30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 22- Our Disconnection with the Wild

Because of this 30 Days of Experiencing Nature, I’m re-listening to a favorite book of mine, The Nature Principle by Richard Louv. I appreciate how much we NEED nature in our lives. It’s astounding when I think about how disconnected we are from the wild. Continue reading 30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 22- Our Disconnection with the Wild

30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 21- The Shortest Longest Day Ever

Today is June 21, the Summer Solstice. It is the longest day of the year, but if you ask me, it could have been a bit longer. I felt rushed all day long, even when I planned my schedule and adhered to it.  Continue reading 30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 21- The Shortest Longest Day Ever

30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 20- Let’s Get Physical

Fitness is not just eating right. Nor is it just exercising. Fitness is a beautiful symphony of eating right to fuel your exercise and exercising to promote other healthy habits. Exercise doesn’t do us much good if we aren’t nourished, but if we don’t move, we won’t see amazing results. Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand. Continue reading 30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 20- Let’s Get Physical

30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 19- Just Keep Swimming

I considered taking the day off from Experience Nature to talk about my adventures in dental care, but I did have a chance to get outdoors today, and I want to focus on that.

Knowing I wouldn’t have the chance to workout after my dental appointment (they bring out the big guns for me- lots of drugs, lots of needles, lots of drilling), I went early to Pilates and then for a longer swim in Goss Lake. 

I’m swimming more frequently for a couple reasons. My shoulder and knees are still acting wonky. My knees not nearly as bad as my shoulder. I tweaked it way back in November, got a cortisone shot, and now it’s worn off. So, basically, back to the pain I had before I got the shot. I’ve been using the cannabis oil tincture on my knees, and it seems to be working pretty good. I don’t notice any difference on my shoulder. Lifting weights, and doing lots of different movements only seems to agitate my shoulder, and sometimes bothers my knees. Even Pilates is pushing it a little with my aches and pains. But swimming? Doesn’t bother me a bit. So, if I’m looking to do some cardio workouts, and my normal workouts are aggravating injuries, then swimming is the way to go.

Another reason I’m swimming more is I’m training for the Whidbey Island Triathlon the end of July. “But PJ, you said your knees and shoulder hurt, are you going to do the crazy biking and running, too?” No. That’s what my teammates are for. Philip is an AVID cyclist with the fastest bike and the fastest times on the island. Sam runs 6 or 7 minute miles. Repeatedly. 

All I have to do is get down to a 12-13 minute 1/2 mile swim, and we will be not just the fastest relay, but the fastest course time ever. But last year I didn’t even break 15 minutes. I don’t know what happened, but I felt like I choked in the water (not literally, I would have drowned). I’m bound and determined not to let that happen this year, so I’m swimming. As much and as often as I can.

I have a schedule (YAY! LISTS!) for my swimming days, and it allows me to swim 4-5 days each week. I also have a schedule for when and how to up my progression to work up to a 12 minute 1/2 mile. My first week I would swim out as far as I felt comfortable (some days I was the only person at the lake- it’s an eerie feeling to be alone in the water, where no one can hear you if you scream for help), and then try to swim the entire way back without stopping, or the course of one full song on my aqua iPod.

My progression was going to have me increasing duration (by measure of songs) where I swam non-stop and then progress my intensity during songs by swimming fast for one song, then 2 songs, and finally giving my all for 3 songs. It works out if I continue on this schedule to have me full on Beast Mode for 3 songs the last week before the Triathlon.

But then today, I went swimming with two other ladies. We just happened to get to Goss Lake at the same time. We all just happened to be going for a swim. We didn’t swim together, though. Me, with my agenda and iPod went in one direction while the other two started swimming straight out in another. When I finished my set, I looked out and those ladies were swimming all the way to the other side of the lake!

What the? Why was I trying to figure out distance by a fracking song? Especially when some songs are 3 minutes and others are 5? I can easily figure out how far it is to swim clear across the lake. I can time myself better that way too. By the time the race rolls around and there are markers in the water, I will be more accustomed to swimming the distance rather than the guessing game I’m playing now.

So now I’ve updated my schedule.

  • Week 1 (this week)- Swim to other side and back. Three rest stops allowed. One on the way to other side, one at the other side, and the last one on the way back. Try to swim at least 2 consecutive songs on either trip without stopping.
  • Week 2-Swim all the way to other side without stopping, rest for at least one full song (hopefully a short one), and swim all the way back without stopping
  • Week 3- Swim all the way (there and back, like a hobbit) without stopping, any speed you like
  • Week 4- Swim all the way there with a speed of Fast for one song, recover/base pace for 2 songs. Rest on the other side, and then swim all the way back with same speed pace
  • Week 5- All the way. Swim one song fast, two songs slow/recover
  • Week 6- RACE WEEK- All the way, maintain fast one song, recover one song.

6 weeks until the Triathlon. 6 weeks to make a commitment and possibly a habit of swimming when I am able to. It’s a great workout, easy on the joints, and keeps me connected to my Sacred Space.

Just keep swimming, and I’ll see you at the lake!

30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 18- Get a Job, Lose Weight

When I was a zookeeper, I stayed in pretty damn good shape. For the most part. Especially when I created ZooFit, but zookeeping is a very active profession, so we move a lot. We carry heavy stuff a lot. We run from one exhibit to another. A lot. Continue reading 30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 18- Get a Job, Lose Weight

30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 17- Father’s Day

Did you remember Father’s Day? What favorite memories do you have of your father, or father-like figure in your life which helped connect you to nature?

For me, I was always Daddy’s Little Girl. Dad took me to all kinds of sporting events. We loved going to baseball games. I’d get some Hawaiian shaved ice, some hotdogs, and hang out with my dad all night. It was so much fun. Continue reading 30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 17- Father’s Day

30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 15- Secure Your Butts

I quit smoking about three years ago. Before I quit, I smoked about a pack of cigarettes a week. Not a lot to some folks, but more than I or my family would have liked.  Continue reading 30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 15- Secure Your Butts

30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 14- My Mini Triathlon

It’s amazing what exercise and getting outdoors can do for one’s mood. I ended up staying over a half an hour at work because para-gliders were packing up from an evening paragliding excursion. They apologized for taking so long, and were very grateful for my patience.

I didn’t really understand why I was so patient until they left. It was my Friday, it was past 10pm, and I still had a 30 minute drive home. But I wasn’t really visibly annoyed or impatient with them as they packed up their sails and equipment. I listened to my book, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont, enjoying the scenery. Continue reading 30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 14- My Mini Triathlon

30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 13- Making Nature a Family Affair

Starting a new summer job has been more difficult than I imagined. I have a lot of ideas still floating in my head and a lot of things to do for ZooFit before summer is over.

Work is a great way to get outdoors where I thrive, and feel somewhat productive towards my community and contributing to my family, but it’s hard to juggle my priorities. Continue reading 30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 13- Making Nature a Family Affair