Monday, August 30, 2010

Yikes - last week of summer and a break in routine

It was a great summer! Lots of fun, lots of exercise. Camping, biking, hiking, and I averaged about 3 hours of swimming every week over most of the summer. We squeezed as much fun as possible out of the warm weather and long days... but then came a cold and rainy Labour Day weekend. We spent most of the weekend relaxing, cleaning and gearing up for back to school. Somewhere in there, I fell out of a few good habits and started being lulled into laziness. Better get back on track before any more time passes!

Here's how the past two weeks have been -

Week 1 - August 29
At the drive-in playground - August 2010
Saturday - Biked to the gym and back (5K); worked out. Took the kids swimming for an hour after lunch. My husband was able to come along this time and so I was able to do some laps as well as the usual playing with the kids. Later in the day, we took the kids to a drive-in for the first time, something that's been on our son's 'list'. It was a beautiful summer evening and we had a ball! Playing on the playground before the movie, hitting the snack bar, snuggling in with pillows and blankets to watch the show. We'll definitely be back next summer!

Sunday - Lazy morning after being up late. Took the kids swimming for an hours in the afternoon. Ran into a neighbour on our way to the pool; she commented that I've lost more weight! I haven't - but the extra exercise this summer is definitely paying off.

Monday - Took the stairs to 7 in AM and at lunch. Biked to the gym & back after dinner (5K); worked out.

Tuesday - Took the stairs to 7 in AM, walked to the dentist and back (1.3km); took the kids swimming for 45 minutes after dinner. ACK - signed up for the CN Tower Climb for October. More on this later.

Wednesday - Took the stairs to 7 in AM and at lunch. Biked to the gym after dinner; worked out, dropped into the local pet store to adopt up a KITTEN on the way back. Walked home weighted down with my gym bag, bike, helmet, the kitten, supplies. My cat isn't so pleased, but my children are very happy!

Thursday - Took the stairs to 7 in AM and at lunch.

Friday - Beginning of Labour Day weekend. Cold and wet. Stayed home, started some decluttering, played with the kitten.

Week 2 - Sept 4

High in the sky & white-knuckled - Ferris Wheel, Sept 2010
Pic taken by my son, who was laughing hysterically at me.
Saturday - Chilly but dry. Went to the CNE from mid-afternoon to night-time. Love seeing the rides lit up against a evening sky, and love how few people are there at this time of day. Kids rode on as many rides as they wanted, with no waiting in line-ups! I worked up the courage to try the Ferris Wheel. Why, yes, I did have to work up courage to go on a Ferris Wheel. That's right - I'm a big scaredy-cat, but I'm trying to nudge myself out of my comfort zone. Some steps are smaller than others.

Sunday - Chilly and wet. Lazy day at home.

Monday - Chilly and wet. Lazy day at home, but hauled out a ladder and harvested a ton of apples from our tree. Mmmmmm.

Tuesday - First day of school. Stairs to 7 in AM and at lunch. DROVE to the gym and back after dinner; worked out.

Wednesday - Very tired today. Think that getting the kids back to school has worn me out. Skipped the stairs and went to bed right after dinner.

Thursday - Too lazy for the stairs - but I did (drive) to the gym after dinner and had a great workout.

Friday - Took the stairs to 7 in AM and at lunch. Took the kids for a quick trip to the playground at High Park after dinner.

What I'm reading this week: Beyond Belfast - A 560 Mile Journey Across Northern Ireland on Sore Feet, by Will Ferguson. Read this before but our hikes this summer got me thinking about it again. He's speaking at one of our city libraries this fall - hope to attend that talk!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


High Bluff Beach, Lake Ontario - August 2010
Another vacation week, another camping trip!

My husband is at work this week but I'm off with the kids and took them camping for 4 days at Presqu'ile Provincial Park. I booked this trip after we got back from our trip to Tobermory last month, and invited my cousin and her 4 kids along. The day we arrived, we ran into one of my good friends and her family - who were also just arriving! This trip was much less active than our last one, but very relaxing and a pile of fun. Yes, relaxing - we had a great time travelling with our EIGHT children!

Saturday - My daughter informed me this morning that my arms "aren't so wobbly anymore". I'll take that as a compliment! I have noticed that my abs are stronger - think that the combo of working out + swimming is starting to pay off. Rode to the gym and back (5K), worked out.

Sunday - Busy day getting ready for our trip.

Monday - Camping! Set up camp, took the kids exploring, and found a beach about a 3-minute walk from our site. Kids swam until their lips turned purple. Good thing we had a fire and hot chocolate ready to go when we got back.

Exploring the marsh - August 2010
Tuesday - Packed the car and moved to a nearby beach. Kids swam for a few hours, then we moved back to our campsite and took them over to the beach close to the site.

Wednesday - Exploring - lighthouse, nature centre. Back to the beach near our site for the rest of the afternoon.

Thursday - Last day. Tore down the site, then went exploring at a marsh in the park. Did a 1.2K stroll, and the kids caught lots of frogs!

Friday - back home. Eye doctor and errands during the day, then caught the David Grey / Ray Lamontagne concert in the evening. Not a lot of exercise here, but we did have a 1K+ sprint from the car to the venue and back. Back to the gym tomorrow.

What I'm reading this week: the rest of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordian. My son and I are hooked on these books!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Role Models

Green Day - August 2010
Remember Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2? Doing those chinups? She was FIT. She was sculpted. She's been my fitness hero for a long time.

The thing is - that was for a movie. I've been reading up on it this week and have learned that her level of fitness, and the training required to achieve it, just isn't sustainable for any length of time.

Something more true to real life? How Billie Joe Armstrong and the rest of the Green Day boys? I've seen them in concert three times now, and every time am amazed at the level of entertainment that Billie Joe, Mike and Tre offer: three solid hours of running, jumping and full-on energy - all while putting on a flawless performance. They get incredibly sweaty but I've never seen them out of breath or looking tired. These guys are extremely fit.

I'm not planning to get up on stage at any time, but they inspire me. Here's the work I did this week:

Back from the gym - August 2010
Saturday - Biked to the farmer's market and the gym (7.1 km round trip); worked out.

Sunday - Recovery day - cleaned the basement family room and rearranged the furniture. This was a major accomplishment :-)

Monday - Stairs to 7th floor at lunch, stopped at the gym on my way home.

Tuesday - Stairs to 7th floor in AM and at lunch.

Wednesday - Stairs to 7th floor in AM and at lunch. Went to the Green Day show in the evening with my SIL: 3 hours of non-stop dancing followed by a long walk through Ontario Place/CNE to catch the bus home.

Thursday - Oh, so tired! No stairs today, but took the kids swimming for an hour after dinner.

Friday - Took the kids to the Science Centre for about 7 hours. Saw the Harry Potter exhibit and explored all of the kids' favourite activities. Didn't get my heart rate up, but did a lot of walking!

What I'm reading this week: Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordian.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I love summer!

Lake Simcoe - August 2010
Yep, I love summer - but remember all too well how much I used to dread summer and the arrival of hot and humid weather.

Carrying a lot of extra weight is like having to wear a heavy coat that you just can't take off. Imagine wearing a long, thick winter coat all day in the middle of July and you'll get an idea of what I'm talking about.

Actually, imagine wearing a wetsuit under that coat. Sweaty? Yep. Uncomfortable? Yep. Want to stay inside in front of the fan all day? Don't care that you're missing out on playing outside or sitting on a patio? Ack - it's a terrible way to live.

One of the things that I have noticed this summer is how I'm not absolutely and completely exhausted at the end of a busy day. I have the energy and stamina to enjoy a full day at an amusement park. Notice I said 'enjoy' - not 'get through' ;-)

Here's how this week went - 

Ontario Place - August 2010
Saturday - Took the kids to the beach! Swam, played frisbee and relaxed for a few hours before taking them to Grandma's for dinner.

Sunday - Housework day. Boring.

Monday - Work. Took the stairs to the 8th floor in the AM and at lunch; rode my bike to the gym (5K round trip), worked out.

Tuesday - Recovery day. Climbed the stairs to the 7th floor in the AM and at lunch.

Wednesday - Stairs to the 7th floor in AM and at lunch; biked to the gym (5K round trip), worked out.

Thursday - Stairs to the 7th floor in the AM and at lunch. Took the kids swimming for an hour after dinner.

Friday - Ontario Place for the day. The entire day. Shot some hoops, took a paddleboat out, got wet on the bumper boats, hit the water park and did LOTS of walking! 

Hey - I didn't have to worry about if whether or not there would be a lifejacket big enough to fit me...or if I'd swamp the boats when I got in. I love that!! 

What I'm Reading This Week: Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Georgian Bay outside Tobermory - July 2010
I'm on the road to being a fit girl - but it's taking a lot of work to change a lifetime of sedentary habits. I joined a gym about 18 months ago, try to go 3x a week, and am on the look out for ways to get myself (and my family) moving during the rest of the week. I fell out of these good habits about two months ago and am working on turning things around as well as trying to break out of my comfort zone. Keeping track of my activities on this blog *should* help to keep me accountable to myself!

So - how am I doing?

Going on vacation definitely helped to kick me back into gear, and then I kept up the good habits when I went back to work. Next thing I knew, I had three great weeks under my belt. Here's a recap:

Week of July 16 - First week of vacation

Friday - My office held a "Splash & Bash" at a cottage in the Kawaratha's. Spent the day jumping into the lake off the dock, swimming, and banana boating off the back of a speedboat. My son got to go waterskiing for the first time!
Saturday/Sunday - Short road trip to London to visit a few friends. Lazy days for the adults, but the kids went swimming.
Monday - Started getting ready for next week's camping trip. I should mention that the last time I camped was on a school trip in Grade 7...camping in a national park for 4 days without electricity or showers is going to be a HUGE change for me!
Tuesday/Wednesday - Short road trip to Collingwood to visit family. Swam in my cousin's pool both days, and took the kids on a 2-hour hike around the Scenic Caves and suspension bridge.
Thursday/Friday - More getting ready for the camping trip
Saturday - Walked the kids down to the local pool to swim. Tried diving for the first time after my husband & son convinced me that jumping straight in while holding my nose is "old lady swimming". Didn't drown - and even tried somersaulting into the water.

Week of July 25 - Camping Trip on the Bruce Peninsula!

Sunday - Set up camp, tour around the campsite, walked to lake and watched the kids swim.
Monday - Climbed the 25-metre lookout tower in the park; took the kids swimming at a sandy beach (Singing Sands, Lake Huron)
Tuesday - 5-hour hike/swim. Rocky trails, caves, and AMAZING beach at the Grotto on Georgian Bay. Lots of swimming and jumping off of rocks into the water.
Wednesday - Tore down camp and moved to nearby motel. Walked around town, walked to nearby lighthouse and beach, took the kids swimming.
Thursday - Took a ferry to Flowerpot Island for a 4-hour hike/swim on the island. So, so beautiful!
Friday - Moved out of motel, walk around town, took kids swimming at a sandy beach, headed for home. Took a detour to visit Colpoy's Bay and hiked over to my grandparents' old place nearby.
Saturday - Home. 6K bike ride to run errands.

Week of August 1

Sunday - Family BBQ in Collingwood. Tossed the ball around with the kids for a bit but otherwise a quiet day. Laughed ourselves silly at the kids and a cousin's dog splashing around in a creek that runs through the property. Very relaxing!
Monday - Last day of vacation - lazy day BUT I had so much fun on our camping trip that I booked another one! Kids and I will camp for 3 nights later this month.
Tuesday - Back to work. Climbed the stairs to my 7th floor office twice - on arrival and at lunch. Used to do this regularly and it's time to get back at it. After dinner, walked the kids down to our local pool to go swimming for an hour.
Wednesday - Work. Took the stairs once.
Thursday - Work. Took the kids swimming for an hour after dinner again.
Friday - Day off. Walked the kids to day camp then rode my bike over to the gym, worked out, then rode to the grocery store and home. That's about 4K on the bike.

Gotta move the brain too...What I'm reading this week:
Possible Side Effects by Augusten Burroughs
Confessions of an Ugly Step-Sister by Gregory Maquire