Feb 222009

I need more books like “Wednesdays with Diether.” Maybe the Kalamazoo Gazette will publish another such collection of Diether Haenicke’s columns.

On Monday when I heard of Dr. Haenicke’s passing, I read a few random articles in my copy. But then I discovered it’s a good book for reading while running on our new elliptical machine. The book is small enough and the font large enough that I can read it even when my glasses start to get foggy. In fact, I can read it without glasses. That’s more than I can say for a bilingual Russian book I sometimes use for the purpose. Some combinations of Cyrillic characters get difficult for me to decipher toward the end of a run.

Actually, I’d rather watch a Big Ten basketball game while running, which is what I’ll do tonight. But other times I like to read.

The elliptical machine is a Nordic Track Autostrider 990. I’m mostly pleased with it so far. It would be better if I could attach some sort of articulating arm to hold a book, or a laptop computer to play movies. But I can rest a small book on a little ledge, and still see part of the display over the top. But most books I’d like to read are too big, or have printing that’s too small.

The Haenicke book is especially good in that when the display says “Slow down” I can see the word “Slow” above the book. But “Speed up” and “Speed OK” both look the same. All I can see is the word “Speed”. I definitely don’t want to miss a directive to slow down. If I miss an occcasional speed-up instruction, that’s not so bad.

Actually, I don’t have a lot of trouble with my cadence, probably because I’m used to a relatively high cadence when riding my bicycle. But I think I’ve slowed it down a bit in the last couple of years, so I hate to miss an actual command to do so.

Unfortunately Diether Haenicke’s book is an easy read, good only for two more sessions at the most. It’s a shame in many ways that we won’t be hearing more from him.