Monday, April 4, 2016

The #Adventures Continue in March

For the past 3 years or so I've been teaching a noon Friday class at QiFlow. It started as cycle power, a fusion class of a 30 min spin ride then a 30 minute kettlebell workout then turned to a cycle yoga sculpt. In March I passed along this class to another teacher in favor of changing up my schedule so I could fit in more adventures. As Dawnelle pointed out, the luxury of being a fitness instructor is creating your own schedule and if your schedule isn't working then you make changes.

So to celebrate my first noon class off on March 4th Dawnelle and I went up to North Table Mountain in Golden for a MobilityFlow workout. This is a hike I've done many times and the views never get old and the incline never becomes less steep. We perched ourselves on the edge and moved for an hour high above the city of Golden.

Part of our adventure day is showing other people that adventure is possible any day of the week. You don't need a lot of time or to drive very far to have an experience outside. We fit this time in after I taught my 9am class and before I had to teach at 4:30 while both of our kids happened to be at school. We rounded our time out together with lunch at Whole Foods.

Though my next adventure wasn't with Dawnelle I was able to fit another trip in to the Loch Vale with Chad, Jessica, Nick, Becca and Michelle with my daughter Charlotte. The weather had been rather warm and so the snow was packed and melted out on parts of the trail making it great conditions for hiking Charlotte 6 miles. Last trip to the Loch Vale was on New Year's Eve and we were met with high winds and cold temps so this was a nice redemption hike. I know firsthand it's not easy to take your child out hiking in the cold and I had to teach from 9-10 this Saturday as well but if you want to do something you find a way not an excuse.

Dawnelle and I were back to adventure week the next Wednesday where we trekked up to Boulder to hike the three mile loop Mt. Sanitas. Though only 6,863 feet high, you gain about 1,000 feet in a mile and a half of hiking. The Wednesday we went also happened to be a Meet Up group's day on the mountain and Dawnelle and I ended up getting separated by hikers. I confess, I was 8 minutes slower than she was because I got started talking to a women who thought I was a part of their group and was talking to me about 14ers. If there's anything I love it's talking mountains so it was worth the slow hiking for me.

 I cannot believe I have lived in Colorado 11 years and I've never hiked this peak before. The downside to hiking 14ers is that tends to be the only hiking I do on weekends in the summer and I ignore much of what's in my own "backyard." While crowded, this was a great steep climb that would be conditioning for longer steeper hikes. I'm not a huge favor of city views from the top because I prefer the solitude of wilderness but you can certainly see for miles on a clear day on Sanitas. We were going to take a class at the Boulder Movement Gym after but the times weren't convenient so we opted for lunch at a brewery downtown that neither of us had visited. Adventure day is all about trying new things and saying yest to the infinite possibilities each day has for a new experience.

I missed the next week of adventure with Dawnelle due to being out of town. My husband and I traveled to Orange Beach, Alabama with my daughter to visit my in-laws and grandfather in-law. Orange Beach and Gulf Shores was where I spent many spring breaks and summers so it was a delight to be able to come back to a place I hadn't been in years. The water was, of course, a little chilly but we were lucky to have some decent weather during our week that allowed for beach time and tanning.

My parents even made the five hour drive from Birmingham just to spend two nights with us so that was pretty exciting as well.

Chad and I flew home on a Saturday and so Dawnelle and I planned a make-up adventure Sunday the 20th. We went to Red Rocks for adventure 9/52 for Dawnelle's birthday workout celebration. We did 42 exercises in-between climbing the stairs 10 times and alternating who carried up 10lb weights in each hand. After 21 reps of an exercise at the bottom we would climb to the top and do 21 more then climb down. My legs were shaking after the day and I could still feel my calves the next day. While working out we discussed taking our adventures to the next level by trying to register for the Lost Lake Run in Alaska which opened for sign up April 1st. We also decided the outdoor workouts would be fantastic for a summer movement camp that we wanted to host at QiFlow. I'm happy to say that on April 1st we both successfully registered for the 16 mile race (help me) in Seward, Alaska and yesterday we launched the QiTopia Summer Movement Camp. So many people ask to adventure with us we thought this would be the perfect way to train others to hike the 14er Mt. Yale at the end of June. Our weekly adventures have become not only great training for us but also brought up ideas that we never would have had were we meeting in a coffee shop.

There's not many things that get in the way of our weekly meet-ups but a blizzard on March 23rd happen to be one of them. We planned to hike to Maxwell Falls even in the conditions but school was cancelled for both our kiddos which meant we were stuck inside. I must admit I enjoyed the snow day even though there wasn't much I could do but take care of my daughter and watch the blizzard from inside.

Sometimes you just have to recognize when you're safer where you are. That meant we were still three adventures short of our goal of one a week.
Wednesday the 30th we had our hike to Maxwell Falls and the blizzard certainly left a nice icy blanket of snow. Maxwell Falls is a popular hike that I've done in the summer with various friends so it was a nice change to hike the trail in crampons. The tallness of the trees and solitude of the hike lent itself to brainstorming about our upcoming adventure training and the pros and cons to hiking large groups of people up a 14er. Dawnelle and I have very different opinions about speed and attire when it comes to our adventures but that makes us realize there's more than one way to do things out there. I'm the person that likes to take their time and document while she's in it for the workout and speed but we both manage to enjoy our outdoors equally in a way that benefits us both...

I'll tell you some things I've learned. There aren't many people besides my husband and sister that challenge me the way Dawnelle does. She challenges me physically by proposing things I'd never do like trail run or hike without a backpack. She'll insist we carry weights on an already tough climb or that we start the day with a 5:30am workout then go from there. Mentally she'll ask me questions like, "I just don't understand why you are so resistant to______" and it forces me to look in upon what I've clung to. I'm accustomed to having more experience than those I hike or adventure with so I'm not accustomed to someone telling me there's another way of doing things and maybe their way is better. I realize now just how set in my ways I am about certain ideas (like carrying a full pack hiking at all times) and how I'm not willing to budge on others (hiking pants over cotton pants always). I would have never signed up for a 16 mile trail race in Alaska if it were not for her and I certainly wouldn't normally care about doing another workout on top of a mountain after hiking.

These adventures are not only challenging me they are changing my way of thinking and viewing life. I'm more open to saying yes and knowing also when it's ok to say no. I know we're just on the cusp of something even better than I can imagine. Dawnelle always says, don't knock down doors...but if they open you must walk through them.

I have a feeling I'm about to walk, run or jump through a lot more...
*Follow @yogimagee on instagram for adventures as they happen in real time! #adventuresofnatandd

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