EVEN COUCH POTATOES HAVE FAVORITE WAYS OF EXERCISING.  WHAT IS YOURS?  Topic #221: What is your favorite way to get physical exercise?   What about mental exercise?  Thought I would try a photo essay tracking my active and inactive life.  It started with crawling.

Then I learned to walk.  At three, I  fell in love with walking along water, rivers, creeks, the sea shore.  This at my grandmothers summer home on the Manasquan River in Herbertsville, New Jersey

On one walk at the water’s edge at the Point Pleasant Beach, I got pulled under by rough surf  That night,  brother, in a misguided effort to teach me to swim, threw me into the Manasquan River from the boat in the above picture.  I thought I was over my head, panicked.  Scared to death of water over my knees for years after.  Didn’t learn to swim until I was 20.

But at the age of three, I  also liked to ride a three wheeler.

So until I was ten it was walking, riding a trike, and I also remember learning to roller skate, when I out grew the trike.  No pictures.

Next at about eleven, I was given a two-wheeler.  This poctire was taken on Easter Sunday, we didn’t do church, but apparently did the Easter Bonnet bit.

Then I got rheumatic fever and most heavy exercise was out.  But by the time I was thirteen,I was allow to learn to ride.  Always loved horses and one of my favorite movies at that point was National Velvet. I became a stable bum. Helped muck out stables, walk hots, and eventually was allowed to exercise and help train  a local big wig’s polo ponies.

That lasted through college, but summers I taught riding at a camp.  When, however I finished with my Master’s degrees, I moved to Vermont and  lost the  connections with the people who let me ride their horses for free because “You have good hands.”

So in Vermont it was skiing–mainly on the easier slopes.  I loved the Toll Road at Mount Mansfield.  Then there was as always the hiking, swimming, and sailing. I was lucky for a friend of my mothers who I didn’t know had retired to Vermont, she took me under her wing and told me about an apartment on Shelborne Bay. My first water front–well across the road and over a garage–water front home.

I bought my self  $300 dollar Sea Snark from Sears and Roebuck.  My kids eventually played in that boat in Rye Creek which ran behind the house they grew up in.  That was my second water bordered home.

Sailing does not offer a lot of exercise, but is great fun and soul filling. Don’t know who the man is, so many when I was young and single.

I loved Vermont, but also decided I needed to get some therapy and in Vermont everyone knows everyone.  The governor, Phil Hoff then knew my name, and that wasn’t because I was very politically active, I think we met at one meeting.  Saw him frequently as he waited in line  with the rest of the citizens at one of the local movie houses.  He always said “Hello Katherine.”

Anyway, I also knew every therapist in the state and while I admired some, I wasn’t about to talk over my conflicts with someone I would then see at social events.  So I moved to New York. No pictures, walked the streets a lot.  Once I began teaching at Columbia University, I spent summers at Fire Island, so it was swimming, and beach walking.

No one had told me I should be studying for a doctorate, but as I told the Dean who informed me I would have to move on as I didn’t qualify for tenure, a husband and two children were doctorate enough for me.

Going for tenure, I wouldn’t have met David.  His dog–Brutus was our match maker.  He did his matching at Kismet–a single’s community in Fire Island.  At the time Brutus young and a dedicated athlete. Here is a picture of him swimming in Central Park.  That was after David and I  met.

Brutus rarely rested and when he did he wanted shade.  I was one of the few people who loved the beach but not the hot sun.  So at Kismet,  I always had a beach umbrella set up.  I was also one of the few women who didn’t scream when Brutus decided to visit my towel and sleep in my shade.

He deserves another  picture.  This one was taken on an island in the Middle of Lake George, probably the summer before we got married.  David and I shared a love of camping.

The question for the day asks what is your source of mental exercise and this picture is me reading, a beloved animal at my feet, surrounded by nature.  As a child I spent most summer days sitting high in a tree, reading, and my dog Lady slept at the bottom of the tree.

Camping and the beach continued to play a part in my life, but once babies entered the picture, bike riding came back.

This is my oldest son and wasn’t he a beautiful baby?  One of the funny stories, one he probably hates me to tell, is that after returning from tooling around Rye, NY, I would pull up to our garage and say, “Phew, now I’m tired.”  After a while that became his favorite line at the end of each ride.

We started the boys hiking early, here is Zach  with David and our poodle of the time Ollie.

Skiing, camping, bike riding, boating, swimming both at Fire Island, Lake George, and Long Island Sound and the Rye Swimming Pool became the family’s favorite exercises.   Here is son Dan at Fire Island.  We rented a summer house there one summer when he was three.  Had a great summer with our kids and foster kids.  My only sadness about being in Colorado is not living near the Ocean.

When I turned fifty, I tore all the ligaments in my left leg skiing.  I had decided to switch to downhill because it would be safer.  LOLs.  That ended my trips to the slopes.  Soon after  I was working full time again  and pounding the streets of NY became my main exercise.  After the boys moved on to lives of their own we eventually moved to the Bronx and walking and swimming became the main ways we moved our bodies.  Still are.  Don’t have many pictures until we headed west.  Here is Whisper at various stops for a swim and walk on that journey. She loves the water as much as we do.


Now at 74, I mostly swim.  Here I am in a friend’s pool in Florida, Whisper wanted to jump in, but that isn’t allow in pools.

We are out most active when all the family is together, which means when Zach and Max can come to Colorado.  Here I am resting on our way up Mount Evans.  Mostly that was by car, but we did stop here and there to hike a bit.

And here is my favorite shot of my two sons and their sons again at Mount Evans.

Both boys are bring their boys up to love exercise.  Here is Max in the swimming pool at our complex.

And here he is rocking climbing during a hike in the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

And here is Ben being back packed by his father who has just finished snow boarding in August at Rocky Mountain National Park.

But baby Gabriel is starting even sooner, for here is  Amy with Ben in the Back Pack and Gabriel still resting in Mommy’s uterus.

Of course, what keeps me most active now is caring for Ben.  Here he is  running away from me at Civic Green Park.  Much to some people’s distress when we are on the side walks I have him on a leash, safety first,  and he would rather being walking than being in a carriage. He knows where the back pack with his leash is kept and brings it to me when it is time for our daily walk.

But as some of you know I am trying to return to bike riding.  I have minor balance problems and gave up riding for years.  Recently saw some three wheeler adult bikes, so I have invested in one.  I am cheating a little as it it has an electric motor to help me up the hills.

If you follow my blog, you know  I was playing mechanical Wise Old One and putting it together myself.  I found  directions not at all helpful.  David wasn’t sure it wasn’t me.  Now a neighbor who is also  an engineer  is graciously  finishing the job;  he says not only are the directions bad, but what the factory assembled  wasn’t done right.  I feel vindicated, but would rather have had good directions and properly assembled parts.  Here is what the trike will look like when finished.  I will put up a picture of me riding it when that happens.

So I am returning to my childhood and hoping I will enjoy it.

Meanwhile, stay strong,move  that body,  share and care.


    • It was in Herbertsville. The land was sold to a developer following my grandmother’s death, not at all sure of the address and suspect the house and barn were destroyed. I have some pictures I can send you and think I have one that shows what was across the river from what we called the Farm. My grandfather’s name was Broomall and the deed to the land was probably in his name. Let me know if you are interested in the pictures and I will send them to you.

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