Getting Out of the Gym – Travel WODs and Life Beyond Workouts

At the end of July the moving dust finally began to settle, and no sooner than it had did August bring a long-awaited vacation.  For years I’ve talked about wanting to drive through the Southwest, and I finally got my chance on the way home from our week in California.  Of course, vacation doesn’t have to mean inactivity, so we got in lots of hiking and some fun travel workouts while we were at it using a little “travel gym” consisting of two kettle bells (a 16kg, and a 50lb), our jump ropes, my weight vest (up to 40lb) and the sandbag (35-50lb) – and the whole thing fit nicely in the trunk right along side the tent, air mattress, and other camping road-trip necessities.  

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Of course, as much as I love my workouts, since I’m not training for anything specific right now I’ve been more flexible during the summer and not only is a day spent hiking through a national park or paddle boarding on the open water a workout in its own right, being able to enjoy them to their fullest is itself a reward of fitness, and even I will occasionally admit that there is much more to life than working out and it’s important not to forget it.

WOD #1: Our first travel-WOD was a partner workout calling for us to start approximately 100 feet apart.  While Casey completed a set of 10 ground-to-overheads with the 50b sandbag and then sprinted to deliver it to me, I did as many pushups as possible.  Then it was my turn at the sandbag, while he ran back for pushups.  I scaled my reps to 5 in the interest of not giving him elbow tendonitis.  We did 5 rounds, and it was satisfyingly rough.

WOD #2: During our first workout I could tell, while attempting to hold the sandbag overhead, that my shoulder stability isn’t where I’d like it to be right now.  I also am always looking for ways to keep my core strong and stable, to protect my less-than-mint-condition spine.  Since we had the kettle bells with us, Turkish getups seemed like a great option for the day’s WOD.  I initially intended for us to do sets of them before the WOD, since high-speed get-ups for time sounds unsafe, but call it a momentary lapse of judgment – I threw them in the WOD instead at the last minute.  I’d recommend caution if you choose to do this… both because it’s not the most appropriate for-time movement, and also…

It was pretty miserable.

Luckily I went with 3 rounds instead of the initially planned 5!

3 RFT:

10 Turkish getups 50b/16kg

25 kettlebell swings

50 double unders

Over half an hour later, I finally finished struggling through this half-baked little monstrosity that let me know how bad a state my balance seems to be in.  I don’t regret doing it (maybe because I wanted to quit yet didn’t) but I’m not claiming it’s my best programming ever.  I also had grass-cuts for the next week+, and rolled in some dog doo while I was at it.

Luckily the reason for my lapse in programming judgment also made up for all of that unpleasantness – into a much needed shower went, and then off to see Yosemite National Park.  I was dead set on seeing a waterfall, because my East-Coast brain didn’t realize they might be largely dried up for summer.  The day’s first sliver of luck was that the Lower Falls, at least, were still, you know, falling.

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And Half Dome was still majestically, yet dependably, a big freaking rock shaped like half of a dome.  Of course that description intentionally does it no justice – it makes a pretty picture, but it really is impressive the way it looms in person, even from a distance.

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We walked a good four miles of dusty trails, mingling with horseback trail riders along the way, to see what might await us at the end of the “Mirror Lake” trail.  Something along the lines of Half Dome’s impressive watery equivalent I imagined.

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Except for, you know, summer in central California, it seemed, when we arrived to this view.

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Fortunately, there was much more to see in the other direction.  I do like that little round pound though.  I imagine really sarcastic trail-sign making water sprites might live in there.

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Things might have been light in the lake-and-waterfalls department but I loved my trip to Yosemite nonetheless.  Ironically, for all the grandeur of the exposed rock faces, the sunny meadow with the giants looming in the misty distance was my favorite spot that day.  This picture especially make me think of someplace mysterious and yet extremely peaceful, where no one has ever heard of a rolling office chair and your Blackberry definitely does NOT have reception.

More to follow as I comb through vacation photos and thoughts while catching up on life in that place where my Blackberry most definitely DOES have reception.

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