Latest Preston, Minnesota, weather
weather sponsored by


Advanced Search
search sponsored by



Advertiser specials

Home

Subscribe

Business search

Best of Bluff Country

Email Directory

Calendar

Classifieds

Submit news/letters

Happy ads

Photo gallery

Minnesota news

Special sections/topics

Electronic newsletter signup

Tri-County Record

Destination: Bluff Country

RSS feeds

Contact us

Reader Poll
The Minnesota Twins say Target Field is now the first major league ballpark to serve beer from a vending machine. Do you think this is a good idea?

Please select one:
Yes
No

View Results

Carlson Craft
Bluff Country Printing Services
Rochester Indoor Golf
Prestige Auto Care Center

Reicks Auto License Bureau
S & A Petroleum
Facebook


Creamery

home : bluff country reader : reader columns July 9, 2014

9/9/2013 8:42:00 AM
'Triking' the area trails is terrific
I talked to a local gal walking her bike across a bridge on the Harmony-Preston Valley Trail and she was nice enough to use my camera to take a picture.
I talked to a local gal walking her bike across a bridge on the Harmony-Preston Valley Trail and she was nice enough to use my camera to take a picture.
By Lisa Brainard


Keeping a positive attitude - or at least trying to - is at the center of attempting to recover from a major setback in life.

In my case, the setback was a major fall one year ago off a bridge onto rocks and a small amount of water below, followed by a stroke while in the hospital.

After I made it through the tough and painful first steps of rehabilitation - literal, physical steps - I tried to look ahead to further goals in doing what I love best, which is getting outdoors. Therapists helped me, but a large measure fell onto me helping myself.

I have a goal of not only walking without gait aids, but to get back to hiking on natural terrain trails. I'll certainly welcome trekking poles in that pursuit, which I've used for years and years anyway for added support and stability.

But I need to gain strength, which my current lovely, but necessarily slow walks can't quite accomplish.

Let me tell you a secret. Through the long days of winter a dream of biking the area's recreational trails kept me going. I have a 15-year-old mountain bike, complete with front shocks I had added to it. I used to like riding natural terrain trails. I'd test my skills handling the bike around and over rough, bumpy terrain, although nothing too hairy.

Realizing my balance is still off with my stroke-affected left side, my mind pedaled on over to the idea of a recumbent trike. Three wheels - plus a seat you sit back in kind of like a recliner - would provide the needed stability for my messed-up balance.

Looking at the winter white outside my window in March and April, I'd shut my eyes and see myself in colorful cycling clothes pedaling along a soothing stream lined with lush green trees, abundant foliage and blooming flowers.

I took care of the clothes part of the dream. And recently, I've been lucky to take a TerraTrike recumbent out on the trails. It has a special left pedal with straps to keep my sometimes-spastic left foot secure.

Wow! I can't tell you what a positive change this has had on me - but I'll try.

I feel myself getting stronger. I've been riding an average of around 10 miles a crack. And if you know me at all, you know that although I'm not super fast, my pace is constant and certainly not super slow.

With my left foot secure, I'm able to work on range of motion, as well as having it work in coordination with the right foot. Also, my left hand gets good practice gripping the lower handlebars. It used to fly off my walker of its own volition and required a special grip.

An attached basket allows me to bring items along on my rides. You can bet the camera and monopod go. I'm still an avid photographer and enjoy the process of capturing nature and all that makes this area so unique and beautiful. Handling the camera is yet another good exercise.

I'm still not quick enough in my current state to get stopped to take a deer photo before it runs away. But I will continue to make a slow approach, speaking softly to see how close I can get. I also look for other wildlife and, of course, turkey vultures above, while riding the area trails.

Since I'm not driving currently, the recumbent trike gives a much-needed dose of freedom to go where I want, within trail limitations, all on my own without requiring a ride from someone. I'm thankful for rides, but, boy, the freedom sure feels good. It's a taste of my former life.

The attitude adjustment delivered by the TerraTrike is a welcome boost during this rehabilitation and recovery process.

Oh, let's go back to the exercise aspect of the TerraTrike for one more point. If I didn't get out for this good workout - akin to the physical activity my body has been used to over the years, what with tromping around with a heavy backpack for miles upon miles or hiking a steep, tall mountain - I might just sit around and that's depressing. Weight gain wouldn't be good. Plus, I certainly want to keep moving so as to better my odds for not having another stroke.

Getting out in nature is essential to my very core. Tie it in with exercise, freedom and the ensuing endorphins - and photos, thoughts and narratives of the jaunts shared here - it's surely "win, win," win with you, the reader, included in the equation.

Look for more tales from the trails in the future.

Lisa Brainard can be reached at: lbrainard@bluffcountrynews.com





Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, September 9, 2013
Article comment by: Grace Lubrano

It's great to see an article by your again and to see you out & about around nature. I know you will get to the point you want to be at with all of your determination & willpower!

Posted: Monday, September 9, 2013
Article comment by: james donelson

Go Lisa - Don't let anything slow you down! I'm so glad your able to get outdoors and see the places you love while on your trike - you are an inspiration. JD



Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site, but every effort will be made to minimize the delay for any submission.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and e-mail address is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment. Some comments may be published in our Web Watch column in the newspaper.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   















ExtrasLife
Bluff Country Newspaper Group
507-346-7365 • info@bluffcountrynews.com
Site Design and Content
Copyright 2014 1up!

Software © 1998-2014 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved