Sunday, August 28, 2011

August Vacation = More Camping

My husband and I have been tag teaming some of our vacation weeks this summer, taking turns to be off with the kids and minimize how many summer programs we had to sign them up for.

This week was my turn to be off, and I took the kids camping! We met up with my cousin and her 4 kids, and the eight of us went up north to bear country for 5 days.

What a great trip! No bears, thankfully - just lots and lots of hiking, swimming, and jumping off of high things into frigid water.

Well - the kids jumped off of high things. I'm wayyyyy too scared of heights to do any of that.

Actually, I did manage to talk myself into jumping off of one teeny ledge -

Yes, I AM holding my nose. Don't make fun of me. I was terrified!
Anyway, as I was saying, we did lots and lots of hiking:

Lots to explore off the forest trails

...and those trails lead to amazing spots like Indian Head Cove

Nice spot to catch some rays

More forest trails

Took a ferry to hike around Flowerpot Island


A small lake steps from our campsite - so lovely

Freezing my butt off in Georgian Bay - and loving it!

And the kids jumped off of high things into frigidly cold water:

My son in mid-air at Indian Head Cove... the Grotto...

...on Flowerpot Island...

aaaaand over Colpoys Bay.

Another very successful camping trip. Can't wait for more adventures next summer!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Home Alone

My husband's on vacation with the kids this week and took them out of town for a few days. We thought back on if I've ever been left home completely alone since the kids were born (they are 11 and 7) - and nope, this is the first time.

I love my family like crazy, but moms out there will understand that at the moment they drove away, a burst of sunshine broke through the clouds and I'm pretty sure I heard angels singing.

How did I spend my time? Did I go shopping? Hang with my friends? Go to a movie?


I grabbed this opportunity to work out without keeping an eye on the clock. Rode my bike. Went to the pool. Went to the gym (on my bike!).

Big grin.

My husband and children are each extremely supportive of me heading out the door to exercise on my own, but ultimately I need to make sure that I get back within a reasonable amount of time so that I can hang with them. Especially on week days, when we've already been apart all day.

I know that the time will come when my children need me less. I'm absolutely in no hurry for that. But when I have the change to go on a long ride - I snatch it!

Kevin posted something this week that pretty much mirrors the way my brain works:

Not too long ago, I talked to a man that biked from Ottawa to Vancouver in 44 days - inspiring, I know. But, what usually happens when Kevin listens to these stories… Well, Kevin wants to do something cool too. (Read the full post)

Listening to stories like that sets me on fire too. For now, the things I set my sights on will continue to be the kind that have training plans that fit the needs of my family.

I'm cool with that.

And when the kids get older? Hmmm.

Wonder if I can take a couple of months off work and bike to Vancouver...?

Here's this week's recap -

Saturday - Curves + 26 pushups. In the evening, we took the kids to see an outdoor performance of MacBeth put on by Driftwood Theatre -

To know my deed, 'twere best not know myself.

We've got a few children's adaptations of Shakespeare's plays and read the version of MacBeth through a few times in the days before the play. Was a great refresher for us, and knowing the story allowed the kids to get absorbed in the show despite not always understanding the dialogue.

My son and I caught Driftwood's Romeo & Juliet a couple of summers ago and were absolutely wow'd by the performance. MacBeth was no different - this was gripping, edge-of-your-seat drama that had all 4 of us captivated from the opening scene right to the end. The kids talked about the story, the perfomance, the props, the set and the staging all the way home and right until they fell asleep - and then woke up talking about it the next morning! Love it. Can't wait to see what Driftwood puts on next summer.

My Sunday ride took me through this very peaceful garden
Sunday - 17.8K bike ride, followed by 11 slow and lazy laps of the deep end at the pool (about 550m total), then 4.2K round trip ride to pick up Indian food for dinner. Big grin.

Monday - 6K round trip ride to my gym and back; worked out + 24 pushups. Beautiful rainbow in the sky during my ride home. Oh, and I agreed to do a bus pull with my gym in September. Yes, you heard me - a bus pull.

Tuesday - 16 laps at the pool (about 800m). Went slow and focused on technique. Think I'm finally on the road to solving two of my most major problems. Big grin.

Wednesday - Cuddle day - my family came home last night. Good to see them! Can't believe how loud the house seems all of a sudden.

Thursday - 1K walk at lunch to go buy some swim goggles - my first pair - to celebrate my emerging swim skills. After dinner, Zumba + once around the circuit + 26 pushups.

Friday - Long day at work but....NOW I'M ON VACATION! Big grin. It's been a very fabulous week.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Words from the Wise

I read a lot of blogs written by active people, many of whom are former couch potatoes. So much inspiration, so much wisdom. I read a few things recently that resonated with me so strongly that  I've gotta share them -  

Sarah - training for her first half-marathon -
Losing weight is hard. Being fat is hard. Pick your hard.

Given the choice of {hard + rewarding} versus {hard + depressing} - well, that seems like a no brainer now - but damn, it was hard getting started on this journey. Wish I'd read this a few years ago.

Jed - former couch potato turned Ironman -
We didn’t get in marathon shape before we signed up [for our first marathon]. We signed up and then said “oh crap, we better get in marathon shape.” If you don’t commit, too many things will come up and you have the opportunity to create to many excuses. I wouldn’t do a 20 mile run or a 100 mile bike to just get in shape, but if I have a race coming up I will get those workouts in... Haven’t got off the couch in 5 years? Sign up for a 5k. Walk the entire thing if you need to. But signing up will give you a reason and motivation to get off the couch and moving.

You said it, Jed. Signing up for my first few events helped to give my trips to the gym purpose ("Can't skip tonight's workout, I have that 5K coming up"), and along the way helped me to stretch my thinking about just how much I may be capable of...which in turn got me to sign up for more events...and so of course I had keep on training. That try-a-tri I want to do next summer? Guess I'd better sign up for those stroke improvement classes and do some brick training over the fall/winter/spring. I'd never bother with either of those if I was just looking to get exercise.

Alex - recently celebrating 100-lbs of weight-loss -
When somebody sees you after a significant weight loss it seems like the only thing they can say to you, “you look so amazing.” The person saying it doesn’t realize that what we hear is: “You don’t need to lose anymore weight.”... We have to learn to prevent ourselves from ever thinking we are done. Losing weight is not a license to go eat an entire bag of potato chips and down a 2 liter bottle of Pepsi. Well, unless you want to lose 100 lbs all over again. There really is no “done” when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. There’s only a “next”.

This one hit close to home. Lots of kudos = swelled head = celebrate with cookies! And chocolate! And pizza! Grrrrroannnnn - I needed this reminder.

What about you - read anything recently that resonated strongly with you?

Here's this week's recap: 

Saturday -  6K round trip on the bike to the Farmer's Market. Later, cleaned the house - for hours and hours and hours. Sigh.

Sunday - More cleaning, then had friends over for a BBQ. Great friends, great time. And the house was clean!

Monday - Curves + 22 pushups after dinner

Tuesday - An evening out with my two favourite Daves (thanks to Jewls for babysitting!):
My husband...
...and Dave Grohl. Hello there, so nice to see you again ;-)
Wednesday - Rest day. Took the kids to the school playground in the evening.

Thursday - Zumba + once around the circuit + 24 pushups after dinner. And then I tried this:

Not the world's most flattering picture - but who cares? LOOK AT WHAT I CAN DO!!!
The last time I tried this was 3 years ago, and I could barely get my legs in the air at all. Seriously. Major NSV!!!!

Friday - Rest day. Took the kids to High Park for the evening.

What I'm reading this week - Reread The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire, then started The Secret Daughter by Shilpa Somaya Gowda.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Trying Something New - Parasailing!

Yes, you heard me - parasailing. Those of you who know me well will understand just how much courage this one took!

The president of my company threw a staff appreciation party this week at a cottage up north. It's a beautiful spot on a lovely lake, and he treated us to spa treatments, catered food, water sports (hosted by a local company) and more. Such a great day!

I was peacefully swimming with my daughter when...

"Any one want to go parasailing?" Um no. Nope, not me. Noooooo wayyyyy.

I get motion sick on swings at the park.

I go white-knuckled with terror on Ferris wheels.

Let's not even talk about roller coasters.

My son, however, thought that parasailing was a GREAT idea. "Mom, Mom, Mom - we HAVE to do this!!!"

Seriously? "MOM!"

So - I signed the waiver. Got in the boat with my son and a few other people. Took a number of deep breaths. Watched a few coworkers go up. Nothing bad happened to them. That's promising...but still...

Asked my son if he'd be OK going up alone if I chickened out. He shot me a dirty look. Guess not. Huh.

Reminded myself that I am a WARRIOR. That helped. Took a few more deep breaths. And the next thing you know, I was in the harness and ready to go:

Smiling but nervous and also terrified that I'll forget the instructions for avoiding the dreaded "parasailer's wedgie"

And gentle as anything, we were lifted up...


...and away!

We're about 450 feet up here - and the view is spectacular!

They brought us down briefly to dip our toes in the lake -

Sent us back up again -

Yes, I do believe he's enjoying this!
 And eventually brought us back down to the boat -

We didn't stop grinning the entire time! This was seriously fun and YOU HAVE TO TRY IT!

I was really suprised by how gentle the ascent, the ride and the descent were.

I had a brief bad moment up in the air when I caught myself wondering if whomever knotted the tether to the parachute is good at tying knots...and another when my son told me to look straight down...but otherwise this was a completely amazing experience and I'm so, so glad that I worked up the courage to try it. Would I do it again? Heck, yes!

Many thanks to my office for treating us to an incredible day!

Son? Thanks for getting me on the boat today. I never would have done this if it wasn't for you.

Here's this week's recap:

Saturday - Took the kids down to Cherry Beach for a picnic. Water was a bit...algaeic? Skipped stones and splashed around but no real swimming.

Sunday - Relax. Thought about doing housework. Did some laundry and called it a day.

Monday - Simcoe Day Holiday! Celebrated by going to the lake - Lake Simcoe, where else? Seemed appropriate :) Swam and played in the water with the kids for hours. Ahhhhhh.  

Feels like I spent the entire week in my bathing suit - not a bad thing at all
Tuesday - back to work after 2 weeks of vacation. Curves + 20 pushups after dinner.

Wednesday - 1K walk at lunch; Zumba + 1/2 Curves workout after dinner. Signed up to volunteer at a race in September.

Thursday - Zumba + 20 pushups after dinner.

Friday - Parasailing, swimming and generally having a great time. Every week should be a 3-day work week, no?