First of all, my posts may be a bit sporadic for the next couple of weeks as I adjust since I have a new job! Woohoo!
To celebrate this new beginning, I spent a lovely weekend upstate. I spent some time relaxing by the lake, warming up by the fire pit, and “sampling” at the winery, but the main purpose of the trip was hiking! I think active get-aways are so important for both mental and physical health (especially when you live in a hectic city) so I’m trying to do this more often.
View from the deck at the B&B
We stayed in a lovely B&B in the small town of Greenwood Lake (where Babe Ruth used to stay!) It was beautiful and, more importantly, quiet! It was cold, but so peaceful by the fire pit. We spent the first day at Warwick Winery. $5 for wine tasting? Count me in! It was a great day, although we may have had a bit too much!
The next day we went hiking on the Appalachian Trail! The views were amazing and the bright colors of the Fall foliage were unreal. Seriously, some of the leaves were so pink they looked like they had been painted. I’ve said it before, but I honestly think that hiking is one of the best workouts there is! In addition to being a social activity that puts you in touch with nature, it’s also challenging. It combines cardio with strength training due to the steep hills and mountains. This part of the trail was definitely steep and a bit tricky! And it’s hard to want to stop when the views are so pretty.
After the trail, we stumbled upon a schoolyard playground. After reading Autumn’s post on active recess, I was inspired to sneak in! I’m not sure if that’s what she had in mind when she emphasized the importance of just letting loose and playing, but it was so much fun! After running through the jungle gym and swinging on the swings I was surprised that I was out of breath because I had completely let myself go. I wasn’t thinking about the fact that I was exercising at all.
This weekend really taught me the importance of active rest for the body and soul. I didn’t have any formal workouts, but I was probably more active than I would be on days where I just had one prescheduled workout. And I completely let go of all the stress I was feeling the week before.
What does an active rest day look like for you?
Ireland was incredible. I spent 9 days exploring the country on my little solo adventure (I may have a future post about the perks of traveling alone). Of all the places I’ve traveled, it was the only one that was just as beautiful and amazing as it looked in the movies. The people were also just as warm and friendly. I made the journey by myself, but I made friends everywhere I went. They were all so open to telling me about the history and culture of Ireland. I’m not sure if I would have truly experienced Ireland without them.
Day 1 (and Day 9): Dublin
I arrived the day of the football match between Dublin and Kerry. So Irish pride was in full swing. Debauchery was also in full swing. I met some fun fellow American girls on a little pub crawl and we witnessed some very… colorful Irish men. While it was a lovely city rich of history (I had a drink at The Stag’s Head where James Joyce was once a regular) it was probably my least favorite part of the trip. Ireland really begins outside of Dublin, in my opinion.
Days 2-4: Galway
Walking through the streets of Galway makes you feel like you’re in Disney World. The classic Irish architecture and traditional music playing everywhere is a rush! On my second night, I met up with some members of the Irish Navy and they taught me some songs and we all danced the jig. It was some mighty craic!
Galway is also close to many natural wonders. I took a bus trip to the Burren and Cliffs of Moher, which was breathtaking. As I was taking pictures I kept looking at them thinking “people are going to think I’m in front of a green screen!”
My Britney Spears moment
Days 4-5: Killarney
On this trip it was almost like everywhere I went was better than the last! Killarney is much more of a small town and during the week wasn’t as big on nightlife. But the nature was incredible! Killarney National Park is gorgeous. I recommend renting a bike because it’s a LOT bigger than you think! My favorite parts were the Torc Waterfall and muckross house and gardens. The mine trail by Ross castle also has incredible views. I actually spent more than one day exploring the park because I just kept wanting to go further! Although I probably should have stuck to the paths a bit since I almost had a run in with a wild dog.
At the hostel I became friends with some lovely people from Australia, Belgium, Israel, and fellow Americans. I also can’t say enough about how great and friendly the staff were. They were always there to help and on this leg of the trip I really need it. More on that later.
Back when working out was still something I had to force myself to do, I was at the doctor’s when I was absent-mindedly skimming an article about celebrity fitness. I was struck by something that Reese Witherspoon said. When asked how she fits exercise into her busy schedule, she said that she’ll get together with friends for a hike or run rather than having a lunch date. This really resonated with me because I felt like my need to workout was interfering with my social life. But you can have it both ways and it makes it so much more fun!
Make New Friends
Biking with Tone It Up girls
Not only is fitness a great way to bond with your existing friends, but it’s a great way to connect with new friends, too. Through the Tone It Up community, I was able to find girls who wanted to do the activities I wanted to do, like going bike riding on Governor’s Island. We had so much fun and instantly bonded over our love of leading a healthy lifestyle.
Hiking upstate with my roommate
I never knew how much I loved nature until I moved to New York. Now I miss it all the time even though I rarely did outdoor activities when I actually lived in my small, rural hometown. Hiking and other outdoor adventures are amazing. They don’t feel like workouts because you want to go as far as you can to explore the beauty.
Find New Hobbies
Girl Date: Kayaking on the Hudson River
There are so many fun and unique ways to workout with friends. Rock climbing, hiking, biking, running, swimming… even pole dancing classes! You’re sure to find a workout you enjoy. And even if you try something you don’t like (I was NOT a fan of the military boot camp class I took!) at least you had fun with your friends. Working out shouldn’t be a chore. There really is something out there for everyone.