Building With the Future in Mind Since 1955

Rick Dubrow’s “On The Level” Column in the Cascadia Weekly; Published 9-3-08

Fifty seven of you took the time to respond to my inquiry:  should I continue writing my columns?  I expected a few readers would respond.  Instead, the check-in line became packed. Your responses were universally positive with one crystal clear message:  keep writing.

One of you wrote: “…..what hope do the rest of us have to act upon our intuition, that deep-down feeling that something is very wrong with the way we live our lives….. without those who are willing to shuck the yoke of commercial subservience, to turn their backs to the convenient and thoughtless lifestyle that seems to surround us. To lose your guidance, your assurance, that we can change and still prosper, would leave so many stranded and compelled to return to the norm.”

So onward into my second year of offering guidance.  Onward into the storm………….

Charlie Heggem brought me such guidance a few weeks back while I interviewed him for my latest KMRE radio show on cycling entitled “Cycle-Logical” (go to ).  A former pro-cyclist, Charlie runs Norka Recreation, which runs ‘Ride 542: the Mt. Baker Hill Climb’ on Sept. 7th: bicycle from Glacier up to Artist Point (a 24.5 mile ride ascending  4,185 vertical feet).

When, during the interview, Charlie asked me whether I was going to do this ride, the image for me led to outright laughter .  Give  me a break; the First Hammer may be a bike commuter, but me ride from Glacier to Artist Point?!  The laugh on the show will tell you all you need to know………. ain’t no way!  Not this puppy!

Within days my image of the Hill Climb began to solidify into a possibility;  a pathway to train my horse.

No, I don’t call my bicycle a ‘horse’.

My horse is my body; that which carries around all that is me;  the physical manifestation of my being.

This horse metaphor came to me via Phil Damon, a retired philosophy professor, dear friend,  marathon runner , and fellow hiker; a man, now 72, who was told he had a year to live 39 years ago; a man who chose to revisit the way he cared for his body.

Think on this………….you and I are physically healthy to the degree we decide to care for our horse. Unlike us, wild animals instinctively know what to do to remain healthy and in balance with their environment.  They are unconciously  healthy.   Since we’re the only animal that doesn’t know what to do, we can only become healthy to the degree our actions align with natural law.  By choice.

Two back surgeries ago I learned that setting goals for physical endurance and fitness could become focal points to help me attain, and then sustain, a healthy lifestyle.  If I were fit and ate right I could attain the likes of summiting Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainier, Glacier Peak and the other high country gems that surround us.

So why not the Hill Climb?

Yes, it’s a stretch.  Damn, it’s a stretch! But if I don’t train my horse, if I don’t live in accordance with the laws of our great Earth Mother – eating well and fostering a fit horse – I will join so many others who remain unconsciously unhealthy, or, perhaps worse, consciously unhealthy.

Consider finding your own stretch; your own Hill Climb; your own focal point.  Your intellectual, spiritual and emotional body….. and the planet in general….. need you to be consciously healthy.

Care for your horse.

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