It’s All About Balance

I have to confess, being unplugged is definitely my comfort zone. Despite working in a gym for 18 years, to me there is no better way to spend time than hiking up a mountain in the middle of nowhere, biking the local trails, swimming in a remote lake or canoeing a river. No noise other than nature. No devices other than a camera. I am the kind of gal who sleeps with a backcountry map beside my bed, circling dream adventures of places I want to explore. Over the last eight weekends, I have spent seven unplugged in the dirt with my family. 

Last weekend we took our six- and nine-year-old backpacking to an alpine lake with some friends. It was steep, the kids were a bit whiney, and my pack was feeling heavy, but these moments are fleeting and the stories, views, animal sightings and chocolate kept us going.   After getting lost (high alpine snow covered our trail) and finding our way, we arrived at our destination for the night four hours later. The lake was refreshingly swimmable, the kids caught fish, we watched eagles mating, ate delicious food, and slept looking at the stars. I made a point at this moment to tell the kids that if their day ever gets tough, all they need to do is close their eyes, take a breath and remember that this lake will always be peacefully here.

Our hike out the next day was beautiful. As I helped my six-year-old navigate some steep terrain, I appreciated how great it felt to be able to do this. I don’t dare take being “fit to play” for granted. All those workouts to keep my old injuries in check have paid off. I was also very appreciative of the made-it-to-the-summit-lollipops we bribed the kids with.

During the week between getaways, the workouts are back on the roster. There is no need for an old knee injury or lower back pain to slow you down. My workout routines are all business and specific to what I didn’t do on the weekend to help balance out my body. For instance, this week will include hamstring bridging to open up my hips from all the hill climbing, single leg ¼ squats to strengthen the knee stabilizers, rear delts and back extensions to prevent me from rounding my shoulders due to a heavy pack, and of course calf and IT band stretching and rolling to ease the legs. Usually at some point while plugged in replying to emails I take that moment to breathe and think of places like last weekend’s lake. Balance.

Quick and to the point – summer workouts truly allow you to be fit to play and do whatever you want, whenever you can. It also helps you to feel good, which is another by product of “good-sore” weekday muscles that help you stand straighter and re-balance the body for the coming weekend adventure. We are hoping to go canoe tripping this weekend, which I actually find challenging with the prolonged sitting… don’t worry, I’ll pack a hacky sack…