Friday, August 10

working on my fitness, and becoming more adventurous along the way

At the beginning of the month I shared a little teaser image of the bikes Mr. Q and I got each other for our first wedding anniversary.  We've both been trying to get into better shape this summer, primarily because both of our fathers have diabetes and we knot that becoming overweight could lead to really bad news for either of us, and the bikes are a nice way to see that goal made tangible.  "Real" bikes- his is a Giant hybrid bikes, meaning it is kind of a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike and ideal for life in a somewhat rural area, and mine is a Giant entry-level mountain bike- are certainly an investment.  The man who owns the amazing local specialty bicycle store compared it to buying a car because they have trade-in value.  I am by no means an experienced biker- I don't think I have even been on a bicycle since maybe seventh grade- but I'm excited about my new bike!

I'm not so excited about my safety equipment, but I love my brain.  Right now I'm rocking a basic white Bell helmet from Dick's Sporting Goods and saving up for a prettier Nutcase helmet.  I did invest in some fancy gloves because the fuchsia stitching made them a perfect match for my bike's fuchsia accents.  Nothing like special equipment to make one feel like an athlete!

My biggest tools in getting a little stronger and healthier this summer have both been delivered via a television screen- I feel like I'm getting better and better at Jillian Michaels' Extreme Shred and Shed video, and when I'm in a bit of a rut I turn to Just Dance 3 on Sweat or Medley mode.  My other go-to  workouts are Gin Miller's Power Abs with the medicine ball, and Michael Jackson Experience on the Wii.  I've also been trying to get outside early in the mornings when the heat index is not too high and either walk or run; hopefully my new bike will get me outside even more.

Keep reading to see me in Katniss mode!

I have amassed basic workout equipment throughout college and several sessions of Metabolic Boot Camp - the tools I use regularly to support my workouts are a stability ball, a pilates ring, 3 lb. hand weights, a 4 lb. medicine ball, and a 5 lb. kettle bell.

When I'm burnt out on walking, running, biking, exercise DVDs, and the Wii, I flip through this 3-ring binder where I have organized exercises from magazines in page protectors.  They are in order of what equipment is needed and what muscle groups are targeted.  Right now my trouble spots are my triceps, abs, and thighs.

Have you ever noticed that taking on one new adventure can make you more adventurous overall?  When I saw this HUGE (to me) challenge course that the National Guard brought to my summer camp while I was volunteering, I knew I wanted to attack it- even though I'm afraid of heights to some extent and the end was a drop of about ten feet on a fireman's pole.  I rounded up my fellow adult volunteers so that we could support each other, and on the last day of classes we went to cheer on the campers and then tackle the wall ourselves.  The National Guard member you can see in the picture, was a teen counselor at camp when I was on staff!  He teased me the whole time I was on the course, which only made me try harder.  I was in Katniss mode until that fireman's pole - notice that there is no picture of that - because I ended up just bungee jumping into the arms of the Sargeant at the bottom instead!

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