Ramblin' Again

By Crabby McSlacker

Regular readers may be familiar with the Cranky Fitness Camera-Phone Dump by now, but if you are new here and confused, here's the deal:

1. Lazy Fitness Blogger goes on the road to vacation somewhere or visit relatives;

2. Instead of doing research on breaking health news or rounding up useful tips, said blogger wanders around her environs and occasionally remembers to take out the phone and aim it at something random;

3. Lazy Fitness Blogger then publishes the photos in lieu of a real post and tries to fabricate some connection between the random shots and heath and fitness and...

4. Lovely Cranky Fitness Readers are too polite and friendly to say anything mean about it, no matter what they may actually think. It's only a coincidence that 3/4th of them are Canadian.

So yeah, I'm in the San Francisco bay area, and sandwiched between some family reunions and birthdays I spent a mostly overcast day yesterday walking around.

Quick Quiz: First up, can you guess what these two buildings have in common?

Answer: Did you guess: Crabby once worked in both of them years ago writing boring law books and goofing off a lot with fun coworkers? And that she has lots of random memories from these times (nearly 30 years ago, sheesh!) that got stirred when she walked by?

Health and Fitness Connection?  Taking walks down memory lane does interesting things to brains and these things are probably healthy! (Plus bonus points for guy doing Tai Chi in photo #1.)

There must be a study somewhere that supports my theory, right? Because walking around old familiar areas did interesting things to my brain. And we've already established that everyone else should think exactly the way I do.

It's healthy mental exercise, I'd argue, recalling almost forgotten sights and sounds and smells from years ago, but then also noticing that some things are different now.

Can you spot what's changed recently?

Metacognition: Plus, realizing that the observing and processing brain itself is different than before, and then further realizing all the memories are going to be re-stored in the brain yet again in a totally different context and that this may actually reinvigorate but also mess with the old material...

I think this kind of meta-mind-fuck is good for a middle aged brain every once in a while. Thinking about Thinking may even be related to mindfulness meditation! Remotely, but whatever.

The Power of Focus and Specificity:  Fisherman's Wharf has both young adult and childhood associations, though they are very vague and gray and random, with no specific focal point, kinda like this photo...

But when I saw the sign for a restaurant something lit up!

It was a fresher, brighter reminder because it was specific and right in front of my face. I'd had no idea that the name "Scoma's" was even still in my brain but apparently it was and I conjured up some foggy recollection of having gone there!

Health Connection:  when trying to get fit, getting specific about plans and goals and good and bad consequences of your actions is always a good idea, right? OK, yeah, there actually is no connection between Fisherman's wharf and fitness. Screw it, I was walking there, let's go with that shall we?

Delicious Memories:
This next building brought back recollections over many, many years.  Most of them involve hot fudge sundaes.

Health Connection? Well, it is a reminder that even someone with a basically healthy diet can eat "bad" things in moderation and not keel over and die for at least a few more decades. It's also an example of something that was once thought unhealthy being redeemed as a health food. Not the noble hot fudge sundae, alas, but at least dark chocolate--which Ghirardelli does indeed make.

Public Art:

Some of it I find quite likable! This was not there in my youth, a reminder that change is not always something to fear.

However, I am always amazed that this THING pictured below survives the passing decades. Up close it is quite hideous and I always fear tourists will see it and flee in horror never to return and spend their money in S.F. again.

And yet, in the above photo, which is too small and dim to properly show the rust and birdshit and metal spikes and general decrepitude of it... it actually looks, um, not so awful! And maybe if you work near it and see it every day you stop noticing the off-putting exterior and get used to it being there, solid and reassuring and enduring year after year.

Health And Fitness Connection?  You can get used to anything no matter how repugnant it seems when you first encounter it, apparently. Good news for those of you contemplating a brand new healthy diet and exercise program!

Older People Staying Active

I didn't want to intrude so this is taken from too far away to see that some of these women were dancing to some sort of exotic Asian music and others were doing Tai Chi and they were just generally being active and healthy.  

Keep up the good work, tiny blurry park ladies!


This was an empty bench that reminded me to sit down and listen a guided meditation for a very pleasant 20 minutes! That's healthy, right?

Stay Hydrated

Always good to think about on a long walk, and I got even more motivated when I discovered this:

Yes, it was a spotless public restroom with no line, a rare sight along a busy tourist walkway, hooray!

Sayin' Hi

Guess who I got to meet in person?

Yep, it's Death Ride Grandma!

And no, she did not hoist her bike aloft during our lunch, but I forgot to harass our waiter and ask for a photo.  As it turns out, she is as nice In Real Life as she is in the Cranky Fitness comment section and in her inspiring guest posts! It is also a good reminder for a shy person like me that it is worthwhile sometimes to "stretch" a bit and take a shot at interacting with folks outside the relative anonymity of the Worldwide Web.  It was fun!

Ramblin' Around Visiting Your Past Is Actually Good Exercise!

I took a huge crapload of steps walking down memory lane, and yet it didn't seem at all like "exercise." Yay!

Big Apology: I've been spotty about web visits and comment reply and may be out and about today as well, but plan to be back at my trusty laptop and check in better tomorrow.  And then we're off for the weekend to celebrate my mother's 80th birthday... let's see if that turns into a blog post shall we? Lucky readers!

Anyone else ever go "back in time" and revisit old sights and neighborhoods? Or have thoughts about San Francisco in particular?

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