Tag Archives: Pocantico Hills

What I did on Thanksgiving Day

Screenshot from 2013-11-28 21:54:57

Starting from the east, I ran west all the way to the Hudson river and back.

I hope everyone had a fantastic time on Thanksgiving!

I had a lot of fun running the woodland trails of the Rockefeller Preserve in Pocantico Hills, NY yesterday(my own solitary “Turkey Trot”), though it was a very slow run due to the cold dry air(about 30 F or -1 C), heavy wind, and of course running up a nearly 500 ft(152 meter) ascent from the Hudson river in the second half of the run. I’m also still recovering from the Brooklyn Marathon. It took me 1:56 to complete this 10:48 mile run, though I think I ran a little more since the remote location made accurate GPS tracking with Runkeeper very difficult. The map above is very off in a few spots. I dropped the balls about 4 or 5 times.

The views of the Hudson river from the hills were amazing, but the beautiful red cardinals flying about along the trail were priceless. I can’t get over how many I saw, and how lively their birdsong was. It was like they were greeting me or trying to accompany me as I ran. Very strangely, the same thing happened the day before Thanksgiving in a very different location(in the Bronx of all places). It’s like they knew I wasn’t eating one of their distant relatives! Or maybe my juggling attracts them.

The forest seemed mostly dead and brown except for them. I felt like I was in a mystical forest for a good part of the run. It’s precious little things like this that make outdoor exercise so much more wonderful.

 

After this, I spent some time with friends and family and I ate what I usually eat. I am thankful for my friends, I am thankful for my family, and I am thankful for my health. Now, I just gotta get used to running in the cold air again.

Fabulous time joggling around Rockefeller Preserve

Lake at Rockefeller Preserve in winter

Lake at Rockefeller Preserve in winter

The Rockefeller Preserve in Sleepy Hollow, NY, has a lot to offer the nature lover or fitness buff all year round, so long as no idiot burns it down. Its 1,233-acres offers beautiful vistas, dense forests, diverse wildlife, and exotic dancers. The preserve’s many bird species will greet you with ethereal bird song as you walk, run or joggle along its many trails(and I was kidding about the exotic dancers, just wanted to make sure you were paying attention).

Lake at Rockefeller Preserve in summer

Lake at Rockefeller Preserve in summer

The Rockfefeller preserve used to belong to this very rich, powerful family, but I can’t remember their name at the moment. It’s an especially good place for joggling as there is virtually no vehicle traffic or roads in the park. I don’t let the cold, breezy air keep me indoors, so I had a delicious time there yesterday.

Some new video from yesterday – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eK0V7834BM4

There are so many great views in this preserve, it’s hard to decide where to take photos.

I believe that joggling keeps me warmer than running due to having to move my arms a lot to juggle the balls. Keep in mind that you may have to do a lot of warm up exercises with your arms before you joggle or you will drop the balls a lot at first. Try to see if you can incorporate juggling into your fitness routine in the New Year.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

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Winter is officially here

Now that winter is officially here with all its challenges and positives, I keep thinking of the how different it was when I joggled during the summer and its own unique challenges.

I joggled many times around this lake during the summer. This photo was taken in the Rockefeller Preserve, Pocantico Hills, NY.

In a strange kind of way, I miss it, especially as the weather gets colder. It’s like I have forgotten the profuse sweating, the heat-induced muscle fatigue causing me to slow down or drop the balls, the countless insects biting me or flying into my face, and the sunscreen I had to rub over much of my body to prevent sunburn. Okay, maybe I haven’t forgotten, but I still achieved bliss on a good run. I remember joggling in the summer wishing it was the heaven that is winter.

And now sometimes I wish it was summer, or spring. How ironic. The middle of the winter means heavy clothing, shorter days, a running nose, the risk of frost-bite, kids throwing snow balls, and sometimes stiffer muscles. If there is snow or ice, winter joggling can be especially problematic – be not afraid of new challenges. And the local kids should know they can’t win in a snow ball fight with a joggler!

“When you long for a life without difficulties, remind yourself that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure” – Uknown

Although I have to adapt to the weather, all the rules for joggling are the same. For beginners, this is very important: Maintaining the proper rhythm and posture is everything. It is like music, making beautiful music, becoming one with the rhythm and one with the balls. You may hear the music, you may not. If a melody develops, literally run with it. Hum along if you want.

With all this emphasis on rhythm, and music perhaps it would be better for jogglers to forget about running and to think of themselves as dancers. Running simply takes you from point A to point B. But juggling adds a new magical dimension to the running; going from point A to point B^3.

It really doesn’t matter what kind of dancer-joggler you think of yourself as. If you prefer the grace of a ballerina, go with that. Or if you prefer hip-hop dance, go ahead. You don’t even necessarily have to do the 3 ball cascade pattern, although that is most efficient and easiest for beginners. Above all, be creative. You may surprise yourself and learn all sorts of new things about yourself through joggling. If it really does make us smarter, that isn’t such a surprise.

In the new year, whatever your fitness goals are, it helps to be as creative as possible, to think outside-the-box, to make it as fun as possible and to not care what anyone else thinks.

And for the record, I’ve decided to stop eating eggs, which makes me vegan yet again.