Friday, February 6, 2015

Soft Outdoor Adventure For Me, Please

Sitting in a large comfy chair at the beauty salon, my hairdresser described recent ski outings with her grandkids. The next trip to the slopes, she promised her oldest grandson, we’d take snowboarding lessons.

Yes, she is planning on joining him.

Snowboarding is not on my bucket list. And I gave away my skis years ago. They were outdated anyway. Picturing myself zooming down a mountain – not because I want to, but because I lost control – the wind in my face, knees buckling, poles flailing wildly, sliding down partway on my butt, ending up plastered in a hospital bed (covered with plaster, not drunk, although getting drunk in the hospital sounds kind of appealing), is a situation easily avoidable by never skiing downhill again.

As I get older I find myself unwilling to tackle adventurous, possibly body-damaging activities.

Nowadays I opt for soft adventure-type outdoor pursuits, gentle on the bones and body of a 60+ grandma.

I am not the only one opting for ease. Tour companies advertise soft adventure trips for the 50+ crowd, realizing we are wary of a too-jarring bodily experience. And we enjoy our comfy conveniences.

My kind of soft adventure includes:

Cycling on level ground. Place a mountain, high hill or steep bridge in front of me, and I am not happy. And forget about mountain bike-type terrain. My bumpy-ride days are over.

Kayaking (row boats and canoes are OK too) on calm, flat water, no wind, the sun shining but not too hot. The best rides include a stop at a destination such as a cafe. Sit, relax, eat, drink (nonalcoholic beverage only – one should not drink and paddle).

Walking/hiking in sunny or slightly overcast weather, temperatures below 80 but above 50, on level terrain, a nice coffee shop halfway through a plus. No elevations, stairs or climbing please.

Swimming. I like to swim but fear being caught in public (and then on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or – heaven forbid – Youtube) wearing a bathing suit.

Running/Jogging. The last time I ran – I was late for a meeting – I tripped, fell, and chipped a tooth. Never again.

There are lots of other activities invented by people over the course of human existence. I conclude with my favorites…

Walking to a nearby restaurant.

Cooking and Eating. Probably the number one and two outdoor activities of all time as far back as cave people times.

Sitting. Always an appealing option. A comfortable chair, a drink within reach, a book in hand. Priceless…

No one ever said outdoor activity must involve exercise.