Running in New Cities, Plus Kayaking

Every time I write or post about my physical health journey, I always get amazing stories of encouragement and inspiration. It keeps me writing these posts.

So here are a couple of new updates:

8th run and a swim in Phoenix

I mentioned in my last update that I was coming up on a big season of travel. Preparing ahead of time and bringing my running clothes and shoes was a HUGE help.

Someone mentioned that running in a new city is a great way to see the city. I FULLY agree. I’m totally hooked.

It actually got me excited about my upcoming travel to be able to run in those cities (Sacramento, Minnesota for example are coming up for me.)

On Friday morning, my flight didn’t leave until around 11 a.m. I got up, put on my clothes and started running around Old Town Scottsdale. I had the streets to myself and want to go back to Old Town now. It’s just fantastic. Seeing new places kept my mind off trying to do my workout. I wanted more.

I had also packed my swimming trunks, so I went up, changed and went back down to the hotel pool for an awesome swim. Mostly just relaxed, but did a couple of laps and tried to work more upper body swimming.

I wish I could do that whole routine every day.

9th run in Chicago

I flew straight to Chicago from Phoenix on Friday to meet up with my buddy Chris as we were going to watch the AVP Tour. We’re both huge volleyball fans and it did not disappoint. Incredible matches. And to see these elite athletes up close was inspiring. I gotta think they have 1% body fat. It renewed my interest in getting back into a volleyball league soon.

On Sunday, I got up around 6:30 and went for my 9th run in downtown Chicago. Again, almost had the streets to myself but there were several runners.

Living in a city has one huge advantage …

You have to walk everywhere! We walked several blocks from our hotel to the beach where the AVP Tour was played. And then to dinner and various places around the city. It was so nice to see my step count dramatically rise just being in a city where everyone walks or bikes.

I hit my step count easily.

Airports also dramatically increase my step count

Having traveled so extensively for the last 10 years for our business (and more personal adventures in the last couple of years), I have started to really NOT enjoy being in airports.

But they have one advantage and benefit too … I can hit my step count fairly easily and find fairly decent food in restaurants.

Kayaking was a blast

My friend and teammate Glenn got a kayak boat to go fishing on a couple months ago, so I’ve been hearing all kinds of awesome stories of how he’s used it everywhere from him that have inspired me to do it myself (but not the fishing part).

In Oklahoma City, we have one of the best rivers to do rowing and in fact, the Olympic Rowing team is headquartered here because of it. They do kayak rentals on the river too.

So over the long weekend, Lindsey and I went down to try it out. We rented a couple for an hour ($19 an hour) and did about a 1.5 mile in the kayak. It was so much fun we have put Lake Hefner and Lake Overholser (two metro lakes with kayak rentals) on our list to do next.

It wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns though … when I got in the kayak and started the first leg down the river, my hip muscles were hurting so bad I thought I’d have to turn back. But after repositioning myself higher on the seat it was smooth sailing after that. Made all the difference. And we got more wet than we thought we would. So next time: It’s swimsuits, towels and a change of clothes after.

The thing about kayaking wasn’t that I got a lot of intense exercise … it was more the adventure of movement in a new way. Very fun.

Eating while traveling ain’t fun

Most restaurants offer salad options, which was great. I was selective and tried to be mindful about portion control when I ate. But simply put … traveling sucks for eating. Just reaffirmed that.

Got a jump rope

I got a jump rope from Amazon yesterday and I’m excited to use it. It was highly rated and after tweeting about it, several people mentioned they have the same exact one.

Two tips I got were:

  1. “Don’t cut the cord until you’re used to the length.”
  2. “Don’t jump rope in shorts until you improve. The wire is painful!”

I’m looking forward to trying it on my non-running days. Everything I’ve read suggests it’s one of the easiest ways to get some cardio in. So if I really like it and get into a good routine, I can easily put another jump rope in my backpack when I travel. WOOT!

Contemplating starting a support group

I’m still not settled on how or what to do just yet.

What I know is that I want to have a group for accountability, support and encouragement for myself … and to help and offer it to others in the process. 

And at some point I’d like to find experts like fitness trainers, doctors, nutritionists and even cooks to share their expertise and do Q&A. I have tons of questions for all of them and more.

By just blogging about it and getting so many good tips as well as hearing stories of how it’s inspired others has really fostered the drive to do something like this more and more.

I’ve thought about everything … like a rolling out a special blog just for weekly group checkins (see below), doing a Facebook group, Slack channel, webinars and the like.

I would love to find a way to have a weekly support/accountability checkin where the group gives their updates like this:

  • Grade in key areas (from 1-10) — particularly nutrition and exercise, but also sleep, etc.
  • Successes & struggles — share what went well and what didn’t in the past week
  • Lessons learned & takeaways— encouraging us to remember and crystallize the learning and growth we’re making by sharing it with the group, and so others can benefit as well
  • Needs and leads — a need is like when I asked for recommendations on the best fitness tracker … and a lead would be like I mentioned the 5K Runner app, something that has went well
  • Next week’s plans — helping focus us on good planning and preparation for the upcoming week, like sharing when you’ll go grocery shopping and do meal prep, if you’ve got travel coming up and your plan for nutrition and exercise

With these weekly group updates, I’m thinking of it like a group journal, where we share with each other … but can also look back and review.

We’re documenting our progress for ourselves and together.

The goal of this group would be to help each other start on a path to living healthy, sustainable lifestyle (my goal).

A couple of key “Why’s” for this group(s) would be:

  • To build a community of people on the same or similar path working toward a common goal — I’ve written about how life changing my entrepreneurial groups have been. So I want to apply that format to this journey, for inspiration, support, encouragement, accountability for myself and others that also fosters belonging.
  • To learn and grow together — to have a space/group to get focused tips, best practices etc. All the comments I’ve gotten have been very impactful and helpful to me. I want more of it.
  • Share my own stories/experience, struggles and successes and hear others — I’ve written in the past about how life changing sharing experiences versus advice has been to me. I want more of that too. No judgment. No advice. Just tell your personal stories in parallel to what someone else might be going through … and let them take the truth from it.

OK, that’s a wrap.

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