Finding the Weakest Link

In my experience, I seldom think about my weakest link until that link fails. Recently I was doing step-ups with dumbbells in my hands preparing for a backpacking trip into the Grand Canyon. It was surprising to find that before my legs failed, my forearms and grip began to fail. I had found my weakest link for that step-up exercise.

To prepare for that backpacking trip, I planned both leg workouts and endurance walk/runs. There was little need to work on my grip as I was not intending on carrying weights or my backpack with my hands. My son, Michael, suggested I get in some long hikes with a heavy backpack to condition my shoulders and hips for carrying the backpack on our trip. One five-mile hike under the noon sun with a 50 lb pack caused me to have serious doubts about my ability to hike for 11 miles down into the Grand Canyon. I was exhausted after only four miles. It was amazing that I got home without dropping the pack on the ground.

Starting down from Hill Top

Starting down from Hill Top

On April 1st my son, grandson Austin, trip photographer, and I departed out motel in Kingman AZ and drove 2.5 hrs to Hill Top to begin our hike to Supai village and then on to our camping site for the next five days. Thankfully, there was no need for me to carry more than 40 lbs. No sooner than we started down, my son pointed out my posture. Can you imagine me who continually gives cues for good posture? It was good to get that corrected early.

On day four we had an early breakfast and climbed down the 195 foot cliffs of “Mother of Waters” Mooney Falls to explore the canyon below Beaver Falls.

It was necessary to cross the river 10 times. As I had not recovered from the hike to Supai and the extra hiking we had done, we could all see that my balance was diminised. This showed up as we began crossing the river.

Each river crossing became more challenging for me.

Michael offered a hand or finger to give me a reference point to help that diminishing balance. He assured me that he would not let me pull him into the river if I fell.

After entering the Grand Canyon National park, the trail went up starting with a hand-made ladder and then chopped out of the sandstone. As the trail kept going up, my energy level was plummeting towards the bottom.

Friday morning we packed up the tents in the dark and started hiking the three miles to Supai Village and then the eight more up to Hill Top where our rental car waited. After the last climb, I was ready to ditch the backpack.It turns out that my Weakest Links are my feet which took a week to recover and my balance which showed up when I was tried.

Now if I can just get the backpack into the trunk without help, I will feel good. Once in the car and driving away from the Canyon, I began to think about the beauty of that most unusual place in the World. I am incredibly blessed to have been with my son and grandson and to have met some of the Havasupai Bible Translation team. Austin picked out an incredible, breathtaking camp site for our week in the heart of the Grand Canyon.

Havasupai

[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_start11milehike.jpg]2960
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_anothercrossing.jpg]2270
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_backathilltop.jpg]2250
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_climbingdown.jpg]2250
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_climbup.jpg]2270
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_crossingbalance.jpg]2230
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_fingerreferencebalance.jpg]2210
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_lastliftingofam2.jpg]2190
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_linkgettingweaker.jpg]2200
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_1sttree.jpg]2180
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_3ontable.jpg]2160
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_3resting.jpg]2170
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_50footfalls.jpg]2190
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_alltrailsgosouth.jpg]2180
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_am1stday.jpg]2170
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_anothercrossing_0.jpg]2140
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_backathilltop_0.jpg]2150
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_buswithnopassengers.jpg]2160
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_campsite.jpg]2140
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_climbingdown_0.jpg]2140
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_climbup_0.jpg]2170
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_closetosupai.jpg]2150
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_closeup.jpg]2150
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_crossingbalance_0.jpg]2130
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_dryriverbed.jpg]2130
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_fallenrocks.jpg]2100
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_fingerreferencebalance_0.jpg]2130
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_flowerstoo.jpg]2090
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_furtherdownriver.jpg]2100
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_halfwaydownmooney.jpg]2080
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_lastliftingofam2_0.jpg]2090
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_linkgettingweaker_0.jpg]2090
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_littletraffic.jpg]2090
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_lookslikedryriverbed.jpg]2080
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_lowerfalls.jpg]2070
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_lowerfalls2.jpg]2070
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_mooneycamp.jpg]2060
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_mooneyfromdescent.jpg]2060
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_mooneyfromdownriver.jpg]2050
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_mooneymistsunup.jpg]2060
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_nothanksforme.jpg]2090
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_powerofwater.jpg]2080
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_reststop.jpg]2080
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_school2.jpg]2090
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_sidecanyon2.jpg]2080
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_sidefalls.jpg]2070
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_smallfalls.jpg]2060
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_sononcanyon.jpg]2050
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_twoguardians.jpg]2060
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_veils.jpg]2060
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_warning.jpg]2080
[img src=http://seniorfitness.dickeys.org/wp-content/flagallery/havacupai/thumbs/thumbs_wetveils.jpg]2050


Print pagePDF pageEmail page
 

About Vic

As a retired Commercial/Missionary pilot and administrator, I started taking SilverSneakers® classes in 2007. Although I had kept up minimal jogging and biking, I had little lean body mass and extra fat, so I started lifting weights and joined a Group Power barbell class. Later I was challenged to use free weights for heavier lifting and body weight exercises for flexibility and functional fitness. The SilverSneakers® Coordinator asked if I would train to teach the class. Little did I realize that it would take almost a year, four classes, a practical evaluation, plus an on-line 100 question test, to complete the certification. I am still impressed with the research and years of practical experience that has gone into the SilverSneakers® model.
This entry was posted in Backpacking, Fitness, Health. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Finding the Weakest Link

  1. Peggy Doris says:

    Thanks for showing us those pictures and for sharing the trip with us. How great it was that you could share it with both your son and grandson. Life is good!!

    • Nancy Westbrook says:

      Vic how fortunate you are to be in such good health to take this awesome trip. The pics are beautiful and I know how thankful you are to be able to especially do this with your son and grandson. Thanks to you for your encouragement every day we exercise at EP. I love the term for seniors..keep moving… Keep up the excellent guidance and motivation. We all need it as a team to help each other.

  2. Patricia Stafford says:

    I finally got to see the pictures, and they are beautiful. You may have felt some pains afterward. But god bless you to be able to see such a lovely place with your love ones. Plus sharing them with the silversneakers group.

Leave a Reply