Broadcasting legend, and possessor of broad shoulders and huge triceps, Huell Howser, died yesterday. Howser died of natural causes in Palm Springs, CA.
In my life, few things have been able to pull me away from a workout without leaving me with heavy feelings of guilt for my absence in the gym. On many weekends though, during my 13 years living here in California, Huell Howser has pulled up one side of this state, and down the other – always guilt-free in my abandonment of the gym, in favor of exploring the paths which he illuminated so well.
Perhaps it was because of his huge triceps, as much as his nose for unique places and treats, that Huell Howser led me away from so many weekend workouts during the past decade. If a man could be on the road as much as he, and still be built like a tank, would a missed workout every so often really be so bad…? No!
Often times Howser led me, not just away from my weekend workouts, but deep into some lesser eating choices, and did so without leading me into lesser feelings of self-esteem.
A few years ago Howser’s show, California’s Gold, pulled me away from a Saturday workout, in favor of a messy hamburger lunch at Hodad’s in Ocean Beach. No guilt whatsoever, and well worth the 30-minute wait in line to get inside.
At Howser’s direction, I once abandoned a weekend workout in favor of eating fresh pie and fresh baked bread at Dudley’s bakery in Julian, CA. Warm potato bread, fresh out of the oven is, is way better than overhead shoulder presses – at least every once in a while.
I have abandoned weekend workouts in favor of picking apples in Apple Valley, CA with no guilt at all, because Howser told me it was okay.
I have walked through poppy fields rather than on a treadmill, and been better for the experience.
I especially enjoyed eating fresh rolled tortillas, slathered with butter, at The Coyote Café in Old Town San Diego, CA – my squats would be there for me later.
The unique thing about Howser’s personality and influence is, that if his show guided me to a particular local, I always felt as though he was there with me showing me around. His Huckleberry Hound voice would resonate in my head.
Huell Howser’s influence on my weekends, and on my always developing California psyche have been a great reminder that, despite my best fitness intentions, the intentions of exploring this amazing region in which I now live, require just as much cultivation as my quads or my biceps.
I don’t know what my so-called fitness life will bring to me this weekend, but I do know this: I will take time this weekend to celebrate the influence Huell Houser has had on me, by drifting somewhere off the beaten path, and enjoying some of California’s Gold – guilt-free. Thank you Mr. Houser; your presence in my life has been a blessing… rc