Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Half a Week at the Trailer

After working for nearly 3 months straight (7 days a week) I took a much needed vacation at a friend's trailer.  I drove 3 hours north to the middle of nowhere to spend 4 days lounging at the beach and playing countless games of Skip-Bo and Ticket to Ride.  I came home totally relaxed and carefree.

How does this state of relaxation fit in with my newly active lifestyle you might wonder?  

First, it is necessary to recognize how mentally active and drained you are and how tense your body is from being overworked before you can add to its activity.  This prepares you to think about taking on something that will exert your body further because it is not already drained.

Second, this environment of relaxation provides far more opportunities to be active than sedentary, not to mention there are no mindless distractions like television and internet to entertain you on the couch.  When sitting in a trailer you actually seek out fresh air and things to do.

Third, it just works.

What did I do to be active at the trailer?


Prior to my trailer visit I tried to convince my friend to swim in the lake with me.  It is the largest freshwater lake in the world without an island.  But, my friend does not like swimming (mostly because she hates wearing a bathing suit, but also because she only dog paddles) and she certainly does not like lake water. My friend does like a challenge though so we figured if she was going to swim with me she needed a purpose.  The lake is 7km by 2.5km and there is a beach in town on the far side of the lake.  We decided to make it our mission to swim the 7km across the lake to the other beach with pool noodles as our safety measure.  We figured it would take 4 hours to do.

Now I love to swim.  I lived in a pool as a kid and I easily completed my try-a-tri training for the swim portion of 300m by actually swimming 1km non-stop in the pool on many occasions.  I knew how hard 7km would be, especially in a wavy lake, but I felt like I could accomplish it.  I know my friend very well though and felt that she would give up 30 minutes in and we would have to turn around so I did not fear for our safety.  But, this is the type of thing we set out to do together when left alone (we've attempted it at one other lake before and ended up getting out and walking the entire shoreline instead).

Sadly, we did not get to attempt our swim because the weather did not cooperate.  We will try again at the end of the month.  I did make sure to swim on my own though in the frigid water 2 of the 4 days.


As our plans to swim the lake were not looking good with the weather we sought out other ways to explore.  While riding the park's tractor ride for a tour of the campground I spotted the opening to a trail my friend did not know about.  We set out the next afternoon to see where this trail would take us.  We hiked through grass, mud, gravel, dirt paths, and woods.  We climbed up huge hills, down slopes, and around trees struck by lightning (cool to see by the way).  We had no idea where we were going or where we would end up, but we eventually choose to follow a loop back to the direction of the park.  We were very surprised to find that we emerged in the private backyard of someone's cottage.  We snuck past their house, their gardens, and their friends camping, then made our way back down the main road to our trailer site. 

My time at the trailer was so awesome that I even convinced Chris to book an extra 3 days off this summer to return to the trailer with me at the end of this month so he could enjoy the peacefulness of the woods as well.  He plans to bring his bike up with us and check out the back roads.  We'll see if I bring mine too.

For now, I'm off to enjoy a day golfing and then picnicking at the only free zoo in all of Canada (Peterborough, ON).  Ontario is a pretty amazing place if you haven't gathered that already.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Golfing (Or Some Resemblance Thereof)

I set the goal to live an active lifestyle at the start of the month.  I figured I was working mornings only and would have tons of time to fill and I wanted to fill it with things outside rather than television.  However, I spent the first week running to interviews straight from work, the second week working another job to cover for someone, and the third week sicker than a dog.  So what did I do when I came off of working midnights at the end of a 4 week straight work period with no days off?  I went golfing with my hubby of course because it is rare I have a Sunday afternoon off to do such things.

Tamarac Golf and Country Club, Ennismore, ON
As I was still hacking up my lungs and we know we suck royally at golfing we opted to take a golf cart.  In future I plan to walk the course on nice days to get that extra level of activity, but for today it took all my energy just to swing the clubs so many times (close to 100 swings for 9 holes, yikes!).


Chris and I own the world's oldest golf clubs.  Or at least it seems that way as we inherited them from my mom who picked them up off the streetcurb.  Neither of us has a full set and we only own one putter that we shared, but they did the trick.  Plus, they remind me of my childhood golfing with my dad (who owned expensive clubs and always had a golf membership) and my brother (who had his own set because he is super tall and left-handed).  I on the other hand had my grandpa's ancient set of wooden driver and old irons.  Oh the memories.

My score was very high for 9 holes.  But, I feel like I showed improvement from last year.  I had a few awesome drives, some great height off the fairway, and I only lost one ball in the water and one in the bush.  We even found a few balls on the course to replace our own.  We only golfed once last year so I figure with a few more outings this summer I will build a foundation to work off of for next year when I plan to go once a week.  I might even join the ladies league for best ball as I enjoyed the youth league when I played in it.

If Chris and I both get decent enough I think golfing would be a great way to spend time together and we would meet some couples in our area that we could get together with on and off the course.  Golfing is an awesome way to spend a few hours with people you like.  We had some great chats, lots of laughs, a few cries of frustration, and a few screams of terror in the golf cart.  It was a great day!

Monday, July 1, 2013

An Update and a New Direction

Dear Readers,

I haven't blogged in a long time because I haven't had anything to blog about. I stopped training for my try-a-tri because although I'm excited about the idea of doing a race I'm really not that committed to it.  I didn't feel like I was successful enough at the running part to really do a good job at it.  I felt like I was taking on too much (like learning to run before you can walk).  I haven't totally given up on the idea of entering it yet.  I have until the end of July to register.  But, if I do enter it will be just to try it out as I am and see what happens.  I no longer wish to train for it.

Now to most (and I'm sure my husband) this will seem like I'm giving up.  I hear your exasperation and words of encouragement. To me it is not giving up (on the race and running yes, but on me and fitness no).  I've been feeling like I'm trying to be someone I am not and have never been before.  I shouldn't be surprised that I struggle with living a fit lifestyle when that is a lifestyle I never lived nor saw myself living.  If my husband was not fit and very active now I don't think I would have even entertained fitness for as long as I did.  It is not me.

What is me is doing things that I find interesting and exciting.  So, I am going to shift the focus of my blog to reflect that.  I am no longer learning to love the gym.  I am learning to live an active life.  I want to do more things and get outside more often.  I don't want to spend time convincing myself to get off the couch to exercise.  I want to get off the couch because I choose to go cycling, swimming, walking, geocaching, volleyballing, badmintoning, baseballing, gardening, etc.  I feel like I need to change my lifestyle before I can change my mindset.  I need to just do the things I love for fun first.  Then I can get competitive about them and try to do them better in the future.  I need to walk before I run.

Today I'm heading in a new direction and that direction will take me through all the active things I do now, want to do soon, and will do someday.  Check out my new tab to see where I'm headed and stay tuned to my blog to read all about my new adventures.

Be well,

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Summer Brings About Change

Summer is finally approaching and with that my try-a-tri creeps closer and closer upon me.  What will I be doing different over the next few months to train?

For starters I'm not sure if I'm doing the try-a-tri or if I'm going to tackle the duathlon instead.  I've convinced a friend to run with me during the week using the Couch to 5k program (with some modifications-but always pushing for improvement) and if we can run enough by the middle of July we will enter the duathlon together.  We've found the increases in running intervals to be too much for our fitness level.  It was impossible to go from 1.5 minute runs to 3 minute runs so we bumped it to 2 minutes.  She's not so sure she wants to swim otherwise we'd already be a go for the try-a-tri. 

Chris posted about the budget cuts we've made to focus on getting rid of our debt and creating some savings.  One of the cuts will likely be to my gym membership.  For now I have it suspended for the summer as I have been mostly training outside for running and cycling.  I will pay to go to the pool if needed and I can do online yoga videos while at work or home.  If you have ideas for the winter months please let me know.

I clicked a link for a new-to-me blog the other day because of the praise this blogger received from someone whose opinion I admire and trust.  Check out Connie's blog because she is doing amazing!  I liked that she had a tab about what she is eating.  I've seen this on a few blogs and I usually question how healthy the meals are that have been posted to some fitness blogs.  As Chris and I just finished creating a 6-week dinner menu for the summer months to keep us out of restaurants I thought it made total sense to post a "What I'm Eating" tab as well.  You can see our whole menu by clicking my page tabs up top.  Let me know what you think about our meal plan.  What do you like?  What would you change?  What do you have questions about?

I am at my lowest weight in a long time.  I have my sights on hitting 25lbs lost by the end of the summer.  All this running is doing wonders for me.  Baseball, cycling, and swimming must be helping too.

Friday, May 17, 2013

It's Baseball Season!

The last and only time I played baseball my mom coached my team so I'm guessing that was over 15 years ago.  I suggested to Chris that we join a local mixed fun league as a way to do something fit together and to meet people in our area. 

He agreed and we had much discussion about how I felt we needed to go and play for fun and he felt we needed to go and play to win.  He really does not see how I can go just for the experience and not care about the outcome.  In the end I told him if he wanted to play competitively or if he was going to be grouchy if we lost every game because our team might suck (it's luck of the draw) then he should go find another team to play on.  He decided he could play for fun as long as we at least tried to win and give it our best.

Tonight was the first game of the season.  We arrived the 45 minutes early as requested to meet the team.  Our captain showed up 20 minutes before the game already buzzed on beer and I think a little stoned.  She proceeded to continue drinking beer throughout the game.  We were feeling like these were not our kind of people. 

Our "team" consisted of only 5 players.  Somehow, out of 6 teams, we ended up on the team that was not filled.  We convinced some players from the previous game to join us (the rules state if you do not have enough players you can fill your team to 9 players only).  We played against a corporate team of about 20 players.  The guys and gal that joined our team were very nice.  It made me wish we were on their team.

Due to the lack of players and the league rules...all girls had to be on the field for every inning (2 infield, 2 outfield) and every other batter had to be a girl.  This meant there were some innings where I had to bat twice (max 10 batters or 3 outs in an inning). 

My biggest fear going into the game was that I would not be able to hit the ball.  We practiced catching but not batting before the game. Surprisingly because your own team member pitches the ball I hit the very first pitch, hit all my other balls when at bat, and made it on base all but one time.  My first run to first base went fine, but I discovered all my running had not trained me to sprint.  My thigh was already sore.  Thankfully I hustled enough during the game when running and never felt too out of breath to run to where I needed to be.

Chris was the hitter of the night I think.  He hit the ball out of the park and over the fence on his second at bat.  We discovered later in the game that whoever on your team does this first becomes the only person allowed to do this for the rest of the game.  Anyone else that hits it over the fence is an automatic out.  I have to say that I was concerned that Chris would be so awesome (which he was) that I would feel intimidated or inferior when playing, but I didn't.  I think it helped that his first pitcher was drunk so although I hit the ball and got on base, Chris who followed me, struck out.  I was pretty proud that I showed him up at least once during the game.

Somehow in all the confusion of an ever-changing batting order due to 4 girls and 5 guys on the team, a drunk captain, and a drunk scorekeeper we managed to tie the game 13-13.  This is where the game should have ended as time was up according to the rules, but everyone opted to play one more inning as it was the first night.  13-13 reminded me of my gym teacher in school who always scored every game as "tied 11-11" at the end of the period.  I was happy with this as it reinforced my argument that we were playing for fun and not to win.

We played the last inning and we won the game.  Chris gloated "see, isn't it more fun when you win!", but I found it did not make a difference.  I think having a happy husband who got to win the first game of the season made a difference over having an unhappy husband because he lost.  But, the game itself, did not matter to me how we scored.  And, truthfully, I'm not quite sure how we managed to beat the other team.  Chris might argue it was because of him and his grand-slam homerun over the fence.  I think it had a little more to do with luck.

End result:  Happy to go play again next week.  Decided we may bike the one hour to the field, play ball, grab an ice cream cone, and bike back as we get the early game.   Sore thigh muscles and a strained groin muscle.  Definitely need to warm-up first next time.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Yoga and Non-Scale Victories

I was really looking forward to my week of yoga.  So much so that I dragged my butt to the gym for 8pm after already coming home, making dinner, relaxing, etc.  I even jumped on the treadmill for a jog/walk to warm up my muscles while I waited. 

Last night was Yogafit for one hour.  The only other yoga class I've been to was a relax and rejuvenate class so I was looking forward to doing more than lie on mat in meditation.  I was eager to learn some poses that I can try at home.  I was excited to see progress in my ability.

"Welcome to Yogafit.  My name is Marsha and it is my goal that by the time you leave tonight you will feel like you've done 1000 squats."  Oh God.  What did I sign myself up for?

Let's start with successes...

Downward Dog

And the I'm still working on it...

This one
Eagle (I did a modification)

Moving from plank to crocodile

I left dripping in sweat and sore everywhere.  I even had to take a break from the poses halfway through the class and just sit on my mat to watch.  However, during that time I stretched my legs and discovered that I can finally touch my toes!  I firmly grasped the ball of each foot with my legs extended out in front of me.  This is a big deal because even in my ballet days as a child I have never been able to gain enough flexibility to touch my toes.  All in all it was a success.  Looking forward to relax and rejuvenate with a friend tomorrow.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

This Week is Full of Fitness

I completed week 1 of the couch to 5km program.  I even had a friend join me on a 4th day to run as she was inspired by my try-a-tri goal and may choose to enter the duathlon.  We are going to train together this week as we seem to run at the same pace and enjoy each other's company. 

Side note: Running is making my body sore (shins and one ankle - but I think I slept on it wrong).  Someone cautioned me that running is not worth the strain on your body.  I agree to an extent.  I have no desire to run like my husband does.  I do think that I should be able to run after my future (way future) kids, circle the block once, or run away if under attack.  I'm not training to run because I think fit people run.  I'm training to run because I've always wanted to be able to run one lap around the school yard and because I love the solitude of circling the neighbourhood with the wind in my face.

I've also decided that yoga is most definitely for me and I hate that I have not been going with the change in my gym's schedule.  I'm going to find a way to make it work.  I'm also going to a free Zumba class in May as I've always wanted to try it.  It also might be a good way to meet more women that live near me as it is at a local hall.

And...did I mention yet that Chris and I joined a baseball team?  We start playing mid-May with a fun mixed league.  It should be good to get out and do something fit with my husband that has us working together and not competing.

This Week's Plan of Attack
Monday - trail walk on own/with friend, yogafit class
Tuesday - run with friend (1 min run, 1.5 minute walk)
Wednesday - relax and rejuvenate yoga, run with friend
Thursday - bike ride or swim with Chris, Kundalini and Ashtanga yoga
Friday - morning run on own

Monday, April 22, 2013

FMM: Inside My Head (Apparently Kenlie and I Are in the Same State of Mind)

Head over to www.alltheweigh.com to participate and link up.  I just did an activity with my grade 1/2 library class on poetry where we wrote "I am" poems.  This FMM reminds me very much of that.

Inside My Head

I like…teaching.
I don’t like…getting sick.
I love…my husband.
I dream of…having children.
I wonder…what life will be like when I'm old and gray.
I know…that I'm still learning.
I went…to work yesterday.
I think…all the time.
I plan…to run tonight.
I regret…nothing.  Really and truly.
I do…take time for myself.
I drink…seldom.
I wish…I was debt-free.
I am…an amazing person.
I am not…fit yet.
I need…a clutter free space.
I hope…I will succeed.
I want…to complete the try-a-try this summer.
I sometimes…sing in the car.
I always…help others.
I can…accomplish what I set my mind to.
I cannot…do a proper push-up yet.
I avoid…doing the dishes.
I will…do better next time.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I've Been Stuck in My Head

I can't remember the last time I posted on my blog about fitness.  I have been thinking, talking, and reading about fitness on a daily basis.  I have been doing fitness on a semi-regular basis.  I haven't been able to pull it altogether though to share in a coherent way through a series of posts though so I'm just going to spill my thoughts and questions at once in an organized fashion.

Most days I think I don't like fitness.  The days I do fitness I think I like it immediately following the workout when I'm feeling that euphoric energy, clear lungs, and adrenaline.  Some days I look forward to doing fit things.  I don't know where I stand overall.  I have proven to myself that I feel better when I am exerting energy on a regular basis and I feel worse when I am not.  I've recognized I really need to think differently in my approach to fitness.  Some days I'm there and some days I'm not - I'll let you know when I figure it all out.  Have you ever struggled with changing your mind-set?

I was convinced for a long time that I needed motivation to be fit.  I needed a goal to achieve, someone to push me, someone to be accountable to, a reason to do it, a passion for it, and more.  The longer I struggle with longevity and the routine of fitness the more I'm realizing motivation has crap to do with it all.  I do not need motivation.  I need commitment, consistency, and plans.  I already have motivation - it is what gets me thinking about wanting to do fit things, setting goals, and researching new ideas, but it doesn't get me actually doing them.  Where do you stand with motivation?  I still struggle with this scenario from the past:  I am committed to going to the gym every day.  I've been going every day.  I wake up every morning not wanting to go and wanting to go at the same time.  I wake up exhausted, I have a zillion things to do, I'm not going anywhere near the gym and it's raining outside, and I also hate my current fitness routine...if motivation does not play a part in me deciding to go or not go, then what is influencing my decision???

I am more successful when I track the food I eat.  Plain and simple.  I stop tracking when I am consistently eating within my calories and by no surprise I immediately start to eat too many and lose all my hard work.  Tracking food makes me think about whether or not I'm actually hungry or if I'm just bored and wanting a snack.  I need to do this again and keep at it.  How do you find the balance between what you want to eat and what you have allotted to eat?

Working Out
I need to do this every day ideally.  I need to commit to a program and not deviate from it at the very least (ie. couch to 5km which I started last week).  Programs are designed to help me succeed.  I cannot succeed at them if I do not follow them blindly.  They worked for a reason - I need to trust this and not question it or try to speed it up.  When I do then I fail.  What programs have been the most successful for you to a)lose weight b)build strength c) build endurance d) increase flexibility e) feel empowered?

I am not competitive.  Not with myself or with others.  I strive to do well.  I'm happy when I do better.  But, ultimately I do not care if I beat my score or someone else's.  I am more apt to get frustrated and quit if I continue trying to strive for something greater than my current ability.  I need to focus on lengthy workouts not beat my time to get it done faster workouts.  More cardio=more success.  Instead of working to get done faster (my old mindset) I need to enjoy the time I do work so I will do more (my new mindset).

I'm sure there is more floating around in my brain that will spill out in the weeks to come.  For now, plans to track my calories, complete week 2 of couch to 5km, and learn to lift weights in my garage.  But, most all, to attack fitness with a positive mind.

Monday, April 1, 2013

FMM: Childhood Flashbacks

Read my answers, answer the questions yourself, post them on Kenlie's blog www.alltheweigh.com  PS. Kenlie, I really liked this particular FMM topic.

1. Did you have a set bedtime as a child?  If so, what was it?
I did.  It varied based on my edge, but it was always earlier than any of my friends.  We (my brother and I) also had to be in the house earlier than anyone else.  I remember complaining about that - coming in from hide and seek - but I don't think I argued the bedtime very often.  I like my sleep and I loved reading in bed (or straining to watch my parent's tv shows like Melrose Place from down the hallway).

2. Were you taught to be a member of the “Clean Plate Club?”
I was actually taught the opposite by my home daycare provider much to the chagrin of my parents, although they ultimately respected and supported this most of the time.  I was taught by my daycare provider to always leave something on your plate so your host does not think you are still hungry.  My parents taught me I didn't have to like everything but I had to try a bite of everything - there were very few meals I struggled to eat.  I was even a vegetarian for a number of years because I was picky about meat (veins, fat, grisle, etc.) so I learned to love lots of veggies early on.  I also had a family that ate homecooked meals, at the dinner table, together, every single night!  My parents also believed that as the adults they were responsible for providing one meal option- eat it or go hungry the rest of the night.
Did it have affect your eating habits as an adult? 
I still leave stuff on my plate as a habit most of the time.  I try a variety of foods (squab, sea urchin, conch, oxtail, shark, crocodile, etc.) and still follow the at least one bite rule ie. I don't like broccoli, but I eat at least one just in case my tongue has changed its mind.  I am much happier eating veggies than protein.  I prefer to eat at the dinner table with Chris - this happens most days if we are home together.

3. Share one thing that you were not allowed to do as a child.
Lots of things: stay outside late, go to friends' houses if my parents did not know their parents, play in the woods (I did anyway), argue back more than once on any topic, miss church, etc.

4. What is the cheapest gas price (in litres) you can remember? 
As a kid I have no idea why gas prices used to interest me, but they did.  Maybe because we travelled by car a lot to visit family and I lvoed the whole road trip thing singing along to Solid Gold cassette tapes of motown music given away by the gas stations with a fill up (they also gave away Winnie the Pooh books and coffee mugs among other things).  I also remember clearly having a conversation about how to read the gas price of 74.6 cents and how that is the same as $0.746 and wouldn't it be interesting if gas prices used the dollar slot because it wouldn't fit on the sign.

5. What was your favorite thing on the playground? 
I could swing on the swings forever, but the coolest thing at our small town playground I don't even know the name of so I will describe it.  It was like a merry-go-round in that it went around in a circle.  It was made out of wood planks and held at least 20 kids.  Several friends would sit on the benches or stand on the support beams.  Several friends would then hold on to the support beams and run around fast in a circle pushing the contraption.  When you couldn't keep up with the momentum you hoisted yourself onto it and hung on for dear life while it spun itself to a stop.  It was also cool to hang on and let it drag you through the sand.  It was kind of like this, but massive and painted bright yellow...

6. Share one thing that your parents always made you do that you didn’t like doing. 
My mom made us go to church.  I always wanted to stay home and play with my friends.  I'm glad she made us go now.

7. Do you remember your first kiss?  If so, share the details! 
I'm sure I was kissed when I was younger.  My mom tells a story of me coming home from kindergarten in hysterical tears because Scottie called me a "bag of chips".  Mom didn't get it and I thought it was an insult because neither of us had heard of the expression "she's all that and a bag of chips"!  So, my first boyfriend kiss was in grade 10.  I was avoiding it forever and one day he just got me by complete surprise after the bell rang for class.  I was pressed up against the stairway wall and it was sloppy and gross upon first impression.  It broke the ice though and got better from there.

8. Did you prefer to play inside or outside? 
As a child I remember liking indoor play better - My Little Pony and Barbie with my friends.  I also loved board games.  I was a quiet and independent child so I could entertain myself for hours in the house.  My parents liked me to have a balance of outdoor time too - very little tv watching in my house - so I also loved playing with the neighbourhood kids afterschool and after dinner.  We lived on a cul de sac and no one had fences so we had about 15 backyards, a quiet street, and a courtyard circle to play tag and hide and seek on.  We even played baseball in the church parking lot and rollerbladed in the mdeical centre parking lot.  My friends also lived close enough (within 2km) that we cycled everywhere together.

9. What was your favorite TV show growing up? 
I liked TGIF on ABC - Full House, Family Matters, Step by Step, etc.  This was the bulk of my tv watching for the week.  When I got older I loved Touched by an Angel and Beverly Hills 90210.  Saved by the Bell was my only after school tv watching before I was sent outside.

10. Share one awesome childhood memory. 
Two of my girlfriends and I borrowed my mom's laundry bucket to collect clay from the creek.  We were threatened with our lives that we better not return without her favourite bucket.  Needless to say at some point it drifted away from us and we had to chase it for quite some time, both on the creek bank and in the freezing cold, "leech infested in our mind" creek for quite some time.  We brought the bucket back, but not much clay.  It was quite the adventure.

Bonus: Share a picture of yourself as a child. 

Me and my brother outside the house we grew up in.

Me in ballet class.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Part 2 - Fitness and Vacation: Two Things I Don't Normally Mix

My cruise week was the fourth and final week of my fitness commitment to myself.  Week four is the hardest week for me when it comes to fitness because my enthusiasm has worn off and I get tired of working out.  I figured the change of scenery would help me out to get over the hump.

Saturday morning I did my weigh-in and headed to work before leaving for our trip.  I told Chris ahead of time that I packed enough clothes to workout 7 days, but my goal was to complete 5 workouts.  I also told him that I was on vacation, on a cruise ship, and therefore would not be counting calories so he should just get it out of his head now that I'm going to eat whatever I want.  He is very supportive, but I know he is not a mind reader so I have learned to voice my goals clearly.

Interesting factoid:  The average cruise passenger gains 1.5lbs a day on their cruise.  With 7 days at sea I was set to gain 10.5lbs on vacation - a feat I did not think possible.  After seeing some people and what they were eating though I quickly realized some people were out to break that record. Chris, on several occasions, made sure to point out said people.  I think with his new "thin and fit" eyes he sees obesity around him to a greater degree than I do with my "on the journey" eyes.  I do concede that people that were unhealthy were far unhealthier than anyone I've seen before.  It was also eye-opening to see that Carnival was in possession of several wheelchairs in use by its passengers that I can only describe as double-wide because they were wider than the chairs in the dining hall and just cleared the sides of the disembarking ramp.

Vacation Fitness

Sunday - (boarded the ship) none
Monday - (Nassau) 5 hour walk around town, 10km cycle and 5 minute treadmill run in the gym
Tuesday - (sea day) 2km run on the outdoor running track...1 running lap, 1 walking lap for a total of 12 laps
Wednesday - (San Juan) arm and leg day...weight machines in the gym
Thursday - (St. Thomas) 1.5 hour walk to and around town, 1 hour swim in the ocean (including laps)

"The 99 Steps" in St. Thomas (there were more than 120 of them) 
Friday - (sea day) none...recovering from the plantar fasciitis I woke up with on Wednesday
Saturday - (sea day) none...foot still really sore, went for bamboo massage instead
Sunday - (left the ship) none

Final Verdict: I achieved 4 of 5 intended workouts.  Not the 7 I came prepared for, nor the 5 I had set as a goal, but it was 4 more workouts than I have done on any other vacation.  And, I must admit I was very disappointed about not being able to run on the jogging track more than once after I overexerted myself I pulled the fascia in my foot at the start of the week - hence the two non-running workouts on Wed/Thu.

Amber and Chris' Cruise Ship Elevator Rules
Note: Our cabin was located on deck 1 at the front of the ship with the highest deck being the spa above us on deck 14.  This makes it easy to take the elevator straight up to the gym without having to walk the full length of the ship in sweaty clothes.  Unfortunately the running track was at the back of the ship.


#1 When going either up or down it is ridiculous to take the elevator for 1 floor unless you have an injury, a wheelchair, a cane, or two babes in arms. It is amazing how many people waited lengthy periods of time for an elevator only to ride it for one floor.
#2 When going down you must walk if you are traveling 3 floors or less.
#3 When going up you must walk if you are traveling 2 floors or less.
#4 If you are going up 3 floors or more the following factors are considered:
did you just finish walking a lot from somewhere else? - ride
are you carrying lots of stuff? - ride
is the elevator door opening and heading in your direction - ride
did you just come from a nap? - walk
are you in a rush? - walk fast
are you racing to win a ship on a stick? - run
did you ask yourself all these questions and an elevator still has not arrived? - I guess you're walking
#5 When your wife is wearing high heels all rules stated above are to be disregarded.  You are taking the elevator or you are trading shoes with her.  It's your choice.

Food and Nutrition

Final Verdict: On previous cruises I've gained very little, if any weight and I did not workout.  This cruise I worked out and I ate what I wanted.  I gained 5lbs!  I was very surprised as I felt my activity level was increased dramatically.  However, so was the richness of the food I was eating.  I'm happy to report though that 1 week later with only mild effort almost all that weight has come back off.  Here's a comparison of my eating habits on and off the ship so you can see the difference.

On the Ship
Off the Ship
omelet (cheese/peppers/tomato/bacon)
bagel with cream cheese
1 piece thick French toast with syrup
fresh fruit salad

small skim milk

1st Lunch
local cuisine split 2 dishes with Chris
tortilla with cream cheese and sprouts
fish, rice & beans, plantain
conch fritters (fried)


Afternoon Drink
2nd Lunch
frozen banana daquiri (no alcohol)

cucumber slices

3 dinner rolls with butter
chicken breast
cream of pumpkin soup
green beans
split a didja with Chris - shark fritter
tomato salad
glass of skim milk
salmon entrée with veggies

grand marnier souffle with sauce

split a diet coconut cake with Chris



Evening Snack
Evening Snack
frozen yogurt
hot chocolate with marshmallows