adventure

Sand For Days

As part of my coastal Oregon series, this particular writing is dedicated to the amazing experience I had on the Oregon Sand Dunes. So much fun that I had to write about it in just one post. All by itself.

I really didn’t know what to expect. I really didn’t visualize the beauty of the dunes or the depth of how far the dunes stretched. I did however catch a glimpse of the dunes roadside where there was an enormous hill of sand with a four wheeler going down it. I silently thought to myself no way. That is way too high for me.

We were lucky to get on the ATV tour as that was the best way to see the shore and the dunes in what I called the safest option for our trio to navigate the dunes as first timers. 30-40 mph on the climbs and the descents were so fast I didn’t even check the speedometer. 26 miles we rode round trip. Nobody flipped. Nobody got stuck. It was a success. This Bay Bridge photo is hard to capture in a photo meaning the in person view seems 1,000 times nicer. 

So much beauty. Such a thrill ride. One of travel buddies said this is definitely a top 10 experience. I would have to agree. I will definitely find my way back to this coast to tackle the dunes again. Not sure when but I will make time for sure.

We had a great guide and we even did some bowl rides at the end. It is hard to explain but you ride the dunes sideways up and down like you were in a bowl. You have to hit the right speed and maintain or your could roll! Just an exhilarating experience. This is also very different from the straight up climb to the straight down descent where you actually can’t see what is ahead of you when you then begin this descent.

This adventure covers the dunes and plenty of play time riding. From the natural bumps or jumps on the main road trail to the coolness of passers by. Everyone added flair to their personal rides with cool flags, political flags, neon lights, and so on.  Our adventure also covered the trip to the ocean to ride along the water. This was another breathtaking sight to see. The large ocean waves were just feet away pounding the shore while you zipped by. There was a fog in the air making the visibility low but the air was cool and crisp off the water. 

This adventure comes with a few $$$ on the review but if you take into account gas prices, the equipment used on the terrain and the guide it is well worth it. The family that owned our rental company was super focused on customer service which I also appreciated.

Can’t wait to come back to this coast and hit more spots along the way. Such a beautiful place to spend some time off the grid.

adventure, fitness and nutrition

The Pinellas Trail

It was a sizzling hot summer day in late July. 2 Chicks hit the road on the Pinellas trail in Dunedin, Florida. We hit the pavement by bike. A mode of transportation we enjoy. Today was a good fit and fun adventure.

18 miles were ridden. We might have walked a little funny when done but it was worth it. Recently I wrote about the backside of life on a train ride. Today I again saw the backside of life, but this time a little differently. What I mean is the back of buildings are visible from the trail since its original use was for rail hence the reason it’s called a rail trail. Fast forward to today and the backsides of the buildings are purposeful and used vs left to decay and look like an eye sore.

Keeping with this topic many sections of the towns have eateries or stores that back up to the rail trail. However this view is more aesthetically appealing or inviting. Stores had welcoming signage. Restaurants had patios on the backside. Ice cream shops had spots for pets. Many establishments had bike pumps for courtesy use. Some had sitting areas for those who needed a break. Many offered free water which was so nice on the super sunshiny day we rode.

The backside of life can look different depending how you view it. My perspective here was welcoming and one I will remember. My previous train ride was a little different view of neglect of those backsides many overlook. I often see opportunity in weird places. Some could post fun messages or kind words or advertise on the backside of old buildings for passers by instead of just leaving them to sit idle. Maybe it’s my always on business brain. Maybe it’s my desire for others to see what’s in plain sight or what could be endless possibilities. Clearly I can’t change the world but I can dream of how it could look better or be more useful.

Circling back to now, one of my favorite spots on the trails were the roadway crossings. Some busier than others. Some had stop signs for bikers while others had stop signs for cars. However on the main drags we had red lights and the little bike lights made me smile. I wish every city had a safe pathway like this to enjoy. Many would probably choose to bike to work some days.

Another tiring but beautiful experience was the opportunity to make the climb up a bridge, enjoy a photo at the top and the amazing views and then having the satisfaction of feeling the wind in your face on the way down the decline of the bridge. So many other fascinating tidbits I could share, but I would rather suggest you take a trip to experience this ride for yourself.

Opt outside. Be adventurous. This day was $30 to rent the bike all day. I was able to close my exercise ring for the day. I saw some beautiful street art, great trees, a few parks, and the water was a great backdrop along the way. $30 for a day of memories. 

balance

Balancing Act

At what age do you find a healthy life balance? Is it possible to always be in balance? I think about the balance in life a lot.

Today I think about the life balance of my teen. Balancing the rigorous school requirements. Adding in daily sports commitments. Homework. Friends. Boyfriend. Weekend out of town. Late night out on a school night for a birthday celebration. Go. Go. Go. Not slow. Just go. Just go hard. Just go now. Just keep going. It’s a vicious cycle. Where is the balance? Is there the possibility of balance without letting something or somebody down?

As an adult the roles shift but the question still remains the same. Eat, sleep, work, chores, deadlines, friends, health appointments, kid appointments, significant other time, caregiver time, emotional support, laundry, emergencies, bills, travel, and the list can go on and on. Is it possible to balance it all, everyday for infinity? Is that even realistic?

Sometimes my balanced state is my time in the car. The time I drive from point A to point B. Sometimes I even take the long way. Just to let the stillness continue. My time alone. My time to think or maybe not think at all. My time to pause the crazy schedule, routine or even have to’s. A new scenery. A time to readjust or realign my expectations.

If I miss my car time because I get a phone call demanding my time and attention I lose my balance. If I miss this opportunity, I have to find another way to reset the balance. A walk. A break to play with my dogs. Maybe even a nap at an odd time. It’s taken me many years to figure out what my healthy balance is. However, I worry about today’s kids. How do they find their balance in our crazy world? 

Born into digital life, some kids lack problem solving abilities or basic social skills. This is concerning because they may never figure out balance or pausing the noises of life, especially the digital distractions. Add in unrealistic expectations across the board and balance goes to the wayside.

As I wrap up this post I am leaving you with a challenge.

Challenge yourself to find new ways to balance your life. Talk to a friend about the topic and see if you can challenge a friend to work on their balance. I’m obviously hoping for a domino effect. Drop us a line to tell us what you did to balance your life. 

Balance away!

fitness and nutrition

Fresh Eyes

Sometimes a pair of fresh eyes can make you see yourself differently.

We had a new coach at my CrossFit gym.

First of all, I got to class late. I’m ashamed to admit this has become my norm over the past few months. I haven’t stopped to unpack why yet, but it was still embarrassing to make a first impression that way.

Next, he had already explained the workout by the time I got there. Every coach does things a little differently, but I wasn’t expecting to miss the whole description with my lateness. Yikes! And as a teacher myself, I knew better than to ask him to repeat it.

I kinda got the hang of what was happening, and launched into my usual scales. One of the movements was pullups. For some reason, the modifications I have become some comfortable with suddenly felt “less than.” I’ve been doing CrossFit for several years now and I am no closer to a pullup than I was two years ago. In fact, I’ve stopped trying to progress in that area. I just don’t really care…but in that moment, I felt a little bit lazy for giving up on it. Should I be content to just be a beginner in certain things for the foreseeable future? Does it matter? Why should I give up on it? Should I really be doing CrossFit if I don’t care about making progress and don’t even bother to get to class on time?

All these thoughts from a pair of fresh eyes on me. My usual coaches have gotten used to my actions, and maybe they just don’t try to argue with me anymore. They joke about my tardiness. They don’t tell me to pick up more weight or try something that will help me move forward. I’ve kind of stalled out.

Not sure why it left me rattled and thinking hard. No conclusions yet, but something I need to think about moving forward. What direction am I heading?

fitness and nutrition

Year 6: The Open

I was adamant I wasn’t officially participating in the CrossFit Open this year. The main reason for this decision is: I wasn’t feeling like I was in the same shape I was a few years back. Making me think I wouldn’t be happy with my results. I thought about it a good bit. I answered NO, when asked if I was participating many times.

Then I decided to log into my Open app. It showed my participation history and I had already invested five years in tracking my performance. Why not make it six years? Why not see how many years I can physically participate vs focusing on what number I am on the leaderboard?

This year I am 50. I hit a new age band. I had competed in RX the past few years but I have shifted to scaled workouts in most of my recent events. I also focus on going the distance or continuing to move through a grueling wod vs pausing. Slow and steady is my pace these days. It has taken me some time to adjust, but I have come to terms with being a scaled athlete. However, I strive to be the best version of scaled I can be. Thus I will see how I fare as a masters athlete in year six of my CrossFit Open history.

Another fitness benchmark. A couple of weeks of focus and self-motivation. A snapshot of my abilities at that point in time. A worldwide leaderboard allowing me to compare my peers worldwide. Why pass up the opportunity to get better?

Once my decision was solidified I decided to write this post. At the same time I glanced back at what I wrote last year about my Open participation. To my surprise I was on the fence about signing up but I did it. Just as I am doing again this year. Funny how my blog posts serve me purpose time and time again when I want to reflect on a subject. 

My vault is online. Cataloged for many to read. It is by no means all-inclusive memoirs however, the content is genuine. I write with feelings and undoubtedly express emotions to others in a very public way. I’m sure some will read this and the feelings are relatable. Others may lose interest and click away. It’s okay either way. 

As I want to end my evening with a dessert, I instead wrote this blog. In good conscience I will attempt to eat better for the coming days to prepare a tiny bit. Wish me luck. That translates to no dessert. Even if it was my favorite Kind bar frozen treat.