May 18, 2020
Before the lockdown, I was taking our new dog Tuck for long walks in the morning. After mid-March, we decided it wasn’t safe to walk along the street. So we would chase the dog around the backyard and I would work out at home on the treadmill and use my weight set. That was okay while it was still wintery, but when the weather got nicer I wanted to be outside.
We live at the top of a mountain with a great view of the city. Our driveway is long and very steep. So I started walking up and down the driveway with the dog. This is a great workout. On the way up you really get your heart going, on the way down you get a little bit of a recovery. I’ve always thought that walking downhill is good for you.
How did I come to this conclusion, you might ask.
I became aware of how weak our downhill walking muscles are during the summer of 1968. My father sent me on a photographic safari to Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda for the entire summer. I didn’t really want to go but my father convinced me that by the time I could afford to go on Safari it would be gone.
I traveled with a group of eight 16-year-old boys, two counselors, two drivers and a guide. We spent the entire summer living in tents, driving around Africa in two Land Rovers taking pictures. One of the first challenges was learning how to sleep at night with all the racket. At night you could hear the lions roar, elephants trampling, and all kinds of cackling. I was terrified we were going to be run over by elephants or mauled by lions. Our guides convinced us that all the animals thought tents were big rocks and would not bother us. Eventually, I believed them and went to sleep.
The highlight of the summer was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Three days up and two days down. It wasn’t really mountain climbing but more a very long hike uphill. We would walk all day, stop for meals, and sleep in Huts that were built along the trail. The first morning we woke up to see the sun rise over the clouds. It was crazy. On the third day, we woke up in the middle of the night to make our way to the summit. This was the steepest section and we were now at high altitude. Unfortunately, I and two other boys succumbed to altitude sickness and had to abort. I never got to see the sunrise over Mount Kilimanjaro.
It took us two days of walking downhill to get back to base camp. By the time we got back nobody could walk or even stand up, because none of us were in shape for walking downhill. Finally, we were able to stay at a hotel and relax by the pool for a day before continuing our Trek.
Ever since then I’ve been particularly sensitive to being In-shape for walking downhill. And now with my driveway workout routine, I will be ready for my next expedition.
This was my first major failure and it bothered me for a long time. Wake up call! It made me realize that some things don’t come easily. It takes perseverance, discipline, and determination to accomplish many goals. This experience inspired me to man-up, focus my efforts, and to stay focused until I achieved the result I was looking for.
Anyway, that’s what I think about when I walk up and down the driveway!
Most of the questions I got this week center around why is the stock market going up while the economy is struggling.
There are three things to consider.
- The stock market is not directly linked to the economy over the short term. Many investors have written off the immediate future for corporate results and are now focused on trying to figure out what the world will look like in 2021 and beyond. If you believe that the epidemic will eventually end and that the economy will eventually recover then now is a great time to buy stocks and hold them until a full recovery is in place.
- One of my bedrock beliefs is “Don’t fight the Fed.” The Federal Reserve has declared its intention to “do whatever is necessary” to prop up the economy, prevent a Depression, and foster a return to growth and higher employment. I believe them.
- TINA. There Is No Alternative. Where else can you go to earn any kind of return? There is no yield in bonds, oil is so volatile, and real estate is getting crushed right now. So investors are buying stocks.
Humans have a strong surge to work and be productive. As soon as we can we will go back to work and little by little we will return to the new normal.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please give me a call.
CEO, CFP® Wealth Preservation Solutions
Personal Family Office / 360 Wealth Management