Friday, August 22, 2014

There Is More Than One Path To Fitness

It was a Wednesday night and I was just not in the mood for Zumba.

I have been doing Zumba for a few years now.  At this point I know the basic moves and the patterns.  If my regular teacher is teaching I have memorized the routines so well that she makes me go in front of the class and teach them myself.  If there is a sub, I can pick up the new combos pretty easily.   My body has adapted to the point where I'm hardly breaking a sweat anymore and I don't feel my heart rate accelerated that much.  Sometimes I think Zumba just feels like an old-school, 80s style, aerobic dance class with more booty shaking.

Why am I still doing it?  It's more fun than the hamster wheels in the cardio area of the gym.  There aren't a whole lot of other options at my gym.

I like to read a lot of women's fitness websites that are dedicated to sustaining fitness through simply enjoying life.  I like Girls Gone Strong, Eat Lift & Be Happy,  and Lift Like A Girl.  These women are into lifting like me, and they encourage healthful eating, but they are also about having fun and not constantly restricting yourself from pleasures.

I was reading some of those blogs before I was supposed to go to Zumba Wednesday night.  I read posts about how it's summer and summer is the time to go outside and really enjoy the outdoors.  There is so much fun stuff to do outdoors.

I do have an outdoor fun activity that I do regularly, but unfortunately it is 90 minutes away from me and I can only do it on weekends and holidays since the horses are all the way in NJ.  What were my other options?

Bloggers talk about kayaking and paddle boarding.  I love kayaking and paddle boarding.  I do happen to live across the street from a body of water.  Unfortunately, I do not own a paddle board or kayak, nor do I have the permit to launch one.

There is cycling, which can be fun under the right conditions.  I also don't own a bike and I don't consider my neighborhood the right conditions.  There is too much traffic and I am not comfortable riding in heavy traffic.

One blogger mentioned boulder climbing - rock climbing's wimpy little brother.  I enjoy scrambling over large rocks, but there isn't any place to do this nearby.

Then there is the easiest outdoor activity that requires the least amount of equipment - hiking.  I love hiking.  When I think of hiking, I tend to associate it with gathering a group of friends together and driving two hours north to some mountainous state park.  There are no mountains or large state parks within 30 minutes of my home, but there are a few nice nature preserves.  If I needed to get outside so badly, why not take a little mini hike?

I decided to blow off Zumba and head for the Marshlands instead.

I took a camera with me, because you never know what you might see.

I started out my walk and some turkeys greeted me.  Actually, they didn't greet me at all.  They ran away.

I found myself walking down an unfamiliar path that I had never taken before.  It took me deeper into the woods and away from the marsh and shoreline where I usually go.  At one point I came to a spot where the path diverged.  I wasn't sure which way to go, but I chose my route when I decided not to disturb these deer.

I came to a spot where I could finally see the water.

I made it to the shoreline.  The wind was kicking up the water.  If I just looked at the marshes and ignored the buildings, I could pretend I was back in Chincoteague.




I came to this giant nest.  I spent quite a bit of time with the zoom lens trying to figure out what kind of bird resided there.  It was hard to tell because I heard the bird, but I never could see anything but its butt.  I'm guessing an osprey.

I was out for a good hour or two.  I had a peaceful and happy walk.  I didn't miss Zumba at all.  I'm sure I didn't burn as many calories as I would have burned in Zumba, but if you think fitness is only about burning calories, you're missing the point.

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