I’m excited to join the link-up with Eat Pray Run DC, Mar on the Run and You Signed up for What?!! This week’s topic is your five favorite fitness activities. I’ve been so focused on running, let’s see if I can actually come up with five!
1. Running (of course). In every sport I’ve ever done, the running part has been what I have enjoyed the most. In soccer, I always wanted to play mid-field just so I could sprint up and down the field. In karate, I loved the runs around the high school hallways and in crew the 1.5 mile runs were where I shined (no one told me until much later that being 5’3″ meant I’d probably never be “good” at rowing competitively!). Now, running is where I get some much needed alone time and how I prove to myself that I’m tough, disciplined and healthy. Yes, I <3 running! My goals for my running are to get much much faster and to do a Ragnar Relay within the next two years.
2. Yoga. I have trouble taking the time to do yoga, but I really do love it. I prefer the relaxing types of yoga more than the competitive, power yoga that seems to be so popular. To me, yoga is not for toning, strengthening or weight loss (although those may be nice side effects), it is for relaxing, calming, inner reflection and gaining flexibility (mental, physical and spiritual).
3. Hiking. I love hiking and exploring cities and the wilderness by foot. One of my long-term goals is to hike the Appalachian trail from one end to the other (although I’ll have to see if I can stand the bugs and rodents that are apparently part of the night time experience on the trail). I also want to hike rim to rim in the Grand Canyon. In 2008, Erik and I hiked down into the Canyon from the South Rim for a few hours and it was breathtakingly beautiful. I wasn’t fit enough at the time to consider a full day (or more!) hike but it’s in my future! I could go on and on and on about the places I want to hike. My fitness journey in large part has been inspired by the goal of being healthy and fit enough to explore “the great wide somewhere”.
4. Biking. I hate the stationary bike more than any other piece of fitness equipment. It’s boring and painful and just horrid! But biking out on the street or trails is almost a combination of running and yoga and hiking to me. I can push the effort enough to get a good workout but at the same time have the time and space to really enjoy the nature that I’m riding through and to spend a little time in self-reflection. The only downside to biking is the fear of being hit by a car. We have some off-road trails, but they tend to be used by more extreme mountain bikers. Although I hate wearing one, I always wear a helmet while I ride just to be safe.
5. Swimming. Wow, this wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be! I do really love to swim, although I’m afraid of swimming in open water (sharks, undertows, jellyfish, krackens) which is why I haven’t tackled a triathlon just yet. I do love swimming in the pool and in our local springs (clear and shark-free). I’ve tried swimming laps and that is exhausting! I’m not really good at breathing while I swim laps either, but I’m going to try again this summer.
You may notice that weight training is not on this list. While I’m doing it and think it will keep me in running shape (and reduce injuries), I still don’t really enjoy it. Somehow even though I’m drenched in sweat and breathing hard by the end it still doesn’t really feel like a workout without the cardio…
What are your favorite fitness activities? Hike, run, bike, swim or click on over to check out the other installments in today’s linkup!