If you're like me, you make New Years resolutions every year, always with the best of intentions of keeping them, with varied results. High on my list of resolutions this year is to exercise more. I have a shiny-new bicycle sitting in the garage waiting for me to lavish upon it the attention it so richly deserves. This year I have resolved to put it—and myself—to the test.
You can make riding a bike as strenuous or as easy as you like and it doesn't take a lot of training or preparation to get started. Where I live in Bellingham there are miles and miles of well-maintained bike trails and even more miles of clearly-marked bicycle lanes alongside the local highways. I can ride as far as I want as fast as I want almost anywhere I want. My Jack Russell Terrier, Polly, has reminded me that there are affordable dog carriers available for my bike and that taking her along with me on my rides will make them twice as much fun.
Two other sports popular here in Bellingham that deliver outstanding benefits and in which people of any age can participate are running and rowing.
I know that many of you readers enjoy running. If you happen to be in the vicinity of Houston in mid-January, you may want to consider cheering on the runners of the 2017 Aramco Houston Half Marathon scheduled for the 15th of this month, a Sunday. The race starts at 7:00 a.m. and as many as 13,500 runners usually take part in this event. The participant cap for both the half marathon and full marathon has been reached at 27,000.
Click here to learn more about this exciting event. Early registration for the 2018 race runs January 15 - 19, 2017.
If you've read Dan Brown's gripping tale, "The Boys in the Boat, Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics," you already know something about the excitement and allure of the sport of rowing. There's an active masters program here in my city where novice rowers in their 50s, 60s and 70s have learned to pull an oar on beautiful Lake Whatcom, a gem-like body of water nestled between verdant hills with towering mountains in the background and bald eagles soaring overhead.
Rowing has grown tremendously in popularity in recent years, and there are rowing clubs all over the US and around the world with membership open to everyone, men and women, young and old. In Texas, for instance, there are rowing clubs open to the public in Austin, The Woodlands, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Sugarland and elsewhere.
To find a club near you in the US, visit http://archive.usrowing.org/domesticrowing/organizations/findaclub/.