“…While We’re Fit Enough to Enjoy It”
We’ve talked about this time in our lives as one of self-assigned creative sabbatical. We’ve also referred to this year as one borrowed from retirement to travel while we are young enough—and fit enough and healthy enough—to enjoy it. This concept was evident during the last two weeks as we ventured to the Caribbean for a little pre-winter island hopping. I’ll share the how and the why behind the trip, along with other random musings, over the next few days. In the meantime, I’ve been meditating a bit on how the “fit enough” concept contributed to some of my best experiences on the cruise.
We knew we’d be consuming a little (okay, a lot…) more food and drink than we normally do, so we agreed in advance that we’d workout every day to keep any vacation weight gain in check. Admittedly, daily workouts aren’t much different from our routine at home, but it was important to remind ourselves of our priorities and to keep our ongoing fitness goals in the front of our minds even as we sailed south in search of rum and reggae.
We worked out in the ship’s impressive fitness center nearly every day of the 10-day trip, taking advantage of the treadmills, free weights, and other equipment like the rowing machine (fun to use while staring out at the deep blue sea). On our one off day, we took a ferry from St. Thomas to St. John and went on a hike in the US Virgin Islands National Park, so we weren’t exactly inactive. (That side trip also allowed us to notch our 10th national park of the year. Yahoo!) So what else did we do on our vacation? Well, we:
- Took a series of 3 TRX suspension training classes (a challenging body-weight workout that absolutely delivered the muscle confusion we were looking for when we signed up…yikes)
- Logged 12-15 rolling treadmill miles…while bobbing about at sea (not an easy feat to stay upright as the ship churns through the Atlantic)
- Explored the fortresses and grounds of the walled city in Old San Juan, forgoing the free trolley in favor of a four-mile meander through the city
- Conquered the ship’s 30-foot rock climbing wall (my first-ever climbing experience)
- Played organized “15-and-up” floor hockey (just M) and soccer (both of us). A little rusty but full of hustle…
- Went bowling on the ship’s 10-pin lanes (requires a different kind of skill to work with the ship’s sway…)
- Danced the night away while wearing white under blacklights (in the ship’s nightclub…Do people even go dancing anymore? I think I should go dancing more often.)
- Went swimming in the Caribbean twice off two different islands (St. Maarten and St. John)
“…Fit enough to enjoy it?” Check and check!
Given all that action, there’s a small chance we overdid it. We’re both a bit sore, with a few blisters or bruises, and my left knee hasn’t been quite right since I tweaked it during the soccer game. In addition, concepts like overtraining and overuse of muscles are real, and we hit it hard in the gym every day.
The other factor working against us is aging. It’s sad but true that I am in my late (!) 30s now, not a teenager anymore. But perhaps that is the reason why I’m still thrilled days later that I was able to tackle the rock climbing wall and to hang tough during the soccer game, battling boys half my age as the only girl on the pitch. And if a sore knee for a few days is the price for that…well, it’s one I can afford to pay. I’ve only got one go round on this planet, and I’m giving it my all until the final whistle. –J
This entry was posted on December 16, 2012 by Words Per Gallon. It was filed under Geography, Hiking, National Parks, Running and was tagged with Caribbean, cruising, living a full life, staying fit on vacation, traveling.