Book Review: 10,000 Steps a Day to Your Optimal Health by Greg Isaacs

690127I don’t often post reviews but this one seemed appropriate for the blog.

Last weekend I had a cold. I needed some extremely light reading which wouldn’t be interrupted by kleenex use or naps. So I headed to the library to check out a book of essays, [book:This I Believe: On Love|8294290]. As I was headed to the check out counter, I passed a display of health books, saw this one, and checked it out on impulse.

Being a library book, it didn’t have the pedometer/stepcounter. (Do the librarians get to keep it?) I don’t need one; I already have one which is capable of measuring my tiny steps (I only have a 16-inch stride–too short for most pedometers).

I really didn’t need this kind of book. A couple of years I decided to incorporate walking into my exercise routine. I’ve joined the Volksmarchers at I started geocaching as an excuse to get outdoors and walking more. I bought a pedometer and use the DailyMile app on my smartphone.

While I’m obese, I didn’t start an exercise routine for “health reasons.” I didn’t want to get thinner. I didn’t want to lose weight. I don’t equate weight with health. However, I do have a stress problem. I’ve had a couple of extremely stressful years and I didn’t like how stress was affecting me. After looking around, I decided walking in the outdoors would give me the proper headspace to destress and relax.

This book focuses on the “health benefits”: thinner, smaller, heart attacks, etc. There were only a few sentences devoted to the stress benefits–my primary focus.

I liked the inspirations quotes (they’re one of my things). I also liked the tips on how to step it up a notch. (Pun intended.) But the focus on health was a turn-off for me–I’ve heard it all from the doctors (early in a visit with the doctor) then they proceed to give me a clean bill of health with excellent/optimal marks in cholesterol, oxygen, etc. I can’t rate the pedometer.

Tricky Urban Caching

Urban caches can be tricky.

One fine summer morning a couple of years ago, I was buzzed from a workout at 24-Hour Fitness. I decided to work off some of the adrenaline by geocaching. I pulled out my trusty GPS unit and – low and behold – there was a cache located less than 240 feet from where I was standing in the parking lot! I was on my way.

At first I couldn’t believe what I found. Sweetieheart was still searching the machinery, looking for a typical magnetic cache. I was looking at the hints when I spotted the cache.

[n this video, Sweetieheart shows the location of the cache log. It must have been placed by a teller or someone high up in the bank. Surely, security concerns would normally prevent locating caches on ATMs. In any case, this was a tricky urban cache unless close attention was paid to the hints.

Note: I waited until this cache became inactive before posting the video or to this blog.

Caching a Power Trail

We had lovely weather forecast between two arctic fronts. What better way to spend a bright sunny day in the 70s than to walk a power trail which was loaded with caches?

I’d spotted this power trail in December but hadn’t had a good weekend to take advantage of it. Power trails follow the routes of power lines. Since houses can’t be built within X feet of a major power line, many of the surrounding cities have chosen to create city parks lined with walking trails for their citizens. Geocachers have taken advantage of these convenient walking trails to line many of the power trails with caches.

The cache was located under the sign.

Sweetieheart searches for the cache behind the sign.


This particular power trail was a little over 1.5 miles long. One of the problems with power trails is that they tend to be bare. Trees can’t be planted too close to power lines so they are best walked in the spring, winter, and fall. In the summer, early morning and late evening hours are optimal.

Some members of the neighborhood have beautified the trail with plantings and benches. It’s a heavily-utilized trail by dogwalkers so muggles abounded.

We found a total of seven caches. One cache could have been on private property so we opted not to try for it. One cache was located near a family barbecuing in their backyard; we didn’t want to disturb them. We couldn’t find one cache at all, a DNF. Allergies and the setting sun brought us in before we completed the trail.

The cacher who hid the caches along this trail was clever. No two caches were the same. A couple of the caches required tools which we did not have. We were able to find twigs to manipulate the caches out of their hiding places.

This was our favorite cache. We’d never before found a cache hidden in a screw although we’d heard of them. We were mighty pleased to have located this wicked hide.

We'd never before found a screw cache but we'd heard of this wicked hide!

A Screw Cache

It was a good day to geocache. Maybe we’ll complete the power trail caches some day. Who knows?

A Bit of Inspiration

The weather lately has been miserably winterish. Icy. Cold. Just not good walking weather until this weekend.

After almost two weeks of being cooped up indoors, I dearly needed this lovely weather. I needed to walk. I felt antsy and cranky. I had a difficult time sleeping through the night.

I spent two hours today in the great outdoors. I think tonight I’ll sleep better.

Take a walk, not a pill.

Nature: The Great Chill Pill

Progress on the Idita-Walk 2014

Goal: Log 1049 minutes of walking from Feb. 1-Mar. 31

Achieved: 172 minutes

I’ve got a ways to go but I’m feeling good. Today was the only good day to walk outdoors in the last nine days. Today, though, was a bright and sunny 67F. It felt good.

The Cardinal Tree

Soon after Christmas, Sweetieheart and I took the electric trail in North Richland Hills on a hunt for the caches located along the trail. A local elementary school had adopted the trail and decorated it for the holidays.

The sign on the cardinal tree.

Adoption Papers

One class had studied cardinals. They colored paper cardinals then strung their cardinals on a long length of twine. The twine was wrapped around the tree.

A tree covered in handmade, child-colored cardinals.

The Cardinal Tree

And deep in the cardinal tree, a cache was located.

Electric Trail

Sweetieheart and I walked the Electric Trail in Richland Hills one warm day in December. The trail is over 2 miles long so it as a nice walk. However, this sign worried me. Was it safe to attach caches to the electric pylons?

The sign on in front of Sweetieheart alarms me.


Fortunately, Sweetieheart is brave. He signed the logs for the two of us!

Milestones: Cache #300 and Farthest South Find

While attending a conference in Corpus Christi, I took advantage of the balmy weather to do some walking and earn geocaches #299 and 300.

The log to geocache #299 was full. Of course it was! It’s a tiny nano. With a cache this size, write only your initials.

Only sign your initials to a log this tiny.

A Tiny Cache!

Cache #300 was the standard keyholder. Someone was kind enough to add some swag: a coin from another country. In addition, this became my southernmost find.

Geocache #300

Geocache #300

Walking in Corpus Christi

I recently visited Corpus for a conference. After the conference, I took advantage of the sea wall and balmy weather to walk.

I learned a lot on those walks. There is a memorial to Selena.

Selena Memorial

Memorial to Selena

Marina 1 is the beginning of a walk which took me from our sun to the edge of our galaxy and Voyager.

One of the plaques displayed on the seawall to mark the major points, and distances, in our galaxy.

Moving through the astroid belt

At the end of the seawall, the Lexington can be seen in the distance.

In port in Corpus Christi

The Blue Ghost

From my hotel to the end of the seawall and back was just over 3 miles.

Freedom vs. Happiness

Freedom vs. Happiness

The Idita-Walk begins today. 1049 minutes of walking from February – March.