April 21, 2014

When Fitness Doesn't Suck at All


By Crabby McSlacker

This was originally going to be a long rambling photo-filled post about trying (and often failing) to make healthy choices while on vacation.

The short version?

I did pretty well on exercise but I made some pretty egregious choices when it came to food.  I am so not the "role model" kind of health blogger, but you guys already knew that.

But yeah, as I may have mentioned, we did a lot of walking around while in Cape Town and I already bored you with a bazillion Cape Town pictures.  Plus I also did some improvisational aqua-aerobics,

and I hit the hotel gyms whenever I could,



and paced the concourses and climbed the stairs in airports during layovers,



and just generally took advantage of any available opportunities to be active. Yay me!

However, I spent most of the time I was gone shoving delicious food in my face, whether or not I was even hungry for it.  We couldn't walk 20 feet without being offered a glass of champagne or a tasty appetizer or a cookie or brown bag full of snacks to go, plus the meals themselves were amazing.


(Note: I didn't take many mealtime pictures, mainly because I was too busy cramming food into my mouth).

While I tried to optimize my selections to balance health and indulgence, I rarely passed anything up.  I suck at self-restraint when I'm out of my normal controlled environment.

This always happens when I travel, and I'm in boring old "atonement" mode now, so this post is not going to be about my various dietary transgressions.


Instead, it's about something more positive and pleasant.

It's about that magic that sometimes happens when you are somewhere beautiful, and you have it mostly to yourself, and you hike for a couple hours and don't even realize you are exercising because you are having a such a wonderful time.

Bonus if you are with someone you adore who is the absolute perfect hiking companion.



Anyway, for us the table mountain hike was one of those magical experiences.  The day started off cloudy and windy enough to scare everyone else away, so we had the normally busy trail entirely to ourselves. Then the sun broke through part way, and we took turns taking pictures as we strolled.

I'll shut up now.  These are probably better if you click on of 'em and step through the larger versions.










  


Sometimes it takes a little effort, planning and luck to make a lovely hike happen, but when the stars align it can be pretty special.

So whether the opportunity occurs somewhere familiar and beloved, or somewhere foreign and far far away, I hope you all get many many chances to experience that magic too!

Have you guys ever gone on a "magical" hike somewhere?

38 comments:

  1. Champagne!! I only drink it once or twice a year because that stuff is the lubricant that slides me right down the slippery slope to over eating, karaoke and table dancing with final landing in the dust bin of a hang-over! Love the stuff but, there are too many stories out there about the time I had champagne.
    I went hiking on the weekend and I did an OH NO when I saw the full parking lot and then by some miracle I did not see a single person on the trail. Not even in front of the waterfalls. I did end up covered in mud up to my knees so maybe all those people are still out there trying to crawl back to their cars.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You crack me up Cindy! And way to go on the hiking perseverance, a full parking lot always makes my heart sink too. How mysterious they all disappeared though!

      Would LOVE to hear more champagne tales sometime... seductive stuff, ain't it? But if you've managed to stay off youtube, I count it as a WIN.

      Delete
  2. Good for you for enjoying yourself both in indulgences ( that cake photo) and in exercise and glorious hikes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah yes, Leah, I did very well on both! And by "well" I mean I indulged myself like a ravenous beast and managed to put back on a couple pounds I'd worked very hard to shed. (Kinda worth it though!)

      Delete
  3. What an amazing adventure. I once hiked Michigan Avenue in Chicago (I was wearing a backpack so that makes it a hike, right?). This was just after I'd started exercising regularly, and I was amazed at the difference from the prior year. I walked for hours and could have walked for hours more. I knew then that no matter what happened, I would be exercising regularly for as long as this body allows.

    I intentionally indulge on vacations, but somehow my mind decided that this meant whenever I travel. Unfortunately, I travel for work, so it's taking a bit of sorting out to get things in control. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cammy, I have the same issue about traveling a bit too frequently for an "all bets are off" strategy... yet I seem to do it every dang time!

      But how cool that you have such a determination for lifelong hiking and fitness!

      Delete
  4. Oooo. Love all the photos. Your travels looks so holistic 'n stuff. Therapeutic for the mind & body.

    Confession: Anytime I travel, my days are centered around food: when is my next meal? how tasty it will be? not giving a rat's ass if it's healthy or not... You know, those kinds of thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yum Yucky we should so travel together someday because our aims are perfectly aligned. What delicious thing can I eat next?

      Delete
  5. Wow - gorgeous pictures!!
    And, I need a vacation where people constantly shove champagne at me - I've tried to persuade Chris that the evenings should be like that around here!!!
    Glad y'all had such a great hike!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kim, and I gotta say, the champagne-pushing vacation is HIGHLY recommended! And yeah, Chris should get on that ASAP! :)

      Delete
  6. How can you say no on vacation somewhere exotic without offending the locals? Well, that's my excuse. As for hikes, i loved it last year when i got to climb around some at Niagara Falls. It was s bit crowded, but part of the joy and magic was watching everyone else having fun and getting wet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Messymimi, be assured I offended no locals by refusing any food at all! And I think Niagara falls is pretty magical no matter how many other folks are enjoying it. Pretty darn breathtaking!

      Delete
  7. OMG the pictures are AMAZING! How beautiful!!!!! Often hard to capture the magic of an experience like that in actual photos - but you DID! Thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much UltraKaz! The hike was mellow and easy (unlike the ultra marathons SOME insanely fit people take on, though I ain't naming names...) and perfect for getting all caught up in the beauty of it all.

      Delete
  8. Death Ride GrandmaApril 21, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    It wasn't exactly magic, but it was very good. This very morning we hiked in the Phoenix peak area for a couple of hours. Lots of interesting birds, a couple of out of work Easter bunnies, random other little creatures. Plenty of flies, which kept it below the magic level, but it sure feels great to be able to explore that way without any feeling of physical effort!

    Those pictures really are a treat to see!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow you do get around DRG, and how cool that you were just frolicking with bunnies and birds! Hmm, maybe if you think of the flies as just really tiny, ugly birds? :)

      Delete
  9. WOW. The pictures of that hike are incredible. What a fantastic thing to experience, and like you said, with such a special person in your life. Life is good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, life is definitely good Shelley, and feel like the luckiest gal on earth! Thanks so much!

      Delete
  10. Just stunning & magical Jan!!!! Thank you for sharing these with us!!! I am on another break from blogging - trying to clear my mind of crap BUT so glad I read you today! Made my day! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Enjoy your break Jody, you deserve it and hope you return with a mind clear of crap and full of your usual inspiration and great advice!

      Delete
  11. Beautiful pictures! I didn't know you were such a great photographer.

    I'd say hiking the Grand Canyon was one of my top ten, even though I'm usually not as fond of dry,"deserty" trails . We hit it at just the right season, with just the right weather. Luck had a lot to do with it.

    LynM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lyn! We had fun with the camera having just bought a new lens for it. And Grand Canyon is awesome, glad you had great weather for it!

      Delete
  12. Did you really take a pic of those stairs or did you yank the pic from Google?! That's too funny if it is your own pic - ha ha! And I am just like you - I hit the gym or walk as much as humanly possible when there is no gym, when traveling! Traveling by foot is THE BEST! Plus, you save on transportation! ;)

    I am still VERY ENVIOUS of this trip... It's a good thing you cannot see my face right now, cause it's GREEN!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gigi, as pathetic as this sounds, I actually took out my phone and snapped the stairs because I suspected I'd be blogging about on-the-road-fitness. How lame is that?

      And it was a great trip and I enjoyed every second. But gotta say I'm a little green with envy myself that you hang out with celebs and are clearly gonna be majorly famous yourself some day!

      Delete
  13. Ah...these photos were lovely! Thank you so much for sharing. You know how I love the outdoors. Sam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Sam! I suspect Nim would have had a great time too if he coulda come along. :)

      Delete
  14. Crabby - Love the pictures! They're wonderful. Do you know anything about that structure jutting out to the left in the first pic? Is that Cape Town? Surely, it's not Frisco! Do you know the significance of that large mound of rocks with the pole jutting out the top? Looks a little Etruscan-y, but don't think it could be at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cape Town has amazing geography, surrounded by water and scenic mountains which are quite accessible. You gotta go sometime! Wikipedia photos suggest that the thingy jutting out is Lion's head: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lion%27s_Head,_Signal_Hill_from_the_Summit_of_Table_Mountain.jpg. And the rock pile which was the turnaround for our hike is Maclear's Beacon, which wikipedia says is "a stone cairn built in 1865 by Sir Thomas Maclear for trigonometrical survey" which is way more boring than your etruscan-y theory, alas. But the hiking was glorious. And thanks luckymama for taking an interest!

      Delete
  15. Holy smokes, Crabby... those photos are wonderful. Absolutely lovely. I love your perspective of the weights.. and the scenery is dreamy.

    ReplyDelete
  16. wow
    just
    wow.
    and
    um.
    JEALOUSY just JEALOUSY :-)
    welcome home!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yeah, this is why fitness is good: being able to do hikes like that with enough energy to actually enjoy them. I used to hike in Natural Bridge State Park every fall, when I lived in Lexington and it was only two hours away. Since I moved back to Kentucky I haven't managed to get there, but I will. I would eat my lunch somewhere on top near the bridge, and spend the whole day walking.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

    ReplyDelete
  18. Cape Town is my favorite city in the whole world!

    I had some runs there along the shore that were wonderful. I don't think you went to Jo-berg? The feeling in that city is not as free and safe as Capetown. Soweto is an entirely different experience also. There is a lot to SA. I never made it to Durban. There is a famous drive along that east coast. Maybe next time :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We only walked instead of ran by the shore Dr. J, but it was indeed beautiful. And all we saw of Jo-berg was the airport, which is hard to judge a city by. Hope you get to go back and visit again someday!

      Delete
  19. The photos are quite stunning. My husband is from South Africa and having lived out there I am not surprised that you spent a fair bit of time eating. The Afrikaans people do know how to cook, good old belly filling food and they know how to barbecue too.

    That is some hike up table mountain, but like you said you were exercising without thinking about it which balanced out your food intake!

    The nearest we get to hiking is whenwe take the dogs for a walk up the mini mountains near to where we live. The walk is only about 5km and is quite an uphill climb, but the view out over the island is stunning and well worth it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, you have mini-mountains with views Debbie? That sounds like a wonderful way to get out and get a workout at the same time.

      And, I gotta confess, we just hiked around the summit of table mountain and didn't get to make the ascent. I wanted to hike up but we were cautioned that there had been some safety concerns lately and that tourists not in larger groups were at risk of getting robbed on the trails on the way up. Probably overcautious on our part, but then we probably had more energy to enjoy the views up top having gotten there the easy way!

      And yes, the food was delicious!

      Delete
  20. The pictures are stunning! Wow! I love hikes…not too much much uphill for me though…and I have an affinity for lots of shady trees!

    ReplyDelete
  21. The pictures are amazingly beautifully-especially the dessert one...lol

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting, Cranky Fitness readers are the BEST!

Subscribe to comments via RSS

(Note: Older Comment Threads Are Moderated)