By Alan Sorensen
Powwow is one of the great events of humanity, whether its at Browning, Fort Belknap, Hays, Crow or Rocky Boy. (I admit I like Rocky Boy best, mostly because I dont have so far to drive and admit to being a lazy, stay-at-home couch potato.)
While Fridays Walk for Sobriety from Stone Child College to Rocky Boys powwow grounds is healthy, Im prepared to offer a better weight-loss program to the fitness-hungry public. (And Im not talking about the juvenile joke of yore: Want to lose 10 pounds of ugly fat? Cut off your head.)
Its my broken-arm weight-loss program through which any desperate dieter can lose 20 pounds in six weeks. My pounds came off without the slightest effort on my part and they can peel away from you, too. Just try to avoid looking at what is left of your arm when the cast comes off.
The weight-loss regimen becomes difficult only if you want to keep those pounds off during rehabilitation. I have 80 excess pounds yet to shed.
I pretty much gave up running after breaking my leg 12 years ago and hurting my back the next year. I moved from my beer truck to the classroom and then to the newsroom. My only recreations were skiing and throwing things like discusses, javelins, snowballs, and tantrums. That last was my only form of aerobic exercise.
With my broken arm, my throwing days are over, at least for the next year or so, so running has become more attractive.
Besides my thrice-weekly physical therapy, I try to swim a mile or so each day. I even entered two recent road races: the Hav(r)e Fun Run 5K here two weeks ago and Nee Wahs Run 5K during last weekends Milk River Days Pow-Wow at Fort Belknap.
Prior to putting in the laps at the city pool, I could barely run a mile and usually had to stop after a half mile. All of a sudden I was putting one foot in front of the other for 3.1 miles. The first week I walked two blocks at Highland Park School, but managed to jog nonstop the entire Nee Wahs course. My times for each were nearly identical extremely slow.
Rather than being disappointed, my thoughts at the end of each run turned to the positive. If nothing else, I at least have a lot of room for improvement.
My breathing has improved over the past 10 months of tobacco-free living, too. I still suffer from a form of apnea, transient cessations of breathing, but Im hoping its no longer smoking related and is now due to my overweight condition. With my apnea, I sometimes find that Ive stopped breathing and cant remember how its done. I spend frantic seconds trying to inhale. I generally have little luck until I first exhale. The apnea can come in the middle of a sound sleep or while Im at my work station (thats a euphemism for lounging at my desk.)
The first two people I saw when getting out of my car at the Half Town powwow grounds last Saturday were Nancy Stiffarm and Gerry Raining Bird.
Nancys been running the race with husband, George, for 16 years. I see her every year and shes always the same happy to see everybody.
Gerry, my running buddy in the 80s, I hardly ever see. Hes developed a niche for himself in the health industry and still runs regularly. His sub 20-minute time for a 40-year-old gave me hope. Despite finishing about 12 minutes behind him, I think maybe I can run alongside him next year. Of course, Ill have to get a lot faster and hell have to get a lot slower.
Marathon Mike Hofeldt is one Havreite approaching my age who hasnt slowed much over the years. As a matter of fact, Hofeldt qualified for this years running of the Boston Marathon by averaging 7 minutes a mile for 26.2 miles in Rapid City, S.D. last fall. Even at the tender age of 49, hes a role model I can try to emulate.
What I like best about walking, jogging and running is the ease with which they can be undertaken. Just slip on some shorts and shoes and hit the road. My one concern is that Im fit enough that after undertaking a jog Im not hauled off to the undertaker.