A Healthy Dose of Daydreaming
This Motivation Monday may bring us just one month into the fall season, but to me it feels like the summer of 2017 happened ages ago. Add the fact those longer, darker days are coming when Daylight Saving Time ends in less than two weeks…and it’s no wonder this bona fide beach bunny’s mind has already started daydreaming about getting away from the soon-to-be cold concrete jungle of New York City.
Wherever you call home, it’s no secret each of us fights a constant battle of how to fit so many tasks into one day, let alone one week. Between working; dealing with family obligations; and trying to take care of ourselves by working out and preparing healthy meals, there never seem to be enough hours to get it all done. (Especially when you throw in the extra chore of finding some time to sleep!)
In the midst of the daily madness, I couldn’t help but smile when I stumbled across the Tommy John website while doing some daily research on the good ol’ Internet. Even though the company is focused on base layers for guys, I learned those items are all about feeling confident and comfortable no matter where you go. I decided there was no better place for my mind to go than on a brief journey into fantasy land thinking up the dream fitness vacation. Talk about the perfect opportunity to get lost in some writing and escape the daily grind. So here it goes…
I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn the ideal destination for this relaxing yet healthy getaway would be somewhere with a beach and a view of the water pretty much everywhere on the property.
The non-stress trip would start before I even set foot on the soft, white sand thanks to the fact that there would be very little to pack. Just the casual, low-maintenance necessities: bathing suits, flip-flops, sneakers and plenty of moisture-wicking workout wear. I’d gladly leave the “high-maintenance” hair styling and heavy makeup at home, but I’d be certain to pack plenty of sunscreen and at least one bottle of BFit Labs Rapid Electrolyte spray to keep my electrolytes in check while I sweat through those sports bras and yoga capris.
Which leads me to the ideal itinerary at this dream getaway destination: The morning would start with a high-intensity workout around 8 am and continue with a recovery breakfast filled with healthy but satisfying foods ranging from fresh fruit to egg whites with plenty of veggies tossed in. After some beach and pool time and maybe a little stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking, I’d gladly hit another low-impact workout or stretch session later in the day. On at last one day, I might swap that late day workout for a massage.
I should point out one important feature about my ideal getaway: while I would NOT want this to be a “dry” destination, I’d love if it offered some lo-cal cocktails. So instead of the sugar and calorie-filled frozen mudslides, I’d opt for margaritas featuring not much more than tequila and agave and lime juice or vodka and club sodas with a slice of fresh pineapple or orange.
Finally – and I realize this is the difference between 43-year-old Laura and 23-year-old Laura- I wouldn’t mind if a “quiet rule” was enforced after let’s say, 9 pm. That would make the atmosphere ideal for some solid rest and recovery before the next sun-filled day filled with one or more workouts.
So what would be in your ideal fitness trip agenda? I’d love to know! Even if we don’t get to take those trips anytime in the immediate future, sometimes a few minutes of daydreaming can help us deal with the daily dilemma of finding ways to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!
Time For a Break
This first Motivation Monday of August officially brings us to the start of the dog days of summer. Just when you thought the New York City summer couldn’t be any quieter, these are the days we Manhattanites savor shorter lines and fewer crowds at the gym, the supermarket and all those happening hot spots. This Motivation Monday also happens to bring me closer to my annual escape from the sizzling concrete jungle to the beautiful beaches of Montauk. I can practically smell the sea air now.
This year’s trip seems to be arriving at a truly perfect time as I shake off the remnants of a nasty bug that literally threw me off-balance for nearly three weeks. Who knew a virus could set up shop in your inner ear and make you feel seasick 24-hours a day? Needless to say the dizzy spells and nausea seriously interfered with my normal workout routine. It was tough for this exercise junkie to take a break from what provides a daily boost to my physical and mental well-being. However, it’s equally if not more important to listen to your body when something’s wrong. While some prescription medicine slowly brought balance back to my life, the remedy came with some not-so-optimal effects including many sleepless nights. I now look forward to finishing the healing process at the beach – my absolute favorite place on the planet.
Finally, this is also when I say ciao for the rest of the month. As my longtime readers already know, I use this time as an opportunity for a little writing hiatus as the calendar marches toward Labor Day. So, I close with a thank you to all my readers for your ongoing support and wish you a grand finale to the summer of 2015. I look forward to re-connecting in September and taking advantage of all the new opportunities to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!
Call me superstitious, but I sort of believe in signs. So I hope the fact I get to start my 41st year on this planet on a Motivation Monday is a sign I’ll be stocked with enough adrenaline to tackle the new adventures and challenges waiting for me in the days ahead.
This birthday happens to fall in the wake of a brief but brilliant escape to the beautiful island of Aruba. It was the first vacation I’ve been on in awhile where I truly took it easy. Instead of the high-intensity cardio-fueled workouts I sweat through here at home, I enjoyed extended walks on the beach (sometimes two a day), stand-up paddle boarding and swimming. I even indulged in a massage. The result? Well, while I may have added a pound or two to my waistline thanks to the frozen cocktails and some decadent desserts, I also returned to the frenetic pace of my beloved New York city with relaxed muscles and a relaxed mind.
Part of my unwind time included embracing the fact that getting older doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If you’ve been stopping by here for awhile, you’ve read one or two posts about the fact that I’m definitely stronger than I was 10 years ago. Physically and mentally. I credit my experienced – both good in bad, in the gym and beyond – for giving me the confidence to make wiser choices today. Sure, I’ll still tweak a muscle during a workout now and then, and I’m the first to admit I’ve made some less-than-optimal choices when it comes to work or my love life. However, at least I believe I have a well-stocked mental file cabinet of information to guide my decisions.
So as we all start a new work week and I start my new year, let’s embrace all the surprises ahead that can only lead us on new paths to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!
“Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
It’s hard to believe this Motivation Monday brings us exactly two weeks away from Labor Day. Most consider the holiday the unofficial end of summer. As I sat on the beach on the last day of my last vacation of the season, I realized how much time can be wasted thinking about how many hours or days we have left to enjoy something instead of seizing and savoring the present moment.
I stared at the roaring sea, listened to the waves crashing against the sand and started breathing a little more deeply. I wanted to savor the scent of salt and sunscreen and embrace the feeling of the heat on my sun-kissed skin. However, somehow the my-vacation-is-almost-over panic crept in to my head and in to my heart. Panic about the future. Back in the concrete jungle. Back amidst the cacophony of sirens and horns. Back amongst the crowds of students on the subways and more people in the streets.
I know I’m not alone in this constant struggle between living in the present and worrying about what’s to come. As my mom pointed out, how can we not project about what’s two days or two weeks in the future when we’re bombarded with back-to-school sales in June and Christmas promotions in July?
Then I went for a last long beach walk, and one of my all-time favorite quotes from the legendary Dr. Seuss popped into my over-analytical head:
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
And I did smile. I realized how fortunate I was to be back in Montauk with my parents after last year’s hiatus because of my father’s emergency heart surgery. I realized the ocean will continue to churn and then settle into a calm, just like the different seasons and stages of life. At some point, each of us may face the end of a vacation…a job…a marriage…a life. My goal as I move toward a new season is to remember it’s healthier for the body and the spirit to hold on to what was good than lose sleep and sanity over what went wrong and what we can’t get back.
So when life seems overwhelming, I will close my eyes and envision the mighty sea to give me the energy I need to keep going. Whatever gives you strength- a good workout, an image of your children laughing without a care in the world, a conversation with your best friend – enjoy as many of those moments as you can this week and in the weeks ahead. We can’t change the fact that time will always march forward. But savoring the only thing we have control over in that journey – the present moment – can help us take on life’s challenges while keeping us on the course to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!
Ready for Action!
On this particular Motivation Monday I find myself in a bit of shock trying to re-adjust to the concrete jungle after spending a few days surrounded by sand and palm trees.
The sound of the ocean has been replaced by the horns and sirens that scream up and down Broadway. Instead of a salty sea spray, my nostrils are filled with the aroma of hot dogs and other “street meat” wafting from countless food trucks and vending carts.
The beach is my safe haven. It’s not only where I get to mix up my fitness routine by banging out squats or planks in the sand. It’s also where my brain can truly reboot. Whether I’m sitting under a sunny sky or a veil of darkness with nothing but the stars as my light, the beach provides the space where my mind can wander and feel free. It’s where my dreams never seem to big or too foolish…and where positive energy is restored. Now as reality sets in, I know I can close my eyes and escape to that peaceful spot in my mind whenever the stress starts creeping in.
My wish for you as we start another week and a brand new month is that sometime in the near future you can find the time to escape to your happy place. Maybe it’s a true vacation lasting a week or longer. Maybe it’s a full day or just a few hours in another town. It could even be an hour of solitude sitting in your backyard or on a cozy couch. Get there. Dream a little and make some plans to start going after what you want. While you’re add it, why not get up from that recharge and take a walk, go for a run or check your group exercise schedule for your next class.
Here’s to a great new week and month ahead and all the opportunities we’ll have to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!