Friday, June 30, 2017

Summer Fun! Two Ways to Get/Stay Fit in the City

 Excuse the title, my tongue-in-cheek effort to follow Bloglovin's advice about Attracting More Followers. The stock advice always seems to include exclamation marks and How-to and Numbers. .

What's really going on here is that after castigating myself, this morning, for being low on blog-writing energy, I did some evaluating of why that might be so. And what I came up with is that, sorry, there are just too many other fun things to do right now, with the summer weather having finally arrived here in Vancouver. We've had over a week now of sunshine, and although the temperature is not getting high enough for all but the most committed of ocean or lake swimmers (some days it edges toward 25 or 26, but it's mostly been about 22), it's absolute perfection for walking or cycling.

So, above, a photo taken after I met my guy at Spanish Banks, the two of us having taking different routes, leaving the house at different times  -- as in, I left earlier than he did, took a much more circuitous route, some of that by accident, some by deliberate detour, while he rode much faster and much more directly -- we rode home together, and overall, I think splitting the ride like this was a good way to give both of us what we needed. What can I say? Sometimes I like to amble, even on the bike; sometimes, though, I like the challenge of trying to keep up with him; and sometimes, even though I like the challenge, I also like to grumble about it . . . .

About the photo, I have to say I'm partly including it here because he's so pleased about taking a good one of me. I posted it earlier, both on FB and on IG, and in both spots I got an abundance of lovely compliments -- funny, really, because I hadn't bothered "doing" my morning bedhead hair since I was going to be jamming the bike helmet over it anyway. Then at the beach, my helmet off while we sat for a break, the wind was playing havoc with it. And that "outfit" -- workout leggings, a top I grabbed because it was long enough to cover the bum ('cause we all know the rule: leggings are NOT pants!), and a pair of loafers that were handily by the front door.. . Somehow, this outfit complemented by messy hair and no makeup garnered more positive feedback than any selfie I've posted in, well, almost forever. There's a lesson here somewhere, right?

And kayaking is back in our repertoire now that we've got memberships at a facility on the water, not even ten minutes' cycle from home. It's not the same, of course, as the paddling we did at our old home, where we could finish our tea and put the empty mugs on the counter as we shrugged into our PFD's, fastening the straps as we grabbed paddles from the deck, dragged our grey, plastic Necky Alseks twenty metres to the water's edge, and were rounding the point of our tiny bay five minutes after deciding to go for a paddle.

I miss the peace of those kayak rides, the horizon stretching out so broadly, so far ahead of us, so much wildlife around us, our neighbour's homes tucked into trees along the shore, the morning or evening so quiet we could pick words out of the voices travelling from waterfront patios via the wind . . . our paddling this week is so very different, so urban, surrounded by such a different energy, so (too?) much visual stimulation in every direction, has, I have to say, stirred up some feelings about what's been left behind.

But on the other hand (since behind is, after all, behind), to be able to do this in the city. . . .  (Wednesday night, my brother-in-law texted to ask if we wanted to go paddling with them, then out for dinner after, to celebrate my sister's birthday last night -- we did, and I must say that being able to spend that kind of time with family is immeasurably easier here than when we lived on the island. Trade-offs, transitions. . . . )

So tell me: Do your activity patterns change with the summer weather?  (And speaking of activity and fitness, have you checked out Lisa's post on "How to Start a Yoga Practcice"? Really useful advice -- with videos! -- on how to get yourself on the mat without feeling awkward or grumpy.) Are you able to handle working out in the heat? Anybody out there doing Paddleboard Yoga? #kiddingnotkidding More gardening, one of the under-recognized but arguably more sustainable fitness activities? Lake, ocean, or outdoor pool swimming? Hiking or walking?

33 comments:

  1. So glad your weather has improved and kayaking is now on the agenda. Even urban kayaking must be fun. What a great idea to have a membership with kayaks always to hand. We always moan about the three minute pull down the lane to get our 2 person kayak to the slip. No kayaking for me yet. The wrist is till to weak for any consistent paddling. Mind you I could just sit in the front and trail my dodgy wrist in the sea water. Like the sound of your two stage cycling and meeting in the middle. Might suggest that to my better half. Enjoy your summer. B x

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    1. We were so spoiled for so long, but you're right that the membership in the city is a good thing. And we could take out a double if I ever wanted to follow your inspiring idea and do some wrist-trailing myself ;-)
      Yes, the two-stage cycle worked really well. We did the following day's longer ride altogether, but sometimes I don't want to bother "keeping up," plus I think I have a tendency to get dependent on the company. . . . ;-)

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  2. My blog statistics have fallen off since I stopped writing about my clothing unless it is exceptional (almost never is) or what I eat. I just came back from my weekly morning walk with my youngest brother who has found himself a househusband at 56. We walk for a couple of hours and talk. He's 9.5 years younger so we really haven't spent that much time together. Daughter and I have been to our pool twice this week as she reaches the 90 pound weight loss mark. I've taken on parking lot garden 3 and I go out at 7 most mornings. I talk to another early morning gardener who lives in a different building. I find that I am doing more blog reading than writing but I try to comment on all the blogs that I read.

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    1. My stats can be uneven as well, and I try not to think about them too much. There are other parameters of blogging's worth in our lives, right?
      Sounds as if you are keeping quite active in the summer weather (and isn't it grand right now?) So nice that you're able to spend that time with your brother, getting re (or more deeply acquainted. And having your daughter's company for swimming is a fine benefit from her weight loss! Always appreciate your comments here, and elsewhere.

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  3. The idea of the membership allowing you access to kayaks and waterfront really appeals to me;what fantastic solutions you are finding to navigate your transition. I am in awe at how inventive you are being.
    Can not, not, not exercise in the humidity. It fells me, pure and simple. Luckily much less of it in London summers than in Maine ones.
    Another photo where you look stunning...natural and fit and casually stylish. The camera seems to like you and you seem quite natural in front of it. Even my mother, sister and sweetheart who love me plenty tell me I take the worst photos they have ever seen. Always admire those who are photogenic.
    Looking good Frances. Glad you are finding things to make your heart sing.
    A.in London

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    1. I'm like you with humidity -- luckily, it doesn't get too bad here, near the ocean, but when I've been back East (Ottawa, for example) in the summer, I instantly wilt.
      I don't think I'm photogenic, but I rarely share the photos of myself I don't like. . . .
      And I am, yes, thank you, I am finding things to make my heart sing. The transition has been good, overall. . .

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  4. Our summer has been so miserable -- first a drought and now constant rain and high temperatures (90+F)--that little can be done outside. If you try, the mosquitoes are fearsome as i learned trying to cut back bushes in the garden. We had our front door repaired and painted, and it is taken three days to dry enough to reinstall the knobs (and locks). So yoga for me and cross fit for the hubby -- both inside and relatively cool. Did have a short trip to the mountains in NC and some lovely walks there and hope to go back soon.

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    1. I'd have a tough time with that kind of heat ombined with mosquitos! (the notion of rain paired with temps that high is quite foreign to me). So good to have options for satisfying indoor work outs, but I can imagine you're itching for a change of pace.

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  5. I, too, am enjoying our summer weather (finally)! I get out with my dog for an early morning hour-long walk while it is still nice and fresh. I've been doing 2 or 3 hours gardening in the afternoon cutting back shrubs which, apparently, also like our warm weather and are sprouting like crazy!) I figure my morning walk and gardening are getting me enough exercise in this heat :) Evenings are for kicking back with a glass of wine and enjoying the garden!. Lyn J.

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    1. Too bad you didn't live a bit closer -- I'd tag along for one of those walks. Hasn't the weather been great? Not so warm that you can't do a few hours gardening in the afternoon (although I'm pretty pleased that I don't have to, our little garden here being much less demanding). And I agree, evenings are all about the glass filled with wine and contentment.

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  6. The general public seems to have misheard the 'leggings are not pants.' It's getting worse, IMO.

    You look natural and fabulous. That's a goal to aim for.

    Not many places more pretty than the Vancouver waterfront when the sun is shining.

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    1. Thanks, Julie -- and I do think the Vancouver waterfront is hard to beat -- in sunshine anyway.

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  7. I love that photo, Frances. You look so relaxed and lovely! Plus the one in the kayak is much different than the ones you posted kayaking on your island, isn't it? Are you sharing the water with bigger boats? I think I'd find that intimidating. Still the ability to do this in the city is wonderful.
    We live right on the water (Rideau River) and we never put the canoe in at home. Way too much boat traffic, unless it's at 6:00 AM. And we both know that's a non-started for moi:)
    No walking, hiking, or bike riding here since last weekend. Too much rain, daily, and then there were the hail storms. Wouldn't have wanted to be caught outside in that deluge. But on Monday we're off camping for a week. Pray for NO rain...or hail!

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    1. So different -- False Creek does have a fair bit of marine traffic, but it's all recreational, unless you count the small foot ferry/AquaBuses threading their way back and forth -- no really big boats. It can get quite busy with the dragon boaters training, which is fun to watch. . . and watching all the activity on shore, being in the city but at one remove from it, is pretty cool.
      Really hoping you get good weather for your camping trip. . . .

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  8. Leslie in OregonJuly 1, 2017 at 12:32 AM

    Yup, I particularly like that photograph of you. And congratulations on finding and devising ways to make the transition work so well for you! To answer your question: our activity patterns change quite drastically with in summer: we spend most of our open time in activities on, in and next to the fresh waters of local rivers and lakes: swimming, kayaking, boating in our old but trusty dog/kid-friendly motorboat to favorite usually-deserted beaches on the Columbia River, playing games with dog/s and, if available, kids in the water and on the sandy beach, waterskiing and tubing, picnicing, exploring estuaries, and so on. Although we live within 5 minutes of city center, we are able to get on the water within no more than 20 minutes, which means we can go on after-work as well as weekend water forays.

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    1. Leslie, that sounds just ideal, being able to be that close to so many fresh-water bodies of water that you can use as playground. It makes such a difference to one's sense of summer if you can fit in some play before or after work (I remember my dad waking us early, driving us to a nearby lake for a quick swim, before he had to go to work -- might only have happened the once, but some 55 years later, he's still with me in that memory)

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  9. That photo is an exceptional one!
    I spend a lot more time in the garden at this time of year...so many roses to dead head and the weeds need to be pulled. I have been going to yoga several days each week and walking less as there is only so much one can do in a day...besides there are grandchildren to play with, books and blogs to read and bridge game as at the club! You seem to be adapting to your new condo life with what looks like great ease.

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    1. I think yoga and gardening make a good match for summer activities -- Yoga helps you stretch out all those muscles you might tend to overwork in tending a garden.
      Yes, I'm adapting -- it's not always as easy as it might like, but I'm getting there . . . ;-)

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  10. That photograph is really special. You look very relaxed in the way you sit there, with you hair and clothes. But at the same time, the shade around you (with the sun shining in the background) and your dark glasses give you a withdrawn look, as if you were keeping you thoughts to yourself. Which makes one wonder.
    Until now, I have been spending my holidays watching sheets of rain rush across the lake, connecting dark clouds and dark waves like white curtains. Quite a show, but no chance for a swim, nor for putting the rowing boat in or sitting on the deck. I am still waiting for some sun and a warm evening to sit outside and listen to the noises dying down until all you can hear are the calls of the birds far out on the water... But if it does not happen now, I can come back in August.

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    1. Your description made me look at the photo again, and I think you're right -- I might end up printing this shot, actually.
      Oh, I hope the weather changes for you, but on the other hand, if you have to be stuck in rain, I suspect that's a wonderful place to sit inside watching it. . .

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  11. Summertime activity / exercise ... mowing 9 acres, weeding, trimming fence lines, cutting timber and picking up downed timber, other gardening chores, and a very occasional kayaking day on spring-fed rivers down here in Missouri. Also keeping up my yoga classes and aquarobics classes.

    The payoff for all this self-righteousness is ice cream! And a couple fewer pounds on the scale. And, of course, the self-righteousness.

    Ann

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    1. Wow! That's a lifestyle that definitely keeps the body trim and fit! And ice cream is the perfect compensation. I know what you mean about the self-righteousness. Pater and I often say that about a really good workout done early-ish in the day, how much better everything else feels after that....

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  12. For me, part of what I love about that photo is your outfit. You do look very relaxed and fit, but the outfit is what makes me love the photo - something I can see myself wearing and do wear - may be fairly "plain", but it's what I really like and feel most comfortable in. I love your comment that we all know that leggings are NOT pants! I've always known that, but why are there so many out there who don't know that rule?!

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    1. It's a simple outfit, isn't it, and it work for cycling in, as long as I get out early, before it warms up a bit. Funny, but I rarely wear either of those pieces otherwise -- you can't tell in the photo, perhaps, but they're both a bit too comfortable, if you know what I mean. ;-)

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  13. This is an amazing photo indeed! You look really great
    Happy Canada Day!
    Enjoy beautiful weather and summer sports
    Dottoressa

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    1. Thanks Dottoressa! Good of you to remember our Canada Day!

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  14. The striped shirt picture is adorable. My exercise for the last month was mainly walking dogs - a friend's 3 big ones and my little one, in consecutive 1 mile loops. Twice a day. Now I'm home with just one little dog and very hot weather (mid-90s, high humidity....) and for the last couple days I have been trying to get a grip on things here and bemoaning the heat. Kayaking always looks so fun, but I worry about wet hearing aids.....

    ceci

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    1. What? So you were walking 8 miles a day? (it's the "consecutive" that may have thrown off my math -- did you walk each dog, one by one, a mile in the morning, a mile at night? Not try to take 2 or 4 dogs all at once as the (crazy! skilled!) dogwalkers-for-hire here do?
      I've never thought about my hearing aids when I paddle -- never think about going in the water, for that matter, and in all my kayaking over the years, I never have (knocks loudly on wood!). I do worry sometimes about popping into the shower with them in -- could only happen after I've gone for a run or a gym workout with someone else, as I don't bother with them if I'm on my own.

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  15. Oh, what awesome weather you are having! Plus your hair looks great. And I loved Lisa's post on yoga. How has my fitness regime changed this summer? Well, in the last 6 months, I've done less "fitness" than I ever have. Dramatically less. And I don't feel any worse for it at all. In fact, I need to unlearn the patterns in my body that have led me to the sort of intermittent pain cycles that I have been having for such a long time. So even my yoga practice is bizarrely movement-free. And I only walk one way (50 min, when it's not raining) because over-walking just makes me tired these days. Any movement that my body deems excessive can throw me into a pain state - not that this happens frequently - so I've had to learn how to do much less. It's sad in some ways because I do love to be physically active. But I'm working with the hand I've been dealt, on this front. Lord - I hope things improve dramatically when this perimenopause shit is finally over with. But I can tell, at this point, that's likely many years out.

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    1. We are having glorious weather, and I hope you'll get yours as well soon.
      Something like what you're going through happened to me with this knee thing and running, my body from waist down seeming to seize up so that even walking was uncomfortable, awkward, painful at times, and I just had to dial it all down and rest. Fascia gone nuts! But I'm climbing back out of that hole, seriously chastened and trying to do a better job of listening to my body. Have a really great trainer and we're figuring out what I CAN do in the meanwhile instead of being discouraged about what still seems out of bounds. But that is exactly the description "Any movement that my body deems excessive can throw me into a pain state". . . .

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  16. Hello Frances - I Ioved that picture and your urban cycle and paddle sounds quite idyllic, although I can understand how doing something so similar but in a different setting would bring the contrast into sharp focus.
    As my exercise is resolutely stuck in a groove of running ( mostly due to circumstances of time pressures over preference), I run in all weathers, urban and rural and what I find is that some runs are quite internal - listening to breathing , being aware of body effort ( yuk ) and others - my favourites are more external and tapping into what is going on outside - or chatting to my run companions.
    My blogging is very inconsistent , and something I need to work on.
    Reading your posts always makes me get back on my writing horse, and I very much enjoy hearing about your life in Canada and travels. M

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    1. I must say, if I could be running now, that's what I'd prefer -- although, luckily, since I can't right now, I don't have the same time pressures that made its convenience so attractive to me originally.
      I think you do quite well, honestly, to manage as many posts (IG, if not the blog) as you do given your busy life . .

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  17. I'm mostly walking, mostly early as it has been humid and in the upper 80s or 90s here. Some days even the walk is a struggle. I usually go about 2 1/2 miles. My intention is to do it twice, but that may wait until fall, and I may never be consistent. Or maybe as I get more settled it will get easier. I do want to pull my bike out...

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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