Campground Log Workout

The campground we are currently staying at has recently cut down over 100 trees. This has left behind a lot of tree branches, which of course I immediately looked at as workout equipment!

Since weight was a huge factor in our packing, I only brought two 5 lb dumbbells for strength work.  So (as I love to do) I’ve needed to get creative.

Here was today’s workout:

Bicep Curls

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Overhead Press

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Squats

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Skull Crushers

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Step Ups

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Basketball Court Workout

Here is a typical workout that I would do in Venice, Fl at a basketball court on my running route.

It can be one at any park you can find a bench at.

3 SETS OF:

20 Tricep Dips

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20 Elevated Shoulder Slaps

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20 Up and Overs

50 Bench Jumps

 

Walking Lunge to First Line

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Frog Jumps to next Line

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(Continue this down the court and back)

Sprint Suicides

(Foul Line/Center Court/Opposite Foul Line/Opposite Baseline)

Fitness Trail Workout

Here in Venice, Fl there are not many woods, and very little trails that look anything like the ones back home. However, right near where I am staying, there is a HUGE park with tons of Soccer and Baseball Fields, Tennis Courts, Football Stadium, a Basketball Court and a Fitness Trail.  Of course, I have been having a field day with this area for my workouts!

The entrance to this Fitness Trail is conveniently located at about the half way point of the 4 mile loop I run.  So, I dump into the “woods” and do a different circuit every time.  Sometimes I use the “equipment” for its intended purpose, and sometimes (most the time) I do my own thing.

Here is one of my workouts.

Come along with me……

Run about 2.2 miles to the entrance of the fitness trail.

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2 sets of 10 (assisted) Pull Ups

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Sprint about .2 miles to the next exercise

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20 Elevated Push Ups

10 Semi-Elevated Push Ups

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Burpee –>Jump on Bench–>Burpee

(20 Jumps on Bench Total)

Sprint about .2 miles to Next Exercise

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50 High Knees on the Bench

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Sprint to next Exercise

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25 Plyo Jumps on Bench

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High Knees

(back and forth 10 times)

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20 Reverse Push Ups

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Run 2 miles back home!

capri west

Heading to Warmer Weather

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the beauty that surrounds our “home”, the Blue Ridge Mountains

People keep texting me and asking, “where are you now?” so why don’t I address that question first. We are still in Pickens, SC at Table Rock State Park. We needed to settle down in one location while we waited for our camper license plate to be sent. Long story short, we picked up the camper in Brevard, NC, received a 10 day temporary registration/plate then had to send all the sale paperwork to CT DMV who would in turn send us back our permanent registration/plate. While this turned out to be quite a complicated process, we have finally received the plate (thanks in large to my amazing father who went out of his way for us) which allows us to now hit the road!

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420 ft waterfall seen from Raven Cliff Falls Trail at Ceasers Head State Park

So, we will be heading out this week to Florida, to spend the holidays with Erik’s parents in Venice. While I am loving our stay here, I am also ready to move on for a few reasons.

1) I don’t want to get in the habit of staying in one spot for too long and getting too comfortable. While we had no other choice but to stay here this long, I do feel like I am getting stuck in a routine here a little. Not much, but, a little. The routine is amazing though.

2) Christmas is only a couple of weeks away and if I didn’t look at the calendar I would have no idea. We are not leaving the State Park often, so we haven’t seen any decorations, no Santa, no Christmas Trees, etc. I’m ready for some holiday cheer!

3) While the weather has been good, we are still needing to use a heater at night. This week it will be in the 30’s at night and 50’s during the day. I KNOW that this is way better than CT, but I also know in Florida I will be sitting by the pool daily and running in 80 degree weather. Those who know me, know I love the heat!!!!

4) We really are secluded here. They have blocked off our section, so even the handful of weekend campers we may get cannot even drive up to our section. Erik calls it our “private drive”. This has made for amazing privacy. A much needed change for us condo-living-folk. Exactly what we wanted. However, I am also a people person, and I cannot wait for daily conversations with our fellow snowbirds by the pool 🙂

5) Convenience. We are in a small town with the closest grocery store 16 minutes away and a Walmart 20 minutes away. There are no restaurants I would go to (which is fine because I really don’t like going out to eat) and I literally bought a hooded sweatshirt at Walmart because that was my only option. Ha! (I actually really like it) This doesn’t seem like much as I write it, but I am craving the Thai restaurant in Florida and a trip to ULTA and TJ Maxx to stock up on some things I’m running out of.

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All that being said, you would think I may be sick of this place. That is so far from the truth. The truth is:

1) the fact that we feel so comfortable here says a lot. It is our first time ever staying in a camper. We just left family and friends for the first time, and during the holiday season. We have met most the employees here and when I go on my daily runs a wave and a smile as each one drives by feels like “home”. My “routine” consists of morning coffee that I savor, running daily through lush woods that makes me feel like I’m in Costa Rica, physical labor I wished for for so long, and nightly campfires as we cook dinner over the flames. Mix in day trips to State Parks in the #1 region for outdoorsy people…not so bad of a routine!

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2) We were invited to the staff Christmas Party here at the State Park last night. Who would have guessed we’d jump right in to this lifestyle so easily?!?!

3) I ran to the top of Table Rock Mountain Sunday in shorts and a t-shirt. I can’t complain about the weather.

4) The first 3 weeks of our trip in total seclusion and no internet or cell phone reception was probably the best thing for me. It made me disconnect and really dig deep into myself. Those are revelations that are shared only with my personal journal, but a lesson and phase I needed to start this journey.

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5) Not being able to run to the store, order food, buy clothes, etc easily has made us realize how little we actually NEED. We went on this trip to get away from “stuff” and being so far away from anything has made us create lists of what we NEED and once a week we head into town to shop. The way we should shop.

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Every part of this trip will present us with a lesson to learn. These first 3 weeks have been nothing short of revolutionary for me!

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Settling in at Table Rock State Park

Setting out on this journey has been a roller coaster of emotions. The prologue was the toughest. Are we making a mistake? Will this camping thing be a flop and will we hate it? Will I miss my friends and family terribly and be miserable? What am I giving back to society? How can I be so selfish? How can I watch my clients sob before me asking what they will do without me and still selfishly move forward?

An email I received from a client justified why I can do this and feel ok…not ok, amazing, about it. Because I can inspire people in another way as we set out on this journey. A way a little different from “normal”. Maybe make people ask, why not me? How can I preach a life of living with passion and following your heart if I do not chase my own heart and my own dreams?

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Summit of Table Rock Mountain!

Picking up the camper from Shirley and Jim was a reminder of why we are doing this. As they handed over the keys to us they said they will probably mourn the next few days. They have been camping their whole lives and Jim’s health enabled them to continue. They also said that they had been to the State Park we are staying at, but could not hike all the way to the top of the mountain because of their health. This reminded me why we cannot wait for “the perfect time” to do this. There will never be a perfect time. We can’t keep waiting, because we never know what the future holds. We have talked to so many retirees who look at us with such hope and bless us for doing this. Almost every one says, “Good for you. Do it now, while you can.” Most of them have worked their whole lives for retirement, only to retire with bad knees, bad hips, or an unfortunate illness that does not allow them to do more than drive to locations, hoping for some scenery.

So, we drove away from Jim and Shirley’s telling each other that we would LIVE and enjoy these next 5 months in honor of them. I already felt such great energy in the camper, knowing that it came from such a beautiful couple who enjoyed so many years of camping. This particular camper was not able to be used as often as they would have liked, so we will pick up where they left off.

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This camping experience has been amazing so far. It is exactly what we have always wanted. We had basically a campground to ourselves for the first 5 days, answering the dream Erik always had: “I just want a tiny house in the middle of the woods with 2 acres of land”. Well, we have a beautiful State Park as our backyard, with over 11 miles of hiking trails, 2 beautiful lakes, waterfalls, and greenery that makes you feel as though you are in the rain forest.

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The best part? We are staying here for free!!! Electric, Sewer, everything! We are volunteering to help out around the park for a free stay. Our first job was….hike the trails! Literally, that was our job. We were asked to just take note of any areas on the trail that needed to be cleared up or back. So, we did.

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We hiked the Lake Trail, Carrick Creek Trail, and to the top of Table Rock Trail. Such a beautiful park!

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Last night the Ranger stopped to give us keys to everything. Anything we needed at maintenance we could use AND a key to the boat house. We could use the kayaks, canoes, paddle boats, trolling boats for fishing….anything! How freaking amazing. He also went over what our jobs will be this week. We will start by clearing brush from around the cabins, then we will head up to the Ridge Trail (a 2.5 mile climb) to do some trail work. EXACTLY what we wanted. Physical labor in and around the trails. We plan to work our tails off to give back to such an amazing State Park that has been so hospitable to us. Every Ranger has been more than accommodating and staying here at no cost has been such a treat.

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Coffee out of mugs given by dear friends just taste better 🙂

We spend our mornings with our coffee, listening to Coffee House and Howard Stern on SiriusXM or watching our Golden Girls DVDs. We then hit the trails for some hiking, go to the Visitor Center where Internet is available along with rocking chairs on a porch overlooking Lake Oolenoy and Table Rock Mountain. It feels like it is straight out of a story book. We spend time listening to Y2Country on the outdoor speakers (LOVE) with the lights hanging off the camper giving us the look from Parenthood we always wanted 🙂 At night we play games (Scrabble, Yahtzee, etc) and we discovered our antenna picks up about 15 TV stations, so we watch TV before calling it a night around 9:30pm!

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The boys sleep in while I meditate and make coffee to get the morning started!

Time seems to FLY while we are here. The one thing we have predicted to be an issue is Gunner. He has been great so far, but has not left our side. When we start working on Monday we are concerned that he may be a nuisance. We did have a family of 5 just move in next to us last night and with the noise they are sure to make, I am worried he will bark and cry the whole time we are gone. We already warned them and they said not to worry. We’ll see.

Rainy Day Project.  Quotes, Nieces, and my Grandmother camping!

Rainy Day Project. Quotes, Nieces, and my Grandmother camping!

A rainy day today. I will make a trek into town (20 minutes) to Walmart while Erik cleans and watches football. I am not sure I will ever be able to sleep in a tent again. This camper is so cozy and cute. I cannot tell you how many times I have looked at Erik and said, “I love camping” or “I am so happy”.

Follow your heart. You will be amazed the opportunities that fall into your lap as you go. Everything seems to fall into place when you chase your dreams.