I was feeling a little sluggish this spring. This was partly due to the lackluster ski season and partly due to all the rich and cheese-filled French dinners we ate after our fairly unchallenging days on the slopes - tartiflette, fondue and our new fav raclette. We usually ski, hike or bike at least once or twice per week and I go to the gym a couple of days a week, but it just didn't feel like enough. This summer I have tried to increase my activity and make fitness more fun. This is what's been working for me lately to get me moving more and feeling all around better.
Working out at the gym at lunch. I find the gym kind of boring and monotonous and spending my precious free time in the evenings there just doesn't work for me. I would wake up in the mornings whole-heartedly intending to make it to the gym after work, but I just couldn't manage to go back inside to work out. I'm lucky to have fitness leave from my job so I can take an extra long lunch break three days a week to work out. Working out at the gym during my lunch break is still boring, but at least I don't feel like I'm wasting my free time inside. I've also been using my time at the gym to catch up on Kelsey's podcast, which makes the time fly by!
Cute workout clothes. I recently bought some new and cute exercise clothes in bright colors. It might sound silly, but when I wear clothes that make me happy, I have more fun. It's wearing your joy, as Kelly Rae Roberts describes it. It's about choosing to only wear clothes you love and dress yourself up in joy. It works!
I recently made the switch from a rigid mountain bike to full suspension. Full suspension! Wow, I never thought I would go for it, but it has changed my biking life. One day earlier this summer, as I struggled up a rocky incline on my rigid bike, Andrew pointed out that just because he's so stubborn about suspension doesn't mean I have to suffer too. I was resistant. I refused to try it. I said, "oh no, I don't need any of that fancy suspension. I want to rely on my own skills and strength."
A few weeks ago, he secretly rented me a full suspension bike to try for the day. Not too secretly, but I would have discouraged him had I known his plans. Even while at the bike shop, I complained about the weight and clunkiness and ugliness (let's face it, full suspension bikes aren't the prettiest on the trails). When we headed out that Saturday morning to the South Boundary Trail in Taos, I was unimpressed.
|photos can't capture how beautiful it is at the top...|
Then we started the first big downhill, and it was so different. I rode over rocks and roots and drops that would have frightened me so badly on my rigid bike. I rode 22 miles that day on a very challenging trail. Although the guide book says it is intermediate, it is clearly for more advanced riders. Despite a few hairy sections, I had the best time.
We now ride at least two nights after work with long rides on the weekends. Santa Fe has so many mountain bike trails so we never get bored and it's always challenging. It feels invigorating to be in the outdoors after long days inside. It is really hard work, but I can tell my strength and endurance is already improving so much.