How to Paddleboard and What I Learned

Venice gondolierThe first time I saw paddleboarders, they reminded me of the Venice gondoliers without the striped shirts and skinny, long canoes. Then I learned it builds core, leg, and upper body strength. I’m all about exercising while outdoors. Being landlocked in Colorado, adopting a new water sport intrigued me so I reserved a paddleboard. I wondered if I would spend more time in the water than on the board. I didn’t know I would learn some life lessons too.

Union Reservoir in Longmont only allows power boats to put around and fish, so it’s a paddleboarders’ paradise. I rented a board and grabbed a paddle. I set the lifepreserver on top of the board where it taunted me. I wondered how many times I would spill and if I should put it on. I looked around at the graceful paddleboarders gliding across the lake and tensed, knowing grace was a gift given to other people. I must have been sick that day.

Paddleboarding Paridise Continue reading

A Gym Where Nobody Knows My Name

Chances are, you’ve been a member of a gym or fitness club sometime in your life. You probably made some friends and they helped motivate you to work out. What do you do when you burn out even though everyone knows your name?

My gym experience started in an auspicious way. I snuck into Vic Tanny – the first fitness chain in the US – a few times with a friend to use the hot tub for my notorious knee injury in the 80’s. One day, I got busted. I threw up my hands and signed up. Best thing I ever did. I’ve continued to belong to fitness clubs ever since. I joined the last one to meet others from my neighborhood. I played competitive tennis as a member until diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer and subsequent double boobectomies in 2013, but it was a partial knee replacement a year later that really slowed me down. I tried physical therapy, fitness classes, and yoga, but nothing made the impact I needed to get back into fighting shape.

Typical day in 2016:

“Come on, let’s go to class,” I said to myself.

“But I’m in the middle of writing,” myself countered.

“You’re always writing,” I said.

“In a minute.” I adjusted my focus back on the computer and another day passed.

In January, I set reasonable goals for myself. All are within my own control. Priority #1 is to become fit and strong once again. How would I accomplish my goals if I couldn’t motivate? After being a member for sixteen years, I needed a change.

My kids are members of 24 Hour Fitness, so I checked it out. I looked forward to a gym where nobody knows my name. It would be fun to start fresh and meet new people. Maybe I’d learn something new.

During a three day trial, I checked out a few classes including yoga. The gym filled with Boulderites. I rolled out my mat between a middle-aged woman who had a lot of plastic surgery and a cross-dresser complete with blond wig. I had found my people!

My membership came with a free hour of personal training. After a wicked session with TRX, (straps used by Navy Seals when stationed on ships), free weights, and dead lifts, my muscles groaned. But it felt good to wake up with sore muscles. I hadn’t considered weight training, but remembered hearing how it strengthens bone. My anti-cancer medication, Anastrozole, obliterates estrogen which is what my cancer ate, but also dissolves bone. I don’t want to become shrinky dinky because of skeletal fractures. That would not be good, at all. I’m short enough at 5’4″.

With the help of Brian, the fitness manager, and Sam, a personal trainer, I am officially locked and loaded with sessions bought through a package. Soon, they’ll set me loose to train on my own. Oh, wow… That’s coming up soon. Scheduling me for gym time started a new habit. Endorphin addiction will keep me going.

In the meantime, I’m learning all kinds of torture chamber methods to wake up my minuscule muscles. I trained today and can feel them crying out for mercy. They are total wimps and woosies.

“Pipe down,” I said to my whiny muscles, “You need to be exercised. It’s good for you! We can try new adventures again knowing that I won’t hurt myself because of your puniness.”

“All right. You don’t have to yell.”

I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, two people know my name at my new gym and that’s A-okay.

Clowning around at 24 Hour Fitness

Do you belong to a gym? Do people know your name? Are you a gym rat or a occasional user? I’m striving for the rat category.

Ski Therapy in Beaver Creek

Aspens in Beaver Creek

My family went skiing at Beaver Creek Ski Resort, Colorado last weekend. I wondered if my knee would be stable and strong enough in the heavy wet snow. I knew it would be therapeutic to exercise in the fresh air.

I had a partial knee replacement over a year ago. Although my doctor thought I would be back to my wild life in a few weeks, it started squeaking and then became really noisy last summer. Now it grinds and squeaks! Weird right? What’s really weird is it’s totally painless, but can swell. My orthopedic surgeon thinks the scar tissue could wear off as I use it. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Anxious to get back into shape after a broken wrist, I overdid it a few weeks ago. Stationary biking, walk/running, working out with weights and playing tennis was too much in one week. My angry knee swelled up like a gargantuan grapefruit. It took a few weeks to calm it down.

I knew skiing would be risky and I didn’t want to endure yet another setback. But sometimes you just have to go for it to find out if you’re ready.

My son, Kelly, me, Leksy Wolk, and my daughter, Courtney.  Do I look confident?

Kelly, Susie, Leksy Wolk, and Courtney Lindau at the entrance to the terrain park

I survived the first run without a problem.

Skiing under the chairlift at Beaver Creek

The April, ice cream-like snow was smooth and easy to carve. Although I felt my muscles work hard, my knee felt great.

I’m the one behind the camera.

Skiing the slopes at Beaver Creek As the day wore on, my confidence grew. I even skied a rail in the terrain park. Ha! Sorry. I have no proof. You’ll have to take my word for it.

My husband, Danny, and daughter, Courtney, clowned around in the snow. 

Clowning around trick skiing

The day after, my muscles were sore, but it was a good kind of sore. Although my knee was a little swollen, it resembled a knee and nothing from the produce department.

We drove down from the mountains and I took our Bichon, Roxy, for a walk. No running. No weightlifting. No biking. Just a walk.

This time, I’ll get back in shape by adding a small amount to each workout. Maybe my knee will quiet down and someone will record me in the terrain park.

That would be WILD!

Do you have a tendency to overdo it or do you ease into activity after a setback? Have you ever been to Beaver Creek? 

This is a response to the Weekly Photo Challenge – Landscape.

Take the Challenge

Have you been chained to your desk this summer or have you channelled The Hulk and broken out to enjoy the nice weather? It’s not too late to join us.

Here’s how:

Share photos of your outdoor fitness adventures through Twitter and Instagram with #WRFChallenge. I’ll link you up!

Deanne Schultz posted a selfie while taking the Challenge on her birthday. Happy Belated Birthday, Deanne!

Patricia Sands has been playing tennis to enjoy the outdoors.

My daughter Courtney Lindau and her friends took an epic hike near Red Rocks.

Went on an awesome hike with these ladies above Red Rocks today! 🗻☀️🍃

A post shared by Courtney Lindau (@courtneylindau) on

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Don’t Tell Mom

When I’m scolded by a young woman in her twenties for being reckless, I know it’s been a real adventure.

I had been road biking to a small town about ten miles from my house and back to build strength in my leg after knee surgery. After several bike rides, I itched for something different. Something new. Something…adventurous.

I decided to mountain bike around the Boulder Reservoir instead. I used to belong to a mountain biking group that explored Boulder County. It had been a while, but I thought it would be fun to hit the trail again.

Looking back, I should have recognized the turkey vulture as a bad omen.

turkey vulture

On the way to the res, I rode by Coot Lake.

Coot Lake

I entered the Eagle Trailhead. A new little friend hopped along the path and pleaded with me to turn around. Of course, I didn’t listen. Continue reading

Feel Like Summer is Slipping Away?

Once the 4th of July has been celebrated, the lazy days of summer accelerate at warp speed. Soon, our shadows will stretch, the leaves will begin to change and the kids will head back to school.

I’ve learned how to slow down this special time of year while the days are long and warm. Want to know my secret? Make time for yourself and get outside!

These are a few of the hikes I’ve taken in Colorado this summer.

Fitness challenge hikes

Join the Wild Rider Fitness Challenge. Create some memories while exercising your body and I’ll link you up. Take a couple of pictures while walking, running, biking, swimming, cliff diving, or dancing (the very best exercise), and post a picture or two on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #WRFChallenge. I’ll include it here on the Wild Ride. Continue reading

Amazing Outdoor Photos from WRFChallengers

Have you wanted to commit to exercise, but can’t seem to get into a routine? Here’s what’s working for me.

Take the 90 day Wild Rider Fitness Challenge. It ends on September 8th with a Wild Party. It’s super easy. Really! Exercise two or more times a week and get outside at least once. That’s all! You can walk around your neighborhood or scale a mountain. It’s up to you.

Post photos on Instagram and Twitter of your outdoor adventures and tag them #WRFChallenge. I’ll continue to feature some of them here. Or you can blog about your own adventure and link it to Join the Wild Rider Fitness Challenge, so more can join.

Here’s what the WRFChallengers have been up to!

Ginger Calem ran with an eagle in Texas.

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