advice · fitness · health · hiking · meditation · nature

Hiking with a Book

I almost always go on 2 to 3-hour hikes with friends. I enjoy the great conversation topics, the companionship, and the treats we often enjoy together afterwards.

But one recent morning, and for the first time, I found myself wanting to go on a solo hike outside. Because I also enjoy the company of books, I decided to bring one with me.

The place

three trees and water (The Thames River, London, Ontario)
Spring! Photo by Elan Paulson

Hiking with a book is not exactly like reading in your backyard or on a deck. One of the best parts about hiking with a book is that you have find a spot to read. While I was outside primarily for exercise, I was also side-questing for the best place to stop. On the hill or by the water? On a rock or a log? Behind or facing the sun?

Once I hiked as far as I had wanted to go, I doubled back and settled on the best of my mentally shortlisted spots: a great, flat tree stump that was surrounded by trees but also eye-line to the river. It was perfect!

The book

On sites like Bustle and Goodreads, and on blogs like thehikinglife there are lists and lists of books to take along hiking and backpacking. But I am mostly a short-distance hiker who is not really drawn to stories about radical feats of extreme hiking.

Cover of One Story, One Song, by Richard Wagamese

Instead, I brought a book I had just bought: One Story, One Song (2015) by Ojibway author Richard Wagamese. He is one of my favourite writers, and it was a happy coincidence to read Wagamese’s reflections on what he has learned from the land while being on the land myself.

The experience

Out in the crisp spring air, on my solo hike I savoured both the hike itself and anticipation of stopping to read.

When I sat and read, I paused between chapters under the section titled “Humility,” which put into relief some of the petty challenges that had wound me up over the past week. As I looked at the water and listened to the little birds chirping and flitting around me, I thought quietly about my own humility.

When I resumed the rest of my hike, book in pocket, I set some positive intentions for the upcoming week based on what I had read and thought about. In the middle of my busy week, I plan to find some quiet time by recalling what I had read and where I was when I read it.

So, this week I discovered how outdoor reading that is “bookended” by some alone hiking time can be replenishing for both body and mind. I definitely recommend it!

Do you hike with books? What do you read, and where?

fitness

I love our readers: Amazon and “customers who bought your book also bought”

I love our readers. I’ve been interacting lots with Amazon lately as I try to understand their algorithms for sales rankings and for recommending our book to other people. One thing for sure is that we need reviews. Books like The Ultimate Body have thousands of reviews and we have just 10. Help us out if you can!

But one part of skulking about on Amazon never fails to make me smile. It’s the list of books that people who bought our book also bought.

You bought:

Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny

The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race

Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory

Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear, Get On the Mat, Love Your Body

Outline: A Novel (Outline Trilogy)

Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman

Thanks everyone for making me smile!

Love heart candies. Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash.

fitness

The ultimate body and gender, or FFS!

As you know I’ve been nagging everyone to review our book on Amazon. See Please review our book! 

Why? Well, books that have more reviews, good reviews, are more likely to appear as recommended titles for people who use the biggest of the online book retailers, Amazon. So, please do us a big favour and review our book. See Why reviews matter.

Even if you didn’t purchase your book from Amazon, your review will help ensure others find out about Fit at Mid-Life
How to review Fit at Mid-Life:
  • Click https://www.amazon.com/Fit-Mid-Life-Feminist-Fitness-Journey/dp/1771641673
  • Scroll down to the Customer Reviews Section
  • Take a look at the existing reviews, and click on “Helpful” below any positive reviews you find helpful
  • Click on “Write a Customer Review
  • Select your star rating
  • Write a few words on what you liked (or loved) about Fit at Mid-Life

Thinner! Leaner! Stronger!

One of these things is not like the other. The strongest women aren’t thinner or leaner. They’re big. It’s why there are weight classes for lifting events. But forget that.

Our book has 6 reviews now and I was starting to feel better about the book’s visibility. But then I made the mistake of seeing how many reviews TLS has. 1484. Yikes. That’s a lot.

So I was feeling kind of ticked off about that since it’s a book all about looks and thinness.

But then to add fuel to my anger the men’s version of the same book came into my view. What’s it called? “Thinner” isn’t in the title. No, it’s called Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body.

BIGGER! And it’s got 3301 reviews.

The ultimate female body is thin and lean, I guess, and the ultimate male body is big and strong. And that’s a much more mainstream popular view than feminist approaches to fitness. I guess I knew that. But it’s still depressing.

Grrrr!

Lizards cheer me up sometimes. Here’s a cute one.

david-clode-477774-unsplashPhoto by David Clode on Unsplash. Image description: A bright green lizard on a branch against a dark background.

Book Reviews · fitness

Please review our book!

I feel a bit like a broken record these days asking people to rank and rate our book. But the thing is reviews matter. Books that have more reviews, good reviews, are more likely to appear as recommended titles for people who use the biggest of the online book retailers, Amazon. So, please do us a big favour and review our book. See Why reviews matter.
Even if you didn’t purchase your book from Amazon, your review will help ensure others find out about Fit at Mid-Life
How to review Fit at Mid-Life:
  • Click https://www.amazon.com/Fit-Mid-Life-Feminist-Fitness-Journey/dp/1771641673
  • Scroll down to the Customer Reviews Section
  • Take a look at the existing reviews, and click on “Helpful” below any positive reviews you find helpful
  • Click on “Write a Customer Review
  • Select your star rating
  • Write a few words on what you liked (or loved) about Fit at Mid-Life

You can also review our book at GoodReads. We have more reviews here and they’re fun to read I think. I especially like the review that described us as having “that peculiarly Canadian style of being earnest, educated, judgmental, ideological, and yet both endearing and inspiring.”

A black and white photo of Sam and Tracy’s book on a window ledge. The window is stained glass.