Monday, March 4, 2013
Comfort Zones---And Blowing Them Out Of The Water! (Lots of Photos!)
So, if you caught my blog from Saturday, you know that I was sick this weekend. (You can watch my Saturday video here.) As in, really sick. Still am, actually. I have this nasty, snotty, disgusting, coughy viral cold thing that kiddo so kindly shared with me. (Love you too, buddy...)
But that was not, see: NOT, stopping me from having a great weekend! Gramma always said you had to sweat out a bug, so I was taking her advice, damn it! Last weekend Wasted weekends make me a very unhappy girl. So, I was salvaging my "cold" weekend and taking my happy ass out to do something I would really enjoy on Saturday, since I had to work yesterday. Enter:
Before Saturday, I had never snowshoed before, but I had heard it was super fun, exhausting, and made winter a little more fun. I'm in!
No good story starts without fuzzy socks. Big pink ones. So comfortable---and they're "grippy", which would prove really helpful inside my boots. Nothing slipped around! The more you can control the movement of your snowshoes, the better.
A friend told me how to dress for the day. He said most people WAY overdress (which Nathan found out.) Snow shoeing is hard work and you'll sweat a lot, so you want to have peel-able layings and a small backpack to store them in if possible. Or just don't dress as heavy. (Which is the route I went.) I wore a lace lined tank, long sleeve jersey knit shirt, and a heavy sweatshirt over heavy socks, cloth capris, and thick yoga pants. Add in heavy hat and mittens, and I was good to go! It was the perfect amount of clothing for the day. (The first layer, by the way, was totally soaked when I was done...)
Nate and I headed to Ledge View Nature Center, which is local to us. They have a great trail system, plus caves, naturalist presentations, a huge tower, maple syrup making, etc. It's a gem and a fantastic asset to our area! At the center, you can rent snowshoes for $5 a pair OR you can buy a family membership for only $20 and pay $2.50 per pair. (Twenty bucks! Can you believe that?! So inexpensive!)
Once we got all set and had our snow shoes in hand, I have to admit, I was kind of intimated. I'm not overly coordinated, so I was worried
about face planting in the snow about just getting them on...
But, no issue! Stuck my little feets in there, tightened the straps, and away we were!
Hubby was SO excited to go snowshoeing! You probably don't know this, but Nate's college degree was in natural resources. The outdoors are definitely his thing! So, I made him the map holder. He was perfectly content to do his thing and lead us.
Getting the hang of the snowshoes takes a little bit... You have to learn to walk
like you pooped your pants kind of funny. You keep your hips open wider so that you're not stepping down on your opposing snow shoe. You do get the hang of it, but it takes some concentration the first quarter mile or so. I got it under control and away we were! I was snow shoeing!
The trail system at Ledge View definitely gets a lot of use, so the main trail was fairly packed. To tell you the truth, I wasn't so keen on that. It's crunchy and sometimes it's frozen so hard and uneven, that you can roll your ankles. (Which happened to me twice.) So, I'd go tromping into the fresh powder on either side and blaze a new trail. Because I'm cool like that! (And because I like the extra workout. Die, fat cells!)
Nate knocked on trees. Checking for maple syrup or leprechauns or something.... He was kind of hilarious in the woods. Until he started talking about bears, wolves, and pepper spray. Freak. Me. Out.
Can I just tell you? Even though my eye is half shut, my chubby chin isn't flattering, and I look like I might be farting, I LOVE THIS PHOTO! Why? Because for the first time, I don't think I look disgustingly fat in this picture dressed head to toe. Isn't that strange? I look at pretty much every photo and think "Oh God. Don't let this be the picture they put on my milk carton..." But this one is good. I like it. It definitely, without a doubt, shows progress! I used to be way bigger than that without clothing even... Way, WAY bigger. (Last night Nate said my body is slimming down a lot again. He said even if the scale doesn't show pounds (which it does and I'll share tomorrow), he can definitely see a big change. It made my entire night!)
It was a BEAUTIFUL day, Saturday! Big sun. Sparkling snow. 20 degrees. No wind. Hawks and owls and deer and birds...
This is near the caving area. I am too chicken. But I'll bust out of that shell sometime soon too!
This is me trompin'! Fresh powder! Yes!
Husband overlooking the quarry. This was probably my favorite spot because the view goes on forever!
Big, wide, quiet trails. Big, blue, quiet sky.
As you know, Nate was handling the map. But that turned out to be a not-so-great idea. Why? Because Nate likes torture, that's why... Now, show shoeing is a phenomenal thigh, hip, and butt workout. PHENOMENAL! And that's without climbing... But life would just not be complete for Nate without making me pay----because he's a great "trainer" when he wants to be. So, he took me up this HUGE ass hill. And we RAN. In SNOWSHOES. I nearly died.... Like, seriously! How would we get the paramedics in there?!?! I'd be a popsicle for sure! It was.... awesome (ly painful.)
Nate, right after the running, looking over the prairie and catching his breath.
The lookout tower. The view from the top is stunning! (You can see photos here.) Plus, once you hit this baby, you're almost there! We didn't climb it this time, since neither of us wanted to clip out of our snow shoes. Plus, it's icy in the winter and I don't plan on falling down all of those steps!
All in all, Saturday was a phenomenal day while the sun was up! (I felt really crummy later that night, but that's another story.) If you've never busted out of my your comfort zone and done something totally new, DO IT! It's exhilarating and you'll never know what you're good at until you DO IT! Snow shoeing is something I definitely recommend! It's a great lower body workout, but you don't know it until you're done. Go! Do it! Take your kids! Get them and yourself outside and find a way to enjoy the winter!
Have a great week!
Did you do anything fun this weekend? Have you ever done something totally new? Have you ever snowshoed?