Pole dancing

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

Yeah, I thought that would get your attention! No I’m not talking about exotic nightclubs – although you can get poles installed in your house for “exercise” training. No, today we talk about hiking poles. If you know me or have heard me talk, you know I swear by them. To refresh you, they will take 5-8% of the work off your legs going uphill, and save your knees going down. Anyone who has borrowed mine ends the day convinced. I have tried a few brands but tend towards LEKI. In the spirit of full disclosure due to a recent law, I must tell you that I am a mini-reseller of LEKI poles on cruise ships. So there you go. But I do like them Now, I need to tell you about a friend of mine –who is the expert on the use of poles.

The Pole Guru (Jayah) and Mr Half Dome

Jayah Faye Paley hails from Pacifica and she is a regular at REI summer sessions where she actually brings a pile of poles for folks to try out. Look for her bookings in 2010. She’s made 2 award-winning DVD’s. One for Hikers and one for people who have balance & mobility issues. REI sells them and you will learn a lot – another Christmas Gift idea. Her website is chock full of ideas, so go <HERE> get started. She tells me that while hiking, anyone can reduce knee stress with poles, BUT learning how to convert that stress to an upper body workout is the difference between optimal use (feeling your power) and just winging it. Too often that energy goes right into the fragile joints of the hand. Saving your knees and trashing your hands is not a good plan. Learning this skill in a way that benefits your core strength is the key to a lifetime of hiking with poles. Jayah also leads field training hikes – usually up at Mt Tam, north of San Francisco. She has an updated website that is pretty flashy. It’s well worth poking around to learn more about pole use as well as tips on fitness, health, mobility and having fun! She has several short video clips to enhance the site. She calls us “Adventure Buddies,” and that’s just what we are!

Remembering Dec 7, 1941. WW2 Vets are dying at a rate of 1,000 a day. Say thanks when you see one. I plan to take Norm, my 92-year old neighbor and B-17 navigator, out to dinner.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Jojo was a man who thought he was a loner but he knew it couldn’t last. Jojo left his home in Tucson, Arizona for some California grass. Get back, get back get back to where you once belonged. . . . I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and we hope we passed the audition.” – the Beatles

*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com


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