Sunday, April 28, 2013

Balance


Over the last four years I have developed a love for recumbent cycling. Sitting a few inches off the ground on my recumbent trike while propelling myself forward using my own energy and determination is a fantastic feeling. It wasn't always this way.



My passion as a younger man was to hike endless hours in the hills wondering nowhere in particular. An occasional overnight backpack always rejuvenated me. In time the many miles on foot combined with many years in the construction business proved to be a little to much on my aging bones and joints. I turn 60 this year and I have had my body repaired six times over the last decade and in 2011 I added a heart attack to my list of momentary setbacks. The clicks, cracks and twangs of pain tell me more repairs are on the way but I won't sit still. 


Before the discovery of recumbent cycling I discovered a special kind of music that took my mind off an aging body. In the year 2000 I met Bill Neal (Elk Whistle-Bill Neal) while he was performing at Satwina in the Santa Monica Mountains. He was playing the Native American flute and I fell in love with it's beautiful sound. Over eight years my days were filled playing my own Native American style flutes. By the end of 2008 and with the help of my friend Franck Bensoussan. I recorded and published a CD of my music under the Mark Tracy and I'm still selling them at CDBABY.

During those eight years of creating music I had given in to a failing body and saw very little hiking or any other real physical activity. After recording my CD my focus changed to getting back in shape and find someone to repair my aching back. In 2009 I started Spinal Decompression with Bruce Shannahoff at the Valley Spinal Decompression Center. Spinal decompression didn't work for me as it as worked for others but Bruce did introduce me to the world of recumbent cycling and it gave me my life back.

I have had all the necessary repairs now to keep me active and even though ibuprofen is now part of my breakfast routine I feel good and my life is in balance. In addition to cycling I am once again hiking and  keeping my flutes close to me. Cycling will always be my passion. Riding in the open air over long distances on a recumbent trike has given me back my health and it's a lot fun! When I need a little break from the pavement I put on the hiking boots and hit the trail. I use trekking poles to help distribute the load of my 6'1"/ 185 pound frame. What a wonderful light weight contraption these  poles are and so effective. If only I had taken advantage of them years ago. My hikes are short, three to eight miles, but I don't have to go far to find what I seek.

A wonderful family, cycling, hiking and fluting...balance is with me.


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