Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

Many months ago, I sent my stories to Mina Samuels, who was collecting the athletic experiences of women and girls. I wrote about being the only gal on a men’s ice hockey team, about appreciating a less busty body, and about becoming an active outdoor family.

Now my thoughts and words are included in Mina’s Run Like A Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy Lives, published February 2011 by Seal Press. I’m excited to read women’s experiences, and once again reminded about the changes in opportunities within my lifetime. Title IV, which gave girls more equal opportunities in sports, came in when I was in junior high. There was no soccer for girls then, so I played on the boys’ team. Now I look at my junior high age daughter and smile at how different things are. She’s played soccer since she was five. With girls.

But Run Like A Girl isn’t about soccer, or any particular sport. It is about strong women making happy lives. And isn’t that what we want for our daughters? Whether with organized sports or through family outdoor adventure, I think the world is a better place when people are healthy, connected, strong, and happy.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Cross Country Season

Now that there’s a high schooler in the family, I’m learning about parenting during fall sports season. In this version of family adventuring, one of us is working hard and the rest of us are spectating. I’m proud of my son for running cross country and admire all of the athletes out there running 2 or 3 miles through whatever terrain and weather is happening that day. And in the northwest, that might be rain and mud, chilly forests, hills slippery with damp, or hot sunshine.

I love the talk of “PRs,” personal records as people improve their times throughout the season. And I love that athletes finish their race, and then turn to cheering on others still coming in.

Cross country season is adding positively to our family, encouraging all of us to get out more, and may even turn all of us into runners. Because I’m the only one in the family not running, and I’m feeling inspired.

Read Full Post »

The car-free Ski to Sea relay race was so much fun last May, that I think we’ve moved into car-free eventing any time the race start is in our county. So this weekend, that meant my husband and brother-in-law teamed up for a car-free Bellingham Traverse. The multi-sport adventure race involves a 5.5 mile Run, 6 mile Mountain Bike, 18 mile Road Ride, 3 mile Trail Run, 4 mile Paddle, and finishes with a .5 mile Team Trek (a jog/run to the finish line).

Thus there are a number of start lines, one of which the kayak must be towed to by bicycle, for example. The logistics become an entertaining pre-race planning aspect, and make for more community involvement too. That is, non-racing community members seemed entertained by Tom riding his mountain bike to Lake Padden while one-handedly pushing the road bike that Ben would use when he arrived from running the first leg. Or community members smiled to see me tandem bicycling my brother-in-law to the race start. Fun stuff, and outdoor adventure even for those of us not racing.

Read Full Post »

We did it. We not only did it – completed the 90-mile Ski to Sea race car free – we were able to be competitive with the car-using teams. I am so proud of our team!

Since the race, we’ve gotten lots of comments. Many people just didn’t think it was possible to do well and go green. Others hadn’t been aware that there was one car-free team last year, and were amazed that there were four this year. We hope that even more folks will be inspired, like we were by last year’s Hub team, to work out a car-free Ski to Sea team for 2011. Why not turn the race into a much longer endurance event? We had a great time – though yes, were extra tired post-race.

Hope our kids (almost everyone on the team are parenting kids under 16) are inspired too.

Read Full Post »

Our community’s Memorial Day Ski to Sea event has been raced by my husband and I for many years. Eight-person relay teams start on Mt. Baker with cross-country skiing and downhill skiing, head down the mountain running and bicycling, take to the river canoeing, mountain bike into town and then cross the bay kayaking. The kids variously come along and cheer, or stay in town with friends and meet us at the finish.

This year, we’re doing it all car-free. That means the folks who have mountain starts will bicycle 50 miles the day before and camp out, before getting up early Sunday to bike the remaining 10 miles to their starting positions. Tom’s our cross-country skier, and will be using our bike trailer to tow skis up and the runner’s bike down to her finish. There are lots of entertaining logistics – like bicycling the canoe 25 miles to their start – but we’re going to have fun with this.

I’m mountain biking this year. That means 14 miles to the start on race day, 14 miles of racing, then a few more to the kayak finish. And on Saturday, I’ll be helping get the kayak into position which will include walking 3/4 mile from my house down to the water, and retrieving our kayaker by tandem bike after she paddles it to the start.

We may even have the kids help with the logistics, biking between the in town legs with support gear. And in a few more years we can think about entering the family division. Or maybe they’ll have a car-free division by then.

Read Full Post »

The third Friday in May we celebrate national Bike to Work and School Day – even though the kids bike to school everyday. On Bike to School day they get a true celebration when they arrive. Music and food, cheers and congratulations, and as my son reported, “a hundred kids on the lawn playing around.”

I’m glad they and the other kids who bicycled in are getting some positive feedback for their fitness and environmental commitment. Maybe even more kids will think bike riding is fun, and all of them will get more active.

My husband ran the Bike to School station at the elementary school where he works, and I put together the one at the high school where I work. Actually, I recruited some Earth Club members to work the food table, since I was bicycling the 22 miles to work with two colleagues. We made it in good time and then helped cheer new arrivals until the bell rang for the start of first period. Wish I could get a hundred kids playing around outside my school after bicycling in. Maybe someday.

Read Full Post »

While we welcome good food, a cozy fire, and time with extended family as much as anyone, we also think a break in the kids’ school schedule allows for a little outdoor adventure.

So we added Grand Canyon backpacking to our road trip of visiting friends and family.

We started down the 9.5 mile Bright Angel trail in a snowstorm, camped at the Colorado river, and then were lucky to have a bright and beautiful second day for the 7.5 mile South Kaibab Trail. The kids were amazing backpackers, interested in the layers of rock and the ever-changing terrain, and able to hike for several hours between packs-off rest stops. I was proud of their accomplishment and impressed by their fitness.

We trekked the most utilized trails in the Grand Canyon, but doing so in winter made the experience feel more remote than it was. Three days there wasn’t enough, and I think all of us would welcome more Grand Canyon adventures.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »