Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Kayaking for Everyone!

On Wednesday evening, every third week of July for oh, maybe the last 10 years or more, Friends Fitness Company gets together with Morgans Canoe Livery and has a quiet float down a 3 mile stretch of the Little Miami River in southwest Ohio. Here you see current friends, past friends, and hopefully future friends of FFC. (and Mom and Dad of course) For some, it's their first experience cautiously commanding their own watercraft through gentle ripples of Class I water. For others who are familiar with the stream, it's layed back, socially stimulating and entertaining. Then there are those like me, seeking out the turtles having there final few moments of sunbathing on the rocks, catching the blue heron take flight startling everyone with their screech as THEY are startled out of their early evening feasting.

Typically in July, the drier weather has allowed the river levels to push us through the three miles stretch in about an hour. Anticipation sets in as our destination holds the best potluck dinner I personally ever have during the year. With a group consisting of more than a few "foodies", the wines are paired correctly with the food, and everyone brings out the best they have to offer. It's my very favorite Wednesday evening of the whole year. Hopefully, this annual tradition will continue for many years to come. Upon my demise from this earth, If I am remembered for anything, may it be "an organizer of Friends to share little pleasures."

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Workout is a Workout is a Workout

We do it because we are now conditioned to believe we have to do it. We have to get 3-5 days of cardio and 2-3 days of strength training worked into our already busy lives. We drag to the gym before or after work, or put the children in childcare at the facility and make our way to the chosen class of the month or to the most enticing treadmill in our favorite spot in the cardio room in front of our favorite tv program. It's making me yawn just thinking about it. The blank stares on everyone's faces as they watch their Nautilus counter log rep after rep and beep at them relentlessly for working too fast.

I teach a class in a gym. I do enjoy it. It's a Boot Camp style class that I change up every time. I run their butts out the front door too unless it's raining or freezing. The elliptical crowd briefly looks up from their frenzied pattern of backward running and their latest issue of Cosmo as we fly out the door. We do sprints from laying starts and Indian Runs out there and everyone wants to do just one more before we come back in. They seem to like it.....

One of my little pleasures in life, (which is all one should expect really) is Outdoor Fitness. I take a bunch of people with me. Running, paddling, hiking, biking, walking, climbing....Playing on a basketball court, a high school track, soccer field, playground, park...basically playing more like a kid. Remember? The energy seems to abound outdoors! The stress goes away and the friendly banter kicks in. A little competitive spirit finds it way into our 100 meter dash. I still have to explain and demonstrate bear crawls to newcomers and I'm always surprised that everyone is happy to do them!

My three courses of action to help people remember how to play and stay fit rather than workout in a gym are AM Boot Camp, Evening Fit Friends, and Weekend Warriors. Please join my blog and learn more about our experiences, our fun events, and the people who truly have made my life accountable.

Gym (jim) n. informal A necessary facility when it's way too cold or rainy or snowy to play outside.