(Rudy Owens, in one of his favorite environments, doing one his favorite things–lap swimming)
I am a swimmer. I have swum my whole life, but it was not until I had some bad running injuries, when I became a serious endurance athlete, that I found my rhythm and place in the pool.
Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise for people of all ages. It has virtually no harmful impact on any part of the body, except perhaps the shoulders. Otherwise it is low-impact. It boosts lung capacity and one’s capacities in every sport. It is also one of the finest ways to meditate and clean one’s mind.
As I become a more proficient swimmer, I love that my lap swimming can now be seen as surf training, helping me become a stronger surfer. Surfing requires conditioning that only swimming can provide. It is a perfect match for this stage in my life.
I love seeing people in their 80s swim. It gives me hope I have decades left to enjoy staying healthy and active.
Rueda de casino is a hypnotically cool dance from Cuba that uses Cuban partner dance patterns called casino to traditional Cuban rhythms that today we know mostly as “salsa,” with dancers moving around a circle and changing partners. You can dance to salsa, traditional older Cuban dance music, and even reggaetone. Fun beyond description, really. Today this is literally a global dance phenomenon, like so many dances that have originated in Latin America.
A great group of Portland-based rueda enthusiasts and instructors, who band under the name Portland Casino Fridays, organized a series of rueda flash mobs at Director Park and then a bit later (after we got kicked out) at the park strip near the Portland Art Museum on Saturday, March 28. Bet you did not know there is such as thing as Rueda de Casino Internationl Multi-Flashmob Day. Well I did not until I joined the fun.
If you have not tried rueda, look it up in your city and give yourself some time to pick up the moves. There are hundreds if not thousands of instructional videos on YouTube now. Oye, baila!
It was a beautiful weekend, and I took advantage of the nice weather by doing one of my favorite bike rides to Skyline Boulevard and down Germantown Road, starting from my home in the Sellwood neighborhood of Portland. This is a classic ride.
Skate skiing is one of the most phenomenal physical activities I know, and the GoPro Hero 3 video camera is the first camera I know that can capture the pure joy of the sport. I strapped my GoPro to my head and captured the eye-popping scenery of the Methow in mid-February with my friend who lives there. Uphill is great for the lungs and legs, but downhill is what appeals to the brain’s chemistry.