Overlooking Sunset Cove where we spent much time on the active "Sports Beach" and did an open water swim.
I was on a roll. Swim, bike, run, swim, bike, run, write about it, tweet about it, three square meals, healthy snack choices…a few weeks ago I was doing great. Mentally I’d been preparing for quite some time for the full week vacation I would have in Jamaica in order to be at my best friend’s destination wedding. I pre-wrote my blogs and set them to post. I researched the gym and swimming facilities at our all-inclusive resort. Packed my running shoes, goggles, swim cap, and training schedule for the week.
By the time we got to our resort in Jamaica (the flight was a piece of cake on Air Jamaica for what it’s worth) I was completely relaxed. It really didn’t take long for vacation mode to kick in; it was an all-inclusive resort after all. The first morning I dutifully went to the gym and used a stationary bike to get in the 45 minutes of hill intervals my schedule called for. I even did my 10 minute transition run jogging around the resort and through the outdoor dining area where folks in our group sipped on coffee as I went by and the smell of omelettes and baked goods lingered behind me.
Day two I dragged my husband with me for some open water swimming. The resort did have a pool that would have sufficed for the various laps and drills I’d written down from the schedule but it seemed too good of an opportunity to get in my first open water swim. Goggles in hand we went down to one of the many beaches and eyeballed our swim route. We freestyled our way overtop beautiful reefs and tropical fish to a marked swim area that we estimated to be 40 yards in length. In this area I did the required sprints and threshold swims and then just practiced trying to swim in a straight line. I will write more about this open water swim experience later for sure.
That swim was the last official exercise I did on vacation. Continue reading
A key element to living a healthy lifestyle is simply getting in some form of exercise that is enough to raise your heart rate and which is typically recommended to be 30 minutes per day. It doesn’t sound hard, but for some reason, sometimes getting in 30 minutes of heart pumping exercise is the last thing you want to do. If you’re tired, injured, bored, indifferent, frustrated, too busy, or any number of other excuses we can conjure up, there is one thing that will almost always bring motivation–the unconditional loving eyes and happily wagging tail of a four-legged friend.
My furry pal is Murphy Brown, a chocolate lab/pitbull mix who sits under my feet all day long, loyal and content. Her real passion is playing fetch; it’s something she could do for hours on end no matter how tired she gets. When she was a puppy she was more than happy to run alongside me for three or more miles. As she got older she cared much more about smells and marking various territories than she did at keeping pace. She can still run with me, but only for about 3 miles and I’m sure she’d rather be sniffing or chasing her ball in the backyard. Continue reading
They say that happiness is contagious, that good energy spreads like the best virus possible, and being around people who are happy and positive is highly likely to rub off on others. I firmly believe this. Having just spent a weekend with a group of girls, most of whom I hardly know and some of whom I met for the first time, I truly believe that happiness, positive energy, and active lifestyles are absolutely contagious and I hope to help spread it around even more. Each girl (and really, we’re all women young at heart) was awesome and I could easily spend every weekend with that same group.
At one point we were all sitting around a dinner table and from one end of the table to the other the conversation was centered on being active. We were talking about marathons, training, running for the first time, triathlons, wetsuits, eating well, getting through life’s milestones in healthy ways, trying new things, and rewarding ourselves with travel, good friends, chocolate, and a nice glass of wine. True to how this blog began, everyone has hit their various hurdles and figured out how to move on, and it was inspiring to hear others talk about what they’ve achieved. Continue reading
Women have the power to influence. Photo by rorris.
Women. We are daughters, sisters, mothers, wives, friends, best friends, teachers, mentors, multi-taskers, hopers, achievers, thinkers, and influencers. This was the point made by Brae Blackley, founder of ZOOMA Women’s Race Series at this morning’s kick-off event at the local Annapolis Fleet Feet store. Women have an amazing power to influence and it is one we can harness to help others get active and get healthy. We don’t have to push them, coach them, or beg them, we simply have to lead by example and influence the behavior of others to be the best it can be.
All I need is for a girlfriend to tell me she tried a new shampoo or cereal and it’ll be in my cart the next time I’m at the grocery store. Though I’m not a mother at the moment I have watched the power of female influence at baby showers where one mother suggests a certain stroller, diaper, or swaddle to the mother-to-be and there is no need for further research. Continue reading
Pura vida, pure life in Spanish, is a mindset, a way of living, a goal, an experience, something to create, something to share. Pura vida came to life for me and my husband on our honeymoon in Costa Rica where we first heard the phrase. Pura vida was a greeting, the answer to “how are you,” a toast, a beginning and an end to each day and we reveled in it. Costa Rica, all the people we met there, the volcano and cloud forest we explored, the hiking we did, the surfing we tried, the nature we immersed ourselves in was all eye opening to what pura vida feels like. All our senses were heightened to the sights, smells, sounds, and lifestyle around us. We tried new things from food to language to exercise, challenged ourselves in our surroundings, and felt rewarded in what we learned and contributed to where we had been. The pura vida mindset that we embraced in Costa Rica is one that we hoped to hold onto back in the “real world.” Continue reading