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104. Sweet Summer Sweat

The sun shines brightly in Long Beach today. The sunsets of late are streaked with pink, salmon, purple and coral. Summer is in full swing and my commitment to exercise has gently swirled upward as vacations approached, races came, challenges were issued and swimsuits were donned.

There’s nothing easier for me than bypassing a workout with the excuse, “But I’m on vacation.” Which is why this workout (click here for the video) was particularly special last month. I had accepted the “30 day Challenge” from Recreation Fitness and of the 30 mornings in June, I found a way to exercise 18 of them…plus my training runs for the 5k in early July.

finding the farthest parking spot to begin my workoutThis “travel day” workout took so much thought and care and nurturing. I had to pack the night before with specific intent. I awoke at 3:30am to catch a 6am flight out of LAX and upon arriving in Seattle, I found a bathroom to change clothes. I drove my rental car eastbound on the freeway and smiled as the exit for this magical waterfall park approached. My miniscule car wound its way into the mountain, I parked as far as possible from the waterfall, on the highest tier of parking spots on the mountain, strapped my fancy camera to my body and began to walk/jog towards the viewing platform.



kept moving, taking pictures, keeping heartrate highMy goal was simple – 30 minutes of continuous, vigorous movement. Despite what the other tourists might think or say. Despite how sweaty I became. Despite how weary I was from an early morning. I would MOVE and SWEAT and SMILE. Basking in the glow of my activity, relishing the view of my favorite waterfall since childhood.





Could it always be so simple? Move, Sweat, Smile. Could this be Emily’s new pitch? It fits perfectly with Recreation Fitness. This idea that we all come together, share the space, fill it with grins and laughter (corny jokes, at times), work up a sweat, departing with more strength and confidence than when we arrived…confidence that inspires us to move, even if on vacation.

training doesn't stop when you're away from homeOn day #2 of vacation, after a celebration that ran deep into the warm night, I knew that a  2.2 mile training run loomed on the horizon. It needed to happen…the 5k was only a few weeks away. It wasn’t easy; it wasn’t fun. I laced my shoes and hit the trail along a gurgling stream. I ran slow. I refused to walk.

And do you know what? When I arrived back to my friend’s house, I felt better. It is always like this. Even on the sleepiest of mornings, the hottest of afternoons, or the most chaotic of evenings, working out is always better than staying still. There’s never a night when my head hits the pillow and I bask in the afterglow of sitting on the couch. How easily my breath came. How my butt melted into the cushions. How lovely was the light flickering off of Facebook.

victory after vacation workouts

©2014 Rob Nelms. All rights reserved. This image is the exclusive property of Rob Nelms and Radiant Portraiture Photography.

And the result of a lovely vacation COMBINED with activity? I ran a 5k with a smile on my face (okay, okay, I saw the camera) but it was a fabulous run.








©2014 Rob Nelms. All rights reserved. This image is the exclusive property of Rob Nelms and Radiant Portraiture Photography

You can’t run with more sunshine than Emily!










So, I recalled these sweet vacation-workout memories last week as another vacation began. Our car was packed to the gills…luggage, highchairs, pacnplays, snacks, books, babydolls…and tennis shoes. I longed to traipse San Franciscan streets in chic sandals…but knew that my intake of bubbly thin-crust pizza needed to be tempered with some sizzling calfs and quads from long walks.

I’ve come to believe it’s the small decisions about diet and exercise that matter.

want a grilled cheese sandwich - hike the hills for itIt isn’t that I eat a cheesy sandwich looking out upon Puget Sound, it’s that I parked miles from the market so that I had to walk several steep hills.






working off those pancakesIt isn’t that I made fluffy pancakes and poured rich syrup on top for breakfast but that we opted to walk down (and UP) 308 stairs to reach a lighthouse…when the girls and Daniel were perfectly satisfied with a mere picture from above.









Now hiking it offIt isn’t that I savored the rich and buttery mint-chip ice-cream from tranquil cows in organic pastures but that I chose to walk the lengthy trail into the redwood forest.







swimsuits don't scare me, being still scares meIt isn’t that I happily tossed my clothes upon the shore and dove into frigid water but that I hope each time my girls see me acting confident in a swimsuit they are perhaps less likely to second guess themselves in swimwear. And I am perfectly aware that this picture shows a journey towards fitness that is far from over. It is a journey that I am loving ever-more. On previous trips, I always opted for less activity. Closer parking. Foregoing salads. Ordering de-fatted lattes and non-fat yogurts. Loathing the flavor. Loathing any movement. I used to hate swimsuits…now I hate being still.

This is a better way for me. My girls see that I love to move. I am squeezing more out of each day on vacation with an interest in movement. I still have 100 (or so) pounds of extra love within…I do not deny that…but I’m nudging closer to more self-love.

I feel lighter despite being heavier.

no cat or baby can stand in my way!For now, that’s my story. The change is happening…even if no one can see it yet.

No cats or babies can stand in my way!






Want to MOVE – SWEAT – SMILE with Emily and her crew?  Come play with us in the park at Fit Camp!  http://recreationfitness.com/services/fit-camp-classes/calendar/