So why am I a lazy personal trainer?



I'm trying! Follow my quest to OVERCOME LAZY!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

How I Overcame Lazy This Week: I Got a Christmas Bonus!

The original zip line that
started it all!

My Christmas Eve eve started off with my Random Act of Fitness #38:  doing the zip swing at the park.  We're at my parents' here in Washington for Christmas and it is stinkin' cold!  Not surprisingly, no one else was nutty enough to be there at the playground, which was nice because no line for the zip swing this time!  After run-pushing the girls several times, K and I took our turns as well, which we can't do on our mini version back home.  It was fun!

My turn!

Next, I started my deliberate act of fitness while K and girls stayed to throw rocks in the Columbia river.  I headed off to run along the river and jog my way home.

Sorry about the funny face.
I couldn't really feel it.

Man, winter running is NOT for wimps!  It was about 22 degrees and mostly overcast.  It was around noon and there was still frost on the ground.  Starting out I was really wishing I'd brought my ski mask... and this was the first time I did not appreciate the "cooling" feature on my running shoes.  However, by about mile 3 I was starting to feel my extremities again.

So relieved my feet didn't overheat. 
That's the frosty ground!

Now here's where Random Act of Fitness #39 comes in.  I had intended to run a fairly direct route to my parents' house, but I ended up kinda getting lost!  This little mishap roughly doubled my planned mileage, thus granting me an unplanned opportunity to overcome Lazy since I was, more or less, running randomly through unfamiliar neighborhoods trying to work my way back home.

By the time I encountered a path that would correctly lead me home, I'd warmed up significantly and was rather enjoying myself.  I'd gotten to explore unfamiliar parts of town and see some unexpected sights. And heaven knows, I definitely needed the extra calorie expenditure with all of Mom's home cookin' I've been inhaling!  It was kinda like a little Christmas bonus.

Iceburg!  Dead ahead!
I never would've seen this had I
stayed on course.

So I'm tellin' ya... play with your kids every chance you get... never pass up an opportunity to run along a river when you've got one close by (even in the dead of winter!)... and don't be afraid to get a little lost every so often!  It just might result in a bonus that's a little better than the Jelly-Of-The-Month club.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Overdue Tribute to Grandpa Johnson: One Un-Lazy Fella

I wanted to get the report out on our awesomely active Thanksgiving holiday weekend much sooner but a sobering family event and just the general busyness of the season have messed a bit with my best-laid plans.
This wasn't no pansy hike!
But worth it to enjoy some Indian artwork.
First off, I would say that the Johnson family totally succeeded in overcoming Lazy this Thanksgiving!  Along with the expected gobble, gobbling, we had some great, active family fun.  This started with our hike at Sloan Canyon on Thanksgiving morning to discover ancient Indian petroglyphs.  Along the way we even picked up a small Gila Monster, whom we named Gilbert.  Well, I called him that, anyway.
This was followed up by our First Annual Johnson Family Golden Sneaker Challenge.  I was afraid this might be overshadowed – or even cancelled – due to the aforementioned dismaying occurrence.  Our Grandpa Johnson passed away the day after Thanksgiving and – although not totally unexpected – it certainly cast a bit of melancholy into our mood.
Just look at that concentration during the
"Squash Relay"
But you know what, we gathered the family together the next day as planned for our Thanksgiving-themed fitness challenge, and our despondency was quickly replaced by laughter and energy and joyfulness.
We realized that we were doing exactly what Grandpa would’ve wanted to us to do and, in fact, probably would’ve joined us in, a decade ago!  This is a man who was utterly no-nonsense and impatient with wastefulness, whether it be time, emotion, material objects or good health.
And they're off...
The Gobbler Chase!
He never would’ve tolerated us moping around, feeling blue, all on his account.  In fact, I like to think he was pleased that we gathered together for a wholesome, healthy and enjoyable family activity that refreshed us and reminded us what is important in life.
By our actions, I think we honored his memory the best way we possibly could.  Arthur G. Johnson was a humble and brave WWII hero, an incredibly diverse and dedicated physician and – probably, most importantly – the best father, grandfather and great-grandfather you could ever wish for.  
We’re glad you overcame Lazy, Grandpa Johnson, and were able to bless our lives in so many ways.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How I PLAN To Overcome Lazy This Week: We're Adding a New Healthy Thanksgiving Tradition

I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving this year.  I can’t wait to see my family and enjoy the good food. . . and this year, I’m especially looking forward to the 1st Annual Johnson Family Golden Sneaker Challenge! 

I’m still working on the details but there will be things like a pumpkin relay, a gobbler chase, a 5K turkey trot, an Indian (ahem – native American) hieroglyphic hike… and, of course, some power shopping (possible requirements:  a running pace and jumping jacks while waiting in line).
I did something similar with the Taylor side of my family this summer during our reunion at the beach and it was AWESOME!  It turned out to be one of the highlights of the vacation.
We’ll see how much we can fit in… after all we’re not abandoning the usual traditions, nor do I want to eliminate some luxurious down-time while the kids occupy themselves with unstructured free-play.

I just wish we had a few more hours of daylight this time of year. Curse you, daylight savings… and planet Earth for tilting away from the sun!  It’s winter, but we still wanna play outside!
Have a happy (and healthy) Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Random Act of Fitness #22: Keeping pace with my 5-year-old

This girl amazes me.
Because of my 5-year-old daughter’s seemingly limitless energy, trying to keep up with her on any given day provides many opportunities for an RAF… if I decide to join her!

Well, this week on one of our walks to school, I did, indeed, keep pace with her!  Once we exit the gate of our neighborhood, she usually jets off down the sidewalk and impatiently waits for me to catch up so she can hop her way across the lines of the cross walks and then resume her little race.

I usually walk briskly to so she stays in sight and isn’t kept waiting too long, but the other day, I matched her running pace and hopped right along with her across the streets and got my heart pumping a little more than usual. 

See you can even do interval training on the walk to school!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

How I Overcame Lazy This Week: I Totally Rocked Out!

Music is powerful, magical and can be very motivating!  Lately it has often been a significant factor in enhancing my performance while running.  I know I've picked a good song for my play list when - despite my panting and wheezing - I still feel compelled to sing along out loud!

Often when I'm dragging my feet to even start my workout, I put on some good tunes and am suddenly inspired to change my clothes and get moving! 

I've said it before:  music that motivates is such a personal thing, but I thought I'd share a few songs that are working for me lately:
Angel of Harlem - U2
Beautiful Life - Ace of Base
Bust a Move - Young MC
Don't Stop the Music - Rihanna
Hung Up - Madonna
Kiss - Prince
Let My Love Open The Door - Pete Townsend
Love Drunk - Boys Like Girls
Love Shack - B52s
More Than A Feeling - Boston
Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO
Poison - Bel Biv Devoe
Safety Dance - Men Without Hats
Uprising - Muse
We're Not Gonna Take It - Twisted Sister
Wild Boys - Duran Duran
Your Love Is My Drug - Ke$ha
Quite the mix-up, I know, but I love all these for various reasons... some old stuff, some new. 

Whatever it is that gets you moving... put some good music on the next time you're dragging!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Random Act of Fitness #21 - Exercise Band Mini-Burst Workout

I busted out the exercise band at the playground the other day and K and I took turns doing a 4-minute workout while the girls played.  I noticed while we were doing our little RAF that one of the other dads on the playground started doing some pullups on the monkey bars, so I'm sure it was us who totally inspired him to overcome Lazy!

This is a great little mini-burst of a workout.  If you do each exercise I show for 1 minute (30 secs for unilateral the exercises) It takes 4 minutes, that's all - great for an RAF.  Do it a few times in a row and you've done a nice little mini-workout.  Alternate it with 5 minutes of cardio (jumping jacks/rope, step-ups, treadmill, elliptical, etc.) for 30 minutes and you've done a great full workout!

Do yourself a favor and make sure you have an exercise band around the house.  I like the flat ones because they're so versatile.  You can find them at any sporting goods store and usually at Walmart and Target as well.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How I Overcame Lazy This Week: I’m Trying To Eat Like A 5-Year-Old

We just had my daughter’s favorite dinner tonight:  salmon.  Wait, did I just write those words?  Could this possibly be true?

Tell me if I’m wrong, but it’s gotta be every parents’ dream to hear their 5-year-old child declare salmon as her favorite thing to eat.  Well, I’m livin’ the dream, then, because R has proclaimed just that.  I tend to believe her, too, because not only did she gasp with delight when I announced we’re having salmon for dinner but after she gobbled up her own portion, she demanded about half of mine!  My 3-year-old loves it too.

Trust me, my girls have VERY normal nutritional preferences on a day-to-day basis.  They would marry chicken nuggets and fries if they could, they go bonkers over “fruit” snacks and can magically find room in their tummies for large amounts of sweets just moments after they’ve declared themselves “stuffed” from picking over their dinner.

But there are enough aberrations from their typical kiddie predilections that I feel like I’m getting somewhere with their nutritional inclinations!

Another recent example:

The green guy is Rody.

He (although R calls him, “she”) is a bouncy horse toy inflated with air that one can sit upon and hop with… or dress up in a tutu and crown and use to give rides to Rapunzel Barbie…

Anyway, R told me one morning that she’d had a dream that Rody was broken open and brownies came falling out!  (She must’ve heard me talking in my sleep!)  So a few nights later as we cuddled at bedtime, I started the game of: what else could Rody be stuffed with?  Going off the brownie theme from her dream, I started listing off things like candy corn, Junior Mints, ice cream, etc.

She was giggling, enjoying the game, but quickly stopped me by saying that Rody should really be stuffed with healthy things first so we wouldn’t get a tummy ache!  Well, she certainly put me in my place!

So we switched gears and took turns listing healthier fare that could come tumbling out of a Rody piƱata:  carrots, broccoli, pistachios, yogurt, bananas… and, yes, salmon.

In a perfect world, this would be the aftermath
of a pinata...
...not this.

Yep, it’s my 5-year-old that has helped me stay on track nutritionally more than once!  Now if I could just get her to figure out shoe-tying life would be sa-weet!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

How My FRIEND Overcame Lazy This Week... Because I Sure Didn't!

Sloths may be pretty lazy but it takes some
amount of muscle to stay hanging in that tree!
 What is WITH me, lately?  I train for and run a half-marathon and then I become the laziest person on earth!  This is exactly what happened a year ago after I ran in the Ragnar Relay. In both cases, I went from being in pretty damn good shape to becoming a 3-toed sloth power vacuum for weeks following both events.  It's been 3 weeks since my half and I've managed to get in 2 Random Acts of Fitness and 1 single workout.  Woo hoo.  Yeah, and yet my calorie intake has resembled that of a sumo wrestler in training. 

Perhaps, subconsciously, I fear I'll tarnish my "Lazy Personal Trainer" title, so after accomplishing great feats of fitness, I have to make up for it with an episode of colossal apathy.

I can't "overcome lazy" too early in life.  Oh no.  Then how would I keep things interesting?

Anyway, since I, myself, have been over-welcoming Lazy lately, I must feature my friend's amazing way of overcoming it on a daily basis!  Thank goodness I'm surrounded by awesome, motivating people that are inspirational examples to me when I need it most. 

Friday, after dropping R off at school, Z and I decided to take the long way home so she and I could play at the park for a few minutes (see, I really am trying!).  That's when I ran into my friend who was also heading home with her two sons after dropping off her daughter.

Ok, I'm pretty sure Kim's
not pulling stunts like these...
but she's still overcoming Lazy!

Okay, so I can pat myself on the back that my daughters and I walk to school every day... and, when we met up, my friend even complimented us on our daily habit of walking.  But here's the thing:  our route is less than 1/2 mile and takes us about 12 minutes walking each way.  My friend's route is about 1 full mile from the school.  She lets all three of her kids ride their bikes while she hops on a scooter to keep up with them!  She could easily and sensibly justify driving them to school, but, nope... she's overcoming Lazy.

I really needed our chance encounter on Friday.  I'm pretty pumped now to end this pathetic slump I'm in and feel normal again!  Even though Lazy is appealing to me, it doesn't feel normal to me.

And I'd like to keep it that way!  Thanks Kim!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Random Act of Fitness #20: Kegels.... They're baaaaaack!

I'd like to report that nary a day goes by without me doing a set or two of Kegels.  But, honestly, that's not the case.  Kegels are easy to do, but they're easy to not do, too! 

The small amount that I have been doing over the past months do seem to have helped prevent any major leaks but I've had a few small reminders that it's been a while since I've incorporated them into my fitness routine.

So, today I've been doing some as I'm sitting here at the computer and I think this is my new spot to do them.  I'd been trying to do them as I brush my teeth, but it turns out that's trickier than I thought it would be! 

I'm sure almost everyone has daily computer time, right?  Well, that means we can all have daily Kegel time too!

Just remember:  Pelvic floors are muscles too!  They're definitely not as visible as bulging biceps or as flashy as 6-pack abs, but they shouldn't be neglected, people!

Kegels are surprisingly popular among some of the famous (and infamous).

Reliable sources inform me that these are authentic celebrity Kegel action shots:

With a look like that you know she's enjoying
strengthening her pelvic floor.

Whether you agree with her politics or not,
you can't deny her Kegel efforts are impressive.

So what do you think is going through his head?
I bet it's either: "Hold...1...2....3"
"Why did I ever think I wanted this job?"

Even Heidi Klum isn't too sexy for Kegels.

I'm positive this is George Clooney.
And I'm positive he's doing his Kegels.
Of course if you look like any of these guys while doing your own Kegels, you're working way too hard.  Here's a reminder on the proper method.
Have fun with your Kegel-ing.  I sure am!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Random Act of Fitness # 19: 100 Pushups!

Little show-off.
Why should the lower body have all the fun?  I thought I'd try doing some upper bod exercises 100 times today to give my legs a break from yesterday's 100 lunges.  Yep, I'm already feeling it in the ol' pecs.  It's, of course, a delightful sensation!

I did 5 sets of 20 throughout the day and did a mixture of kitchen counter pushups and wall  push-aways.  You may think:  Wall pushups, those are nuthin'!  But, au contraire, mon ami.  If you lean into them and make it a plyometric-type move by explosively pushing yourself away from the wall, they're not nuthin'.  They're something!  Especially for an RAF!

Now I'm off to go do some corner chest stretches!

RAF #18: 100 Lunges

Lunges keep me and Spidey in
tip-top shape. 
We could be twins...
except I'm not such a leotard fan.

Yikes, I'm falling behind a bit on my RAF schedule.  But today I worked in a total of 100 lunges. 

I broke them into 5 sets of 20 and did a mixture of front and back lunges with each set. 

So easy to fit in periodically during the day!  I think I'll shoot for 200 next time!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

How I Overcame Lazy This Week: Really? I'm Complaining About This?

Anyone who spends time around me knows that I’m a complainer.  To me, that’s a lazy state of mind.  It’s like you are too lazy to think positively, shift your perception and come up with a solution for the problem so you just sit there and wallow in your self-pity.  I have to say, I don’t think I’m too much of a whiner, nor am I a complete Negative Nancy, but I do my fair share of griping.

Some of my current sources of complaint:  I am always tired lately because our girls make us play musical beds almost every night!  My chronic exhaustion has made it hard to be motivated to get my workouts in; especially when trying to train for my half marathon.  My house is always a wreck.  I can’t keep it clean for longer than half a day, if that.  There will never be enough money to obliterate and perfectly solve all of our financial woes the way I want them to be.

I’ll stop there because this list could go on and on.

Yep, poor me.  Poor, poor me.

Poor me that my sleep is disrupted frequently by two of my most favorite, beloved people in my life because they trust me to provide the love and comfort that only I can provide them in the middle of the night.  Poor me that the source of my tossing and turning is caused by the elbow pokes and covers-hogging of two of the most precious beings ever known to me.

Poor me that I have to sometimes force my healthy, strong, capable body to lace up my comfortable shoes and head outside into the glorious outdoors to pursue the satisfying challenge of keeping myself fit and better suited to live my life to the fullest.

Poor me that I have a comfortable home that is often cluttered because I just don’t seem to have the time to keep up with it all.  Poor me that I keep losing that time to other stuff like playing and reading and doing homework with my daughters; heading out to do both planned and impromptu activities with my family; I even lose precious hours taking the occasional nap to make up for a horrible night’s sleep.

Poor me that I only have one car, which has compelled my husband to ride his bike to work resulting in his losing over 50 pounds and becoming the fittest he’s ever been.  Poor us that we don’t have more income to end up wasting on things we don’t need.  Poor us that we’ve been forced to be smarter about budgeting, saving and appreciating our money.

Yes, I know.  Pathetic.  THIS is the life I often complain about.  No, I don’t complain about a homeless, disease-laden, persecution-filled existence rife with crime, disasters, health problems and/or constant family tragedies.  I get to complain about an often challenging, frustrating, and – at times - disappointing existence that still manages to be a blessed, rewarding and very happy life.

Lucky me.  Lucky, lucky me!

(But I’m sure I’ll still complain a little.)

Monday, September 19, 2011

How I Overcame Lazy This Week: Oh, I Just Ran a Half-Marathon, That's All!

The following is my report on my first ever half-marathon race (which is a whopping 13.1 miles in case you didn’t know!):

Pre-race.  Fresh, smiling.... naive.

I think last night I ran more than I ever want to have to run again in my life. 

Okay, I’m gonna drop a bomb here:  Running a half-marathon is WORK!  Who’da thunk!?!

Especially on the Red Rock Canyon Scenic Byway, which has an elevation increase of 1031 feet within the first 5.3 miles.  There are some nice downhills after that but the terrain continues to roll and includes a few more good uphill climbs.

Though the first hilly miles were tough, what really got to me was the sheer distance.  Somewhere between mile 8 and 9 I was starting to get annoyed that I was still running.  I mean, come on, just end already!  The fact that it was very dark and I couldn’t see the course ahead of me at all probably didn’t help with my impatience.

It was an interesting experience to run at night.  This was a twilight run that started at 8pm on a road with no lights.  We were required to wear headlamps but other than the lanterns they had at the water stations, there was nothing lighting our way except the stars (the moon didn’t show up until about mile 11).

I’d done a night run before while running one of my Ragnar Relay legs but that was only about 4.5 miles and had streetlights along part of the course.  I have to say, this time it was a bit lonely running in the dark.  I could see headlamps bobbing from the runners ahead of me and then as we’d switchback, I would see the long trail of lights from those behind me, but it was a strangely anonymous race.  I didn’t really see anyone’s face.  Even the people I chatted with before and after the race were just shadowy strangers to me.

As strange as the darkness was, it was uniquely marvelous, as well.  When you’re that far from the city and Strip lights, you’re reminded how many stars there are in the sky!  The first 6 or so miles, I was running straight toward the big dipper, which was brilliant and low on the horizon – a perfect set of guiding stars for me.  When the trail finally had us switch back to head east, there was the unmistakable glow of the Las Vegas Strip in the distance with the Luxor beam serving as the new beacon for us to follow.

The first few miles, I listened to the constant whirring and chirping of the bugs and howling of the coyotes… (Okay, no coyotes, but that would’ve been cool!).  But once that become monotonous and I got tired of listening to my own gasping breaths, I was happy to stick my ear plugs in and listen to my music.

I was disappointed that the moon hadn’t been out there with us during the race, but somewhere around mile 11, I glanced up to see it starting to peek up behind the distant hills.  And what an entrance it made!  It was 2/3 of a harvest moon and I swear it cast my shadow onto the rocky calico hills behind me, it was so bright! 

At the finish line:  Stilling smiling, or is it grimacing!
That clock said 2:05 when I crossed the the tape.
Uh oh, I think I'm gonna have to see if I
can break 2 hours!

So I’ll drop another bomb on you:  Despite all my griping, I have to say that running a half marathon was a spectacular and satisfying accomplishment.  (I know, I know, you’ve never heard THAT before.)

But, if you’ve done one, you know what I mean.  If you haven’t, you should find out for yourself.

Oh, and, don’t worry:  no desert tortoises were harmed during the running of this race.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

How I Overcame Lazy This Week: Deliberate Acts Of Fitness

Subtitle:  Accountability, Thy Name Is Half-Marathon.

I have been so stinkin' busy lately.  Anyone else out there, by chance, been running around like a chicken with its' head cut off?  The start of school, extra-curricular activities, two birthdays... oh yeah, and a freakin' half-marathon to train for (!!!) have all kinda got my head spinning.  Oh wait, I'm a headless chicken... well, you know what I mean!

You'd think this would be the perfect time to take advantage of some quick random acts of fitness squeezed into all the chaos, but, actually, my DELIBERATE acts of fitness haven't left any time for the random ones!  I don't even know how I'm doing it, but since I've decided that I'm doing a half-marathon on Sept. 17, I've managed to get most of my training workouts in!  These include my long 8-10 mile runs. 

Just gorgeous, huh?  Oh and the mountains
are pretty nice too.

 I've had to get creative with the scheduling.  I get some workouts in early in the day, and some late, but these past few weeks, they've amazingly been getting done.  I've been surprising myself with my own consistency because it's busy times like these that I go from being the Lazy Personal Trainer to the LAY-ZEE Personal Trainer. 

But two things have prevented my layzeeness:  this half-marathon looming over me and my motivator of the moment:  FEAR!  I mean you don't just jump into a half-marathon.  A 5K?  Sure, piece o' cake!  I've done many of those.  But to cover the accustomed 3.1 miles and then add 10 more onto it....  Let's just say I'm feeling a little insane for even considering it.  And to think at the beginning of the year I expected to run a FULL marathon.  Nutz-o.  Kooky.  Loopy.

But it sure is motivating to be crazy!

Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Girl Power Playlist

Music is so powerful.  When I blast some kickin’ tunes during the day, the girls and I can’t help but MOVE with the energy of the music.  Countless times, just the right song has made all the difference for me in a critical “throw-in-the-towel” moment during a tough workout. 

I have been having so much fun lately making playlists from my library of music and recent song downloads.  I’ve been grouping them according to mood, mostly.  Some examples:  Ultimate Feel-Good, Anger Management, Brooding, etc.

Music is also very personal.  I choose some songs for their powerful message, some for the memories they conjure, and some simply because they just plain ROCK!  I consider myself quite eclectic in my taste and find songs in almost every genre that motivate me.

In my opinion, this Girl Power playlist is just what you need to rouse your kick-arse mojo… whether it’s for a killer workout or just a killer bathtub scrubbin’!


Girls Rule, Boys Drool!

Wind It Up – Gwen Stefani
Trouble – Pink
Black Cat – Janet Jackson
Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Benatar
Maneater – Nelly Furtado
Fighter – Christina Aguilera
Bang bang bang – Christina Perri
Bulletproof – La Roux
California Gurls – Katy Perry
Girls Just Want To Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
Would I Lie To You? – Eurythmics
Girlfriend – Avril Lavigne
Raise Your Glass – Pink
Rich Girl – Eve; Gwen Stefani
Your Love Is My Drug – Ke$ha
Don’t Stop The Music – Rihanna
Heart and Soul – T’Pau

Note:  I’m a good girl (excuse me while I adjust my halo… there) and prefer my music cleaned-up.  I download most of my songs from because they usually have an edited version of the edgy songs.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

How I Overcame Lazy This Week: With Random Acts of Fitness, Of Course!

I didn't manage to get a "workout" in today.  But I'm OK with that because it was an active day regardless, thanks to two Random Acts of Fitness.  An "active" day and a "busy" day are different things for me.  Busy days often mean that it will not be an active day because there just won't be the time to fit in a workout. 

But since I've been focusing on these RAFs, I've been pleased to note that - though not always the case - my busy days no longer guarantee an absence of exercise.  I'm still able to make even my busiest days "active" with just a few minutes of short exercise bursts in all kinds of different ways.

Funny...I almost wore that EXACT outfit
to the playground today.

Take today, for example.  It was full of the school practice walk (R starts kindergarten next week and we’ve been preparing by walking to school in the mornings this week), dropping the car off to get fixed, grocery and school supply shopping, baking refreshments for a church activity, taking the kids swimming to give my sister-in-law some much needed peace while recovering from her C-section, and then going to the church activity.  My to-do list actually had even more on it… but the rest will be put off till tomorrow, including my workout.

But here’s the magic of the RAFs:  I don’t lament my missed workout because I squeezed in some activity anyway! On the way home from the school walk, we swung by the playground so the girls could  run amok for a few minutes; and instead of taking shelter in the nearby shade like I wanted to (it’s been blazing hot lately!), I joined them for some “fun” of my own with some step-ups and plyo push-ups and pull-ups.  This only added a few extra minutes to our routine but it was fun and beneficial to us all.  We definitely got sweaty but thank goodness the sprinklers were on for us to run through on the way home!

Then later at the pool, I did some more of the pool exercises that I’ve been so fond of lately.

I acknowledge that not all busy days easily allow for even a quick RAF.  BUT, since I’ve been focused on them more, I’m finding that they’re not as hard to incorporate as you’d think. 

In this crazy life that we ping pong around in, we often have to get creative and non-traditional in our approach to getting things done.  Well, this includes fitness as well!  Start thinking more “outside the box.” 

Start thinking “randomly!” 

Monday, August 22, 2011

RAF #15 Our Beloved Neighborhood Walk

Our neighborhood walks started, I think, before my eldest, R, even could walk.  Nowadays, we go on our pleasant constitutionals at least once a week, sometimes more.  It's the same route, same scenery; usually the same events occur but there are always enough variations every time to make each outing unique.  

Calling for Minka, the kitty that followed us on our last walk.
Alas, she was a no-show this time.
Our favorite day to do it is on Sundays.  For us, that is the day of rest from our usual weekly routine and workouts so it's nice to get a little random activity in without any planning or forethought involved.  We just head out - sometimes with scooters, baby doll strollers, even flashlights if it's dark enough - and get back when we get back

Attempting some Tarzan vine swinging.

Trespassing on a neighbor's property.
Hey, don't put in a pathway if you're not gonna use it!

Stomping on the crunchy seed pods.

Blowing "wishes."

Checking out the ants and their tunnels.

They're really disapointed if they don't get to play
"crash," their favorite park game.

It actually is more like "chicken," since they discovered
early on how painful "crash" can be!

Almost home!  And we encounter another family
enjoying a RAF of their own, playing street ball.

This RAF is becoming a tradition with our family and I hope it never ends.  It offers a relaxed yet refreshing escape from wires and satellites and walls.  It always turns out to be much more than a walk; the girls make it an adventure every time!

My wish is for all of us to have a pleasant neighborhood for strolling... or at least a nice park that's really close by.  Just don't forget to bring your washboard or kalamazoo so you can jam with Willy and the poor boys.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Randon Acts of Fitness #13 & 14

RAF #13:  More pool exercises.  This time involved squat jumps with Regan on my back.  We did it several times and it was tough!  She loved it, of course.

RAF #14:  Check this out:  Hula hooping ON the Bosu.  Yes, it was shaky and wobbly... but I think I'm on to something!  That is, if I don't fall and crack my head open first.  I'm going to keep at it and once it becomes less embarrassing, I'll maybe even share a video!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Random Acts of Fitness #12: Stayin' Cool In The Pool

At a friend's gorgeous pool.
We're usually at the community pool
where I have to watch that I don't whack anyone
with my flailing.

Don't think I haven't been getting in my RAFs lately; I've just been doing some of the same things, so I've been slow to document them.  RAFs # 8-11 have included more trampolining and more dancing with the girls.  We have been having so much fun with that lately and we make a point of doing a few songs so that we really get the heart pumping!

RAF # 12 was some pool exercises yesterday.  When we take the girls swimming, we're in the water jumping, sliding, playing "shark", etc., so we're always active.  Yesterday, however, I made a a point of also doing some hopping lunge switches, some arm exercises (both abduction/adduction and horizontal ab/add) and, my favorite, bicycling.  I made myself do the exercises for at least 1 minute at a time, so I could really feel them burning!

This girl amazes me!
If we had our own pool, my acts of fitness would not be random.  I'd be in there every day working out! Pools offer the perfect summer workout, so if you have access to one, get splashing... with purpose!

Friday, August 12, 2011

How I Overcame Lazy This Week: My Jekyll Tamed My Hyde

I refer to myself as a “lazy personal trainer” because I am constantly battling my two strong desires to kick butt & take names and strap on the feedbag like there’s no tomorrow.

I often feel like I have a split Jekyll/Hyde personality.  One is my "Dr." Personal Trainer and the other is evil Ms. Lazy.  I can give daily/hourly accounts of my character metamorphoses, but I’ll just share the latest blatant example:

Tuesday evening, we whipped up a fabulous dinner of grilled steaks, veggie mash potatoes and corn on the cob.  There was a LOT of good food and I ate more than my share.  Dessert presented the choice of chocolate chip bundt cake or 70-calorie Italian ice pops.  I chose the higher ground with the Italian ice.  Yum! 

So… good meal, good dessert.  Satisfaction and satiation, right? 

Uh, nope.

When we got home K’s shoulder devil had apparently been talking to him and he insisted we needed sugar cookies with frosting.  I, of course, made a cursory verbal protestation before I succumbed to my own little mischievous imp who’d overheard the whole conversation. 

And, of course, the girls were no help.  “What?  Cookies????”  They’re young enough that we can still spell words around them but K had made sure he articulated the word, “cooookeeeees” really well.

So within a half hour, we were lickin’ our fingers free of icing and sprinkles before crashing into our beds practically in sugar comas.  The next day I stumbled out of bed totally feeling my pig-out hangover.  Thank goodness Dr. Personal Trainer quickly dominated and got me out for a morning run.  Ahhhh, I came home cleansed and energized. 

Breakfast of Champions!

I scooped up a dish of nonfat cottage cheese with cantaloupe and prepared for a stellar, healthy day.

And then I saw it.  K had taken the girls to get Krispy Kremes for breakfast (I mean is he trying to kill us?  Seriously.) and had “thoughtfully” left one for me.  Ms. Lazy reared her ugly head yet again as I sank my teeth into another delectable confection.

... Sort of.

At least it was blueberry.  Antioxidants, y’know.

The bright side of all this is I think my inner Hyde has gotten enough satisfaction with this latest rampage that she hasn’t resurfaced since.  Dr. Personal Trainer has kept me active and eating clean for the last two days!

Ms. Lazy, I beat you into submission yet again… for now.

Monday, August 8, 2011

How I Overcame Lazy This Week: I Got Me Some Friends With Benefits

Yes, I am married to my best friend and I do get benefits.

But I’m talking about different friends and different benefits.

It’s good to have friends with cool toys that are generous enough to let you borrow them.  Like the kayaks K’s co-worker kindly lent us a couple of weeks ago.  This is the second time she’s entrusted them to us.  The first time we used them on a cold, leech-infested reservoir in northern Utah, then on a man-made neighborhood lake here in town (which we found out was NOT legal!).  This time we finally got it right and took them out to Lake Mead.
Me and Z.
She insisted on paddling "by herself."

It was one of the most enjoyable summer outings I think we’ve ever done as a family.  We launched the kayaks near a marina where the personal watercrafts also shove off.  Then we paddled to some nearby islands and spent the morning just swimming around, watching the jet skis zip by, the fishing boats put-put along, and a crane or two swoop in to join us on our private little beach. 

K and R.

Another way we recently took advantage enjoyed the generosity of some friends was  by using their pool while they were out of town.  We regularly enjoy going to our nearby community pool, but it was so nice to go to a private residence and just do our own thing with no rules and weird stares from people as I do my water jogging and pool plyometrics.  (Pool workouts rock!)

Thanks to my brother, we made use of their timeshare (right on the beach!) at the Oregon coast for our latest family reunion.  When I grew up in Washington on the glorious Columbia River, our family did not own a boat but pretty much every other family in town did, so I still got plenty of water skiing, wakeboarding and tubing in.

This could totally be me!

I’m telling ya, the expense, maintenance and storage of too many recreational toys is wack when you can just mooch off borrow from generous friends, family and acquaintances.

So, hey, if anyone out there has anything like a windsurf board, 4-wheeler… mountain cabin in Aspen, that’s just sittin’ around gathering dust, we’ll put it to good use for you!