These are the kinds of friends who know your secrets and true foibles and love you anyway.
But as this year’s long weekend approached, I started getting anxious.
You see I have been devotedly going to the YMCA every other day for my workouts and then getting on the treadmill at home on the alternating days and playing tennis two nights a week.
But I was heading out of town for four days. I was going to a beautiful serene island to laugh and play with my friends, but I found myself stressing about being away from the gym for four days!
I am one of those all-or-nothing personalities, YMCA wellness director (and my trainer) Lange House wrote about in her column this month.
But Lange assured me that walking on the beach is considered exercise.
So I loaded up my car with beach clothes, healthy food and yorkies and headed South.
Turns out Lange is right. (I have a feeling I’ll be saying that a lot this year!)
I got to the island late Friday afternoon and one of the gals there wanted to go for a walk. So three of us headed out for a short stroll to watch the sun set over the bay. We actually took the long way back to the Bumba Shak (the name of my friend’s digs on SGI) and ended up getting in a 45-minute walk … and a sunset!
The next day I was focused on getting in a decent workout. I did my sit ups on the deck in the warm sun. Then I looked around the yard. I didn’t have dumb bells, but surely I could find some things for a little weight lifting action.
Bingo! A concrete block worked well for shoulder presses.
Then I found a big rock that I estimated was about 8 pounds and did my bicep curls. But I was afraid that I’d drop the stone on my head if I used it for tricep presses behind my head because I couldn’t get a safe grip.
But then I saw the bunnies …
Little concrete garden bunnies, sitting there waiting to be used for my tricep presses.
Then I headed for the beach for a long walk. During my hour-long trek when I got to a stretch of beach the spring breakers hadn’t found, I threw in some lunges. I hate doing lunges (giant, deep-knee-bend steps). But, again, on a white sandy beach on a sunny, breezy day they seemed a little less tortuous.
On Sunday, I settled for just a nice leisurely beach walk. By then I felt I had been mindful of exercising and eating as well as I could with a house full of women (yes, German chocolate cheesecake and bubbly were allowed on this celebration weekend!)
So I let myself truly relax and enjoy the sound of the waves rolling in and the cool Gulf water splashing up my legs as I strolled in the surf.
That’s when I got it — that not all exercise has to require a couple of Alleves and a hot soak afterwards ... or running to a computer to log in every exercise.
That sometimes a walk outside, breathing in fresh air is the healthiest thing we can do.
It’s good for both the body and the soul …