Sunday, May 29, 2011

On why "sitting" should be reserved for kayaks, bikes, and really fast jets!

"Trust no thought arrived at sitting down"
- George Sheehan MD, Running and Being

Paddling off Gabriola Island's cliffs. 
Can you spot Joan's tiny "sliver" of a kayak?
I can't think while sitting still. Seriously, it just doesn't happen.

No, it's not a pat-your-head-while-rubbing-your-stomach issue. Not at all. I simply don't like sitting still. Second, I'm just not inspired much...while sitting still. Thinking is easier when the mind is set free by self-propelled motion. Thoughts flow, solutions are found, meditations are written, peace of mind is recovered. I suppose that's why paddling, running, and most recently, cycling, works for me. Joan too.

When we are together on the trail or on the water, sometimes we talk. Sometimes we communicate without talking. Often, we just enjoy the solitude of our own thoughts. The older wiser I get, the more I appreciate the "liberation" that comes as a result of self-propelled motion. It is always "time away". It's a "60-minute-vacation" or a six hour "sabbatical". 

Most of you who read this little blog will probably agree that "motion is lotion" in more ways than just as a contributor to physical well being. It seems pretty evident that we human beings require and thrive on physical movement. Further, we are enriched in body, mind, and spirit when we are attentive to that need. The fact is, the folks I have known over the years who are the most active in terms of regular physical activity are also the happiest people I know. They are also amongst the most patient and forgiving. Go figure, eh? It could be that they have learned to live with a connection to the pace of nature and, in addition, provide appropriate response to what our bodies yearn (and need) to do.

Running on Mount Tzouhalem's trails.
In just over a week, Joan and I will engage in an exchange in Scotland with our partners from abroad, David and Catriona. For all of us, it will be an opportunity to meet and work with interesting and welcoming folks. (Bless both home parishes for their sense of adventure!) It will be an opportunity to experience and discover new and different ways of doing things. In Forfar, we look forward to listening to stories of their rich Scottish history, sharing in some of their current activities, and learning of their dreams for the future. 

We also look forward to keeping up with our own daily regimen of "movement" while we're there - after all, that's when a lot of the "thinking and pondering" goes on. Hmm, perhaps an early morning run out to Glamis Castle or on the trail around the local loch. There may not be an opportunity to paddle but it sure would be fun to "taste" the North Sea - paddlers we've connected with over there make it look like a pretty cool venue! 

I will admit that there may be occasions when "sitting" can be OK - but mostly if it's in the kayak cockpit or on a bike. Come to think about it, I did spend a good amount of time (many years ago) sitting - well secured in the "Martin-Baker" back seat of some pretty fast jets. That's about the only place where "sitting" has ever brought on both adrenaline and endorphins! 

And yes of course, "sitting" does work rather well for typing blogs! :)

Here's to movement.



  1. Gosh, I can't think unless I'm moving AND when I'm above 5,000 feet in elevation. Good thing I live in the Rockies!

  2. I couldnt agree more Duncan. I think the people who move are happier as they most likely have already met their "wall". They know what they are and ARE NOT capable of. Ifind knowing my shortcomings allows me more posative feelings towards others.

  3. Roger that, Lee. Even just gently "pushing the envelope" often reveals some wonderful things - abilities and possibilities we might never have imagined. Paddle on!

  4. Hey Guys -

    Just wondering when the COWICHAN KAYAK & CANOE CLUB web site will fix the broken link to your site.

    Mr. X

  5. Yikes, thanks Mr. X - we'd better check into that. It doesn't make for expanded readership! :)

  6. Speaking of sitting.... you do remember how long the flight is to Scotland.... LOL