Blocking & Tackling

Ozark Outdoor Supply Spring Hiking Ad

Years ago I worked for a gentleman who loved the sports metaphors. He was a large man and I assume played football in his younger days. I know his son did. One of the metaphors that stuck with me was when ever he wanted to talk about getting back to basics he would say, “It’s all about blocking and tackling.” I was reminded of that in many ways in my pursuit of outdoor activities this weekend.

Let’s start with Friday night. I took my lovely wife to a Willie Nelson, B.B. King concert at the Riverfest Amphitheater in the Little Rock Rivermarket area. It was a great concert. Basic blues and basic country, they fit together because they are all songs from the heartland sung with feeling. Listening to every thing from King’s The Thrill is Gone to Nelson’s Crazy on a hot summer night in Arkansas was wonderful. No fancy light show, no politics, no cushioned seats with air conditioning, just good raw music. Blocking and tackling.

Saturday morning found us down in Arkadelphia at a swim clinic for triathletes put on by DLTMultisports and Coach Matthews of Henderson State University Swim Team. We spent about 3 hours in the pool learning drills that would improve our stroke. After lunch we all met at DeGray Lake to practice open water swimming and sighting the bouys for a couple of hours. Besides just totally wearing us out it was yet another return for me to the basics.

Saturday night we were off to the movies. Batman – The Dark Knight was in order and didn’t disappoint. We took the oldest, the youngest and one of her friends. (It is now the best movie ever!) Some simple time with family is something we sometimes take for granted. It’s also something we don’t do enough of. I remember my parents taking me to movies as a kid. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is one that sticks out in my memory.

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Sunday morning was more family time but this time it was with my 18 year old son who wants to do an adventure race with us. So it was time to do a little mountain biking and see where his skills were. No worries, he is strong and fearless. Not much more riding and he will be taking us on the trail. Lisa enjoyed her new bike some more and I found out that my back wheel has some issues. We rode Burns Park and stuck to some relatively easy trails doing one of them twice so the boy could get familiar with it and then went faster the second time. Again, blocking and tackling. Rebuilding the skills.

The Community Bicyclist

So today I’m thinking that I need to do some blocking and tackling with my running. I’ve never been a good runner. I’m slow and anything over about 5 miles kills me. I know that my stride is not right for the length of my legs. I am going to stop running my hilly 3 milers because over the years I’ve never really improved doing that. Shorter runs with better form building up to longer runs. More sprints and repeats….you know training.

The other thing is to get this blog back on track. It was originally designed to be about outdoor activities in the Natural State. I don’t think I can separate that from my training so forget that idea and just write about the things I do outside in Arkansas. Sure, I may drift into stories outside of the state but no more pro races that I am not doing. There is plenty to write about right here. I’m also not going to worry to much about the photos. I’ll post them when I have them but I’ll post even if I don’t. No more excuses. Thanks for sticking with me here and I’ll try to give you something better to read about. Now go back to work.

Searcy County Waterfall

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