughter. He and his wife of 22 years, Laurel, live on acreage in the country with room to roam.
Workout: About three months ago Hines took up longboarding, which he says is "basically skateboarding without the tricks. Or minimal tricks. Getting from here to there and having fun along the way is what longboarding is all about." Then he discovered stand-up paddling on a longboard and a passion was born. He says he's hooked. He "landpaddles" twice a week for 45 to 60 minutes, or three to four miles.
...Feedback: He says of paddling his longboard: "I'm hugely impressed with the great exercise this is. It's aerobic and a tremendous core workout. Having done this regularly for a month or so, I can say that I've never felt in better shape. Emotionally and psychologically it suits me very well. There's just enough risk to keep my attention focused but not so much as to cause anxiety. I wear knee and elbow pads, padded shorts, hand guards and a helmet." Hines says he has none of the aches and pains that many people in their 60s complain of. He believes if you do what you love you don't get as tired. "It's like being 10 years old again; just you and a pole pushing yourself along. It uses every part of your body."
Ms. Dow said more fascinating stuff about me, so you should read the entire article if you're as interested in me as I am. Also consider going to the Oregonian webs site and commenting on the article, because so far I'm the only one who has left a comment and said nice things about me.
After our phone interview, Nancy invited me to let her know if there was anything I wanted to add or retract. I spent some time pondering what I'd told her.
I was concerned about a statement that went like this: "I remember reading a story in Parade magazine, or wherever, about a Marine serving in Iraq. He said that everybody needs something in their life that can kill them. I agree. Not necessarily kill physically; it could be psychologically. And it doesn't have to be kill; it just needs to be something risky."
The whole "kill" thing seemed rather dark. So I labored over a few sentences that better expressed how I feel about the riskiness of longboarding.
A risky activity jolts me into seeing every moment as infinitely precious. The attention needed for longboarding casts me into a present-focused awareness where I can smile at the finitude of life. The richness of the moments I'm enjoying makes their inevitable end a better bargain with death.
Wow. Re-reading those words, they seem even darker than what I said orginally. Better suited for a blog post, than for a breezy My Workout article in the Living section of the Oregonian. But they're true.
I sent the Oregonian a couple of photos. They didn't use the photo which showed me with my new favorite longboard, the bamboo 60 inch Norgeboard Kalai. Norgeboards are made in Bend, Oregon by Steve Bangsund. Fairly soon I'll write a review of the Kalai, describing what I like about it.
Don't get me wrong. The Kahuna Creations 47 inch Haka Moko longboard shown in the other photo also is a highly enjoyable board. But like they say, bigger (sometimes) is better.
In case the Oregonian ever -- gasp! -- fails to have my My Workout article available online, here's a PDF file of the story.
Download My Workout piece in Oregonian
Lastly, my Big Stick longboard outing yesterday was a new distance record for me at Minto Brown Island Park: 5.75 miles. Not counting stops for water and photo taking, it took me about 70 minutes. Not bad, for a senior citizen longboarding on rough leaf-strewn trails with quite a few ups and downs.
[I use Runmeter on my iPhone to keep track of my workouts. Great app.]