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Posts tagged ‘Unconventional Workout’

Another Adventure Recap – White Water Rafting

This update is super delayed, but the weekend after Father’s Day, my wonderful boyfriend and I took my father on a white water rafting trip (along with a bunch of my wonderful boyfriend’s fun coworkers). We went down the Kennebec River in northern Maine (almost Canada) with a company called Northern Outdoors and got the trip 50% off thanks to CBS Local (similar to LivingSocial and Groupon). I really think this is shaping up to be my summer of mini-adventures and I’m quite digging it.

It was just the beginning of the heat wave, so it was a beautiful 80°. At the lodge, before the trip, they reviewed the supplies they offered for rent. They started with a paddle jacket, suggesting most people would rent that (if anything). The chest part was wet suit material while the sleeves were a light and flexible material (similar to real wind-breaker). They showed the wet suit jacket and booties for your feet. They also showed the bottoms of the wetsuit, which I think they called the “farmer john.” They said “unless you had 0% body fat, you won’t need the ‘farmer john.’ Oh and the water is 51°. Thanks for listening.”

It was the 51° degrees part that really resonated with us. We’ve been on this trip before, so we knew that during the rafting, everyone in the boat would get wet. And we knew there were multiple parts of the river you could get out of the boat and float down the river yourself.  I hate to be cold, it’s completely miserable and you can’t do much about it. As someone who also enjoys alpine skiing in the winter, I have learned that if you have too much clothing, you can always take it off until you’re more comfortable. It was worth it to us to spend the $10 and get the paddle jackets and the farmer johns.

This was during lunch on the river. You can see T’s farmer johns, the top of mine are folded down.

Very few people made that choice, and there were probably about thirty 20-something-year-old girls in bikinis on the trip who spent the entire day freezing and miserable. Especially because even the air felt cooler on the river.

We’re carrying the boat down to the river at the beginning of the day. Here you can see our full outfits with the jacket and the farmer johns. I’m second from the left, my dad is third from the left, and guide Dave is on the right.

The day was gorgeous! Everyone in our boat got a chance to sit up front, even me. The last time we went (last fall with T’s family – it was FREEZING!) I had no interest in sitting in the front and I never did. I didn’t really have any interest in sitting in the front this time either, but my dad insisted. He was totally right, you get the best view. And it’s not that the view from the second seat is much different. It’s just that the front person sets the pace, the second+ person needs to get in sync and pay attention to someone else’s rhythm. The front person can spend that extra brain power looking at the river instead of looking at the paddle in front of them.

So glad that T has a waterproof camera! (and he’s good at taking “selfies”) Here we are floating down the river (nice and warm in the wetsuits).

My wonderful boyfriend, T, told me that this is a pretty unique style of white water rafting and you won’t find it everywhere in the country. For example, one of his coworkers, Jenn spent her honeymoon in Pennsylvania and one of the days they went white water rafting. But they didn’t even have a guide in their boat. They was just one guide with the entire trip. I’m going to guess their river was a little safer. Our guide, Dave (who was in the boat the entire time and was in charge of steering), had to guide us around things like the “kayak keeper”: a set of rocks that created a cycle of spinning water that could literally drag a kayak down below the surface for good. Or he had to avoid “unemployment rock.” Inches before unemployment rock looks like some really sweet white water, but 6 inches past the rapid is a giant bolder, doing a nice job of staying hidden, but completely dry. It’s called unemployment rock because if a guide steers his boat that way… he’ll be on the unemployment line in a hot second. There are lots of things like that to this river, things you might not notice if you didn’t know what you were doing. I can’t imagine doing a river without a guide with me. Plus, the Northern Outdoors staff are all funny and very knowledgable about the area.

We had a super time! And I’m hoping to do a more challenging river this fall. 

Here my dad, Jenn, and her husband, Keith enjoy the last bit of “white water”. The photo was slightly staged… until they got spashed… those faces of surprise are real!

 Unfortunately, we weren’t able to take any pictures during the actual rapids, but it was super awesome and I would totally recommend this to anyone!

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An Aerial Adventure!

A while ago, I signed up for an obstacle course race called the Diva Dash with a bunch of friends. One of the other “Divas” talked a bunch of us into preparing for the race by doing an aerial obstacle course. Picture a ropes course. We were about 20-50 feet in the air, secured to a wire, and trying to move along a course that wasn’t really supporting us (moving across tight ropes, 2×6 planks of wood, a series of swings made out of wood or rope, etc).

This was one of the easier obstacles, although those steps weren’t connected at all and they were more than happy to swing out beneath you. You can see some of the other obstacles in the background. The big yellow slide in the background is part of the kids playground, not the obstacle course.

To be completely honest, it was a boat load of fun! It was also so exhausting! Talk about cross training! Every muscle I have (legs, abs, arms, shoulders, back, and chest) still aches two days later! HOLY COW! I’m still audibly groaning every time I have to use my quads to sit down or stand up.

There were 6 paths to take: 3 easy, 2 medium, and 1 hard (each with maybe 18 separate obstacles). I did 2 “easy” paths and 1 medium (and that took about 3 hours). Half of our group also went on to do the hard path, but I knew my muscles had tapped out by then. I actually “fell” half way through the medium path.

Still moving… but this is the obstacle I fell on… in just a few feet

I don’t know how easy it is to see in that picture, but there is one rope on one side, another rope on the other side about 2 feet away, and then in another 2 feet another rope on the original side (ect). So the ropes on each side are about 4 feet apart. I was struggling getting the ropes to reach each other (so I could let go of one and grab the next). I thought “hey, I wonder if I could just hold on to the secured, safety wire?” (that I was hooked on to). The answer was no. As soon as I let go of the left rope and grabbed the safety wire, down I went. I was still holding onto the right-hand rope and my feet were still on the balance beams beneath me. All I could think was “I’m just so tired, I just want to sit for a minute.” But in the time it took for the 20-year-old girl to get a ladder so she could fish me out of the trees, I managed to rally some energy and pull myself back up. Once I got to the next tree, I totally sat down for about 5 minutes though. I am proud of myself for not quitting.

Hand on the safety wire… about to go down in 3, 2, 1…

It was totally fun and if I lived closer, I would absolutely go back a bunch of times as cross training! But it’s over 2 hours away…

By the time I got home, my legs were on fire and I was considering hopping into bed at 8:30 and watching movies from there because just sitting was painful. I didn’t though. And then, just to work the muscles more, my sweet, little boy kitty started foaming at the mouth at about midnight. My wonderful boyfriend was 5 hours away on a golfing trip with a guy friend… I had to deal with this all on my own. Of course my first thought was that the poor little guy had rabies and I was freaking out. Thanks to google though, I learned the more common cause for foaming among house pets is that he was trying to make himself throw up because he ate something that gave him a tummy ache. Thank goodness! He never did toss his kibble, but he did eventually curl up and fall asleep. And I was able to crash from exhaustion.

Oh, I had blood tests that morning, too. My doctor wanted to test hormone levels, so it all had to be done on a very specific day… which turned out to be the same day as the aerial adventure. So life goes, right? At 9 am, I gave 6 vials of blood (so much that even the phlebotomist apologized to me – luckily she was great at her job though, so it barely hurt). By 11:45 am, I was up in the trees! It was quite a day!

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