30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 30- Anniversary Tradition

Seventeen years ago today, I married the most perfect man in the universe. No, for real. He looks like Thor, he is kind and compassionate, and he does the dishes. Continue reading 30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 30- Anniversary Tradition

30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 24- Green Hour

I finished The Nature Principle and was going to type up notes from the book, but I’ve been a little pre-occupied by other projects. I’ll be sure to get the notes out before the end of my Experience Nature project. Some of the information in the book is too important not to share.  Continue reading 30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 24- Green Hour

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 8- Outdoors Indoors?

Can you still enjoy and appreciate nature without stepping outside? Well, I say yes. I guess the jury is still out. I am by no means an authority on what quantifies as experiencing nature. Continue reading 30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 8- Outdoors Indoors?

30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 3- Take a Hike!

I am coming back from a weekend getaway with my family, and starting my new job tomorrow, so while I have lots to share, I am keeping this post a little short. Continue reading 30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 3- Take a Hike!

30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 2- Adventures with My Element, Water

Me and Water go way back. When I was five years old, I pointed to a dolphin trainer and told my mom that was what I was going to do when I grew up. She did what any other encouraging mother of a fanatical youngster would do, and smiled and nodded. And then signed me up for the swim team.

Joke’s on her. I turned out to be quite the water baby. Part mermaid, we think. I took to swimming like a bird flying. Continue reading 30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 2- Adventures with My Element, Water

ZooFat to ZooFit

I felt I had a lot in common with Drew Manning. Well, I wasn’t a personal trainer who couldn’t figure out why my clients didn’t get it. But I was a zookeeper who couldn’t figure out why it was so hard to convey conservation messages to zoo visitors. Continue reading ZooFat to ZooFit