A change of scenery, critters, and cross training, Part 2

So, yeah, I went to Hawaii and rode a tandem on a coastal pathway and saw Hawaiian monk seals.

Before you go getting too jealous, there’s this:

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 2.43.23 PMWe touched down on Saturday evening. By Tuesday I was feeling a hint of chest discomfort that grew into full-blown coughing-up-crud misery that lasted the rest of the trip.

I can hear your little violins.

Then there was the fact that it was February – the heart of the rainy season on Kauai.

What the beach at Hanalei Bay looks like in the rain.

What the beach at Hanalei Bay looks like in the rain, complete with raindrops on the camera lens.

The scenic overlook at the end of Waimea Canyon Drive - in the rain.

The Kalalau Valley Overlook – in the rain. (Photo by Pa Bug)

And we hardly saw any bugs. Granted, most tourists would consider a lack of creepy-crawlies a positive, but when you’re traveling with an entomologist, it’s a huge disappointment. Perhaps we can blame the chickens.

Kauai is positively crawling with feral chickens. In fact, the vast majority of the avian, insect, and plant life we saw was non-native. The islands' ecosystems have really been brutalized by exotic species introductions and corporate-scale human development. It surprised me and made me feel sad and also a bit guilty, since here I was, visiting the islands and helping contribute to the problem.

Kauai is positively crawling with feral chickens. In fact, the vast majority of the avian, insect, and plant life we saw was non-native. The islands’ ecosystems have been brutalized by exotic species introductions and corporate-scale human development. It surprised me and made me feel sad and also a bit guilty, since here I was, visiting the islands and helping contribute to the problem.

I did find a little jumping spider while I was shopping for a sweatshirt. I texted it to Bugman. He laughed.

I did find a little jumping spider while I was shopping for a sweatshirt. I texted the picture to Bugman. He laughed. Darn. I can’t find the Hawaiian word for “jumping spider.”

I’d really wanted to go hiking and snorkeling and kayaking while on Kauai, but given my illness, the rain, and the fact that the main purpose of our short visit to the island was to accompany a couple of lovely people who have about a 30-year head start on us in the game of life, that just didn’t work out. I’ll have to manage to find a way to go back again!

But enough of the whining – there are more lovely things to share about the trip!

WARNING: excessive vacation-picture-posting follows:

Really, how can I complain about the precipitation? It's not frozen!

How can I complain about the precipitation? It’s not frozen!

The misty rain in the Waimea Canyon area made it easier for me to breathe with my chest cold and created beauty as it collected on the flora.

rain on blossomsWe did have a break in the cloud cover that afforded us spectacular views of Waimea Canyon at the lower-elevation overlooks that weren’t right on the coast.

This place is just incredibly beautiful.

This place is just incredibly beautiful.

Also, rain in Hawaii rocks, because rainbows.

The view to the west from our hotel balcony.

The view to the west from our hotel balcony, as we were packing our bags to go home. Aloha!

I did not get to snorkel, but I did have a chance to walk the beach every morning (that’s cross-training, right?) and to poke around in tidepools.

Ma and Ba Bug snuck a pic of us as we were walking on the beach. <3

Ma and Ba Bug snuck a pic of me and Bugman as we walked on the beach. ❤

Sand flower. A tree at the shoreline was dropping these tiny, waxy flowers, which would embed themselves in the sand or go floating off across the still water in a sheltered area of the beach.

Sand flower.
A tree at the shoreline was dropping these tiny, waxy flowers, which would embed themselves in the sand or go floating off across the still water in a sheltered area of the beach.

I had fun watching crabs come out of their sandy burrows. This little guy was about the size of a dime. Others we saw were closer to the size of softballs.

I had fun watching ‘ohiki (ghost crabs) come out of their sandy burrows. This little guy was about the size of a dime. Others we saw were closer to the size of softballs.

Crab burrow sand art

Crab burrow sand art

Nonsequitur image, but interesting in comparison. This is a photo from Glass Beach - literally a dump - which has become a tourist attraction because of all the beach glass. There were no pieces of beach glass larger than grains of sand because they all get picked up by tourists. Some people even take home jars full of this beach sand, leading to complaints about destruction of this attraction. I wonder, though - is it really a genius campaign to get tourists to clean the trash off beach?

Nonsequitur image, but interesting in comparison. This is a photo from Glass Beach – literally a dump, which has become a tourist attraction because of all the beach glass. There were no pieces of beach glass larger than grains of sand when I visited because they all get picked up by tourists. Some people even take home jars full of glassy sand, leading to complaints about destruction of the attraction. I wonder, though – is it really a genius campaign to get tourists to clean the trash off the beach?

Bugman taking a picture at dawn on Waipouli Beach, in a protected area that yielded some marine critter finds.

Bugman taking a picture at dawn on Waipouli Beach, in a protected area that yielded some marine critter finds.

Juvenile mamo (aka Hawaiian sergeant major damselfish) were abundant.

Juvenile mamo (aka Hawaiian sergeant major damselfish) were abundant.

A cryptic goby - perhaps an ‘o‘opu ‘ohune (brown tidepool goby)

A cryptic goby – perhaps an ‘o‘opu ‘ohune (brown tidepool goby or cocos frill goby)?

Another goby - a wee little one who did NOT want his picture taken, this time from Salt Pond Beach Park.

Another goby – a wee little one who did NOT want his picture taken, this time from Salt Pond Beach.

My favorite vertebrate - the puhi kapa (snowflake moray eel)

My favorite vertebrate of this tidepool  – the puhi kapa (snowflake moray eel)

On to the invertebrates - a healthy-sized loli (black sea cucumber)

On to the invertebrates – a healthy-sized loli (black sea cucumber)

A wee little kualakai (sea hare, or sea slug)

A wee little kualakai (sea hare, or sea slug)

A tiny anemone in a tidepool at Waipouli Beach, with some corraline algae in the background

A tiny anemone in a tidepool at Waipouli Beach, with some corraline algae in the background

Slightly larger anemones from a tidepool at Salt Pond Beach Park.

Slightly larger anemones from a tidepool at Salt Pond Beach.

Another place in which we had success viewing coastal and marine vertebrates was Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.

A beautiful view from just outside the park gate.

A beautiful view from just outside the park gate.

You can see kohola (humpback whales) off the coast in the wintertime by watching for their misty spouts. Bugman managed to catch a few images of one whale that tail-slapped 4-7 times, three times in a row. I know you can identify humpback whales by the markings on their flukes. Wish there was an online catalog somewhere where I could try to identify this individual!

You can see kohola (humpback whale) off the coast in the wintertime by watching for their misty spouts. Bugman managed to catch a few images of one whale that tail-slapped 4-7 times, three times in a row. I know humpback whales can be identified by the markings on their flukes. Wish there was an online catalog somewhere where I could try to identify this individual!

Bugman got some decent shots of 'a (red-footed boobies), which were nesting at the time of our visit. My favorite bird was the koa‘e ‘ula (red-tailed tropicbird).

Bugman got some decent shots of ‘a (red-footed boobies – I picked this shot because the red feet are visible), which were nesting at the time of our visit. My favorite bird was the koa‘e ‘ula (red-tailed tropicbird).

We had plenty of interesting sightings of nene (Hawaiian goose) around the islands, too. This picture was taken at Smith's Tropical Paradise.

We had plenty of sightings of Hawaii’s state bird, the endangered nene (Hawaiian goose), around the islands, too. This picture was taken at Smith’s Tropical Paradise.

To wrap up this post, a couple of artsy-fartsy beach pictures taken at sunrise on a rain-spattered, windy morning – our last on Kauai.

angry sunriseblack splashUp next – culinary Kauai!

Copyright 2015 by Katie Bradshaw

A change of scenery, critters, and cross training

Recently, I got a bit of a different view from the back of a tandem than what I’m used to:

my viewHey! That’s not western Nebraska!

Nosireebob! That there’s the eastern coast of the island of Kauai, in Hawaii.

Bugman and I traveled to Hawaii with his parents, Ma and Pa Bug, to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

Pa Bug helps Ma Bug with her morning cup of coffee.

Pa Bug helps Ma Bug with her morning cup o’ joe.

While we were on Kauai, Bugman and I rented a Trek tandem from Coconut Coasters and cycled up and down the couple of miles of Ke Ala Hele Makalae (“The Path That Goes Along the Coast”).

There is arguably no better place to eat a box of Girl Scout cookies after an invigorating tandem ride than a Hawaiian seaside cliff.

There is arguably no better place to eat a box of Girl Scout cookies after an invigorating tandem ride than a Hawaiian seaside cliff.

At one point while cycling along, I made Bugman stop and do an about-face.

“That woman was carrying signs!” I said.

We’d gotten a voicemail from Pa Bug a bit earlier – there was ilio holo i ka uaua (Hawaiian monk seal) on the beach near the hotel, and some volunteers had cordoned off the area.

Ma and Pa Bug's shot of a Hawaiian monk seal. What a cute face!

Ma and Pa Bug’s shot of a Hawaiian monk seal. What a cute face!

Sure enough, there was a seal on the rocks down below us, near where a volunteer was planting a “do not approach the seal” sign near a piece of bleached driftwood.

Can you see the seal? Hint: a wet seal is shinier than porous volcanic rock.

Can you see the seal? Hint: a wet seal is shinier than porous volcanic rock. Another hint: look bottom center.

Hawaiian monk seals are critically endangered, with only about 1,100 individuals left. One of the threats to their survival is human interference – specifically, bothering seals that have come ashore to rest. Volunteers patrol the cost and respond to tips from a hotline, ready to set up signage and barriers to keep the tourist paparazzi at a safe distance when the seals beach themselves.

The woman volunteer told us that the seal was a young female (as we learned from signage later, she was born May 29, 2014), and that her mother was one of the seals that was currently beached to the south, near where we were staying.

We continued down the path to the beach behind our hotel, and, happily, the seals were still there! (Some seals, anyway. These might not have been the same two seals that were on the beach when Ma and Pa Bug were there.)

A seal patrol volunteer speaks to tourists. From the volunteers at the site, we learned that the momma seal was about 15 years old. The younger seal, about 5 years old, was a male and unknown to the volunteers. Young seals pupped in the area are tagged after they are weaned, so they can be identified and tracked.

A seal patrol volunteer speaks to tourists. From the volunteers at the site, we learned that the momma seal was about 15 years old. The younger seal, about 5 years old, was a male and unknown to the volunteers. Young seals pupped in the area are tagged after they are weaned, so they can be identified and tracked.

The "do not approach the seals" signage. The two lumps on the beach in the distance are the seals.

The “do not approach the seals” signage. The lump on the beach in the distance is the momma seal.

Ho hum, basking in the warm sun . . . The signage posted at the site said this female was the "most heavily scarred seal on Kaua'i." The injuries were caused by ropes, boat propellers, and sharks. Apparently dogs are a pretty big threat to beached seals, too. (Keep 'em leashed on the beach, friends!!)

Ho hum, basking in the warm sun . . .
The signage posted at the site said this female was the “most heavily scarred seal on Kaua’i.” Her injuries were caused by ropes, boat propellers, and sharks. Apparently dogs are a pretty big threat to beached seals, too. (Keep ’em leashed on the beach, friends!)

Whaddaya lookin' at?

Whaddaya lookin’ at? (Photo by Bugman)

The young male got restless and hauled himself back into the surf, at one point making a rude raspberry-type vocalization as he swam.

seal 4seal 5seal 6seal 7

While Bugman was photographing, the young male seal got restless and hauled himself into the water. Bugman kept a close eye on it as it swam behind him. The seal ducked and rolled in the surf at water's edge, and at one point, made a rude sort of raspberry sound.

Bugman kept a close eye on the seal as it swam behind him, ducking and rolling in the surf at water’s edge.

Swimmer seal. (Photo by Bugman)

Swimmer seal. (Photo by Bugman)

Nose itch!

Back to momma seal: nose itch!

That’s about it on the biking and the seals, but I have more to share. Continued in Part 2 . . .

Copyright 2015 by Katie Bradshaw

I have something in common with Michelangelo’s David

The following news headline on the BBC caught my eye:

david has weak anklesHey! Me too!

Well, that’s my working hypothesis, anyway.

In 2013, when I was training for my first-and-only marathon, I kept getting knocked back by ankle pain that spontaneously appeared one day. I’ve never had an ankle injury before – never a sprain or strain – so this was a mystery.

I went to see a chiropractor, and, among other things, he recommended some exercises to address weak feet/ankles, as well as the addition of good arch support to all my shoes. (Hey! I thought only *old* people needed arch support! Wait a minute . . .)

His advice worked – I was able to complete my marathon without ankle pain.

Come 2014, I start running again in the spring season, and . . . ankle pain returns. Rats!

I’m really terrible about completing strengthening exercises. I just don’t like taking the time to do them. So I up and quit running and focused on biking instead.

I really would like to add running to my training plan again. It does a lot to help my cardiovascular fitness, and when I have volunteered at races recently, I found myself missing running – that feeling of blissful exhaustion and deep sleep after a long run, that feeling of accomplishment from finishing a race with a decent time.

I slowly started up running again, alternating running and walking every tenth to three tenths of a mile.

But the ankle pain keeps returning.

Not always from running, but from other things, too – dancing, doing a workout video, stepping sideways on a sidewalk crack.

Dangit!

So, I’m going to sit down and make up a chart for myself.

A chart of strengthening exercises.

Foot, ankle, hips, core.

And I’m going to do those exercises faithfully for several weeks.

If that doesn’t help, I’m going to schedule an appointment to see a doctor.

This ankle pain thing is really putting a damper on my ambulation! Grr!

2014 Cycle Greater Yellowstone: Day 5 Lander rest day

Day 5 of Cycle Greater Yellowstone offered an optional 33-mile out-and-back ride (with 3,297 feet of elevation gain) up Sinks Canyon. The “never quit” side of my personality urged an attempt at the canyon ride, but my butt (and my riding partner) said “no way!”

It was probably good we didn’t ride, as the wind picked up a bit, and I heard the switchbacks at the top of the canyon were a bit unpleasant with the headwind/tailwind flips.

It was a real relief to have a day off the bike. We didn’t exactly rest, though. Thanks to some Chamber of Commerce volunteers, we were able to hitch a ride up to a trailhead in Sinks Canyon and go for a 3-plus-mile hike.

Off the bike for the first time in 5 days, and grinning. #popoagieselfie

Off the bike for the first time in 5 days, and grinning. #popoagieselfie

We made way for a couple of equine hikers on the trail.

We made way for a couple of equine hikers on the trail.

Of course, Bugman had to stop to turn over rocks in a search for aquatic insects. We are not fast hikers. We are stop-and-lookers.

Of course, Bugman had to stop to turn over rocks to search for aquatic insects. We are not fast hikers. We are stop-and-lookers.

Quite beautiful in the canyon. A couple of times, we came upon our CGY colleagues sitting solo on a rock rim above the rushing water. It is a lovely, meditative place.

Quite beautiful in the canyon. A couple of times, we came upon our CGY colleagues sitting solo on a rock rim above the rushing water. It is a lovely, meditative place.

There were still flowers blooming in abundance in late August, on the cusp of autumn in the high country.

There were still flowers blooming in abundance in late August, on the cusp of autumn in the high country.

flowers

But many of the flowers had turned to fruit. I began to get that deep-seated urge to gather and store. We were warned by the gent who dropped us off at the trailhead that the grizzly bears in the area were feeling the same. I can identify the wild currant and rose hips for certain, probably chokecherry, and possibly serviceberry / huckleberry, too. The white berries are known to some as corpse berries are are not edible by humans.

But many of the flowers had turned to fruit already. I began to get that deep-seated urge to gather and store. We were warned by the gent who dropped us off at the trailhead that the grizzly bears in the area were feeling the same. I can identify the wild currant and rose hips for certain, probably chokecherry, and possibly serviceberry and huckleberry, too. The white berries are known to some as corpse berries and are not edible by humans.

Yet again, the mountainous West had something to teach me about pronunciation. Last year, it was Absaroka (pronounced ab-SOR-ka). The river we were hiking along on this day was the Popo Agie. Would you believe me if I told you that name rhymes with "ambrosia"?

Yet again, the mountainous West had something to teach me about pronunciation. Last year, it was Absaroka (pronounced ab-SOR-ka). The river we were hiking along on this day was the Popo Agie. Would you believe me if I told you that name rhymes with “ambrosia”?

A rabbit bush we passed was full of life, with buzzing pollinating insects endangered by the healthy population of cryptically-colored crab spiders.

A rabbit bush we passed was full of life, with buzzing pollinating insects endangered by the healthy population of cryptically-colored crab spiders.

Another cryptically-colored little dude. This little brown snake happened to cross our path, and we herded him into camera range.

Another cryptically-colored little dude. This little brown snake happened to cross our path, and we herded him into camera range inside a low-growing shrub.

At our turnaround point at Popo Agie Falls.

At our turnaround point at Popo Agie Falls.

As the day warmed, insects became more numerous. An aged fritillary, its wings tattered from a hard-knock life, supped on late-blooming flowers.

As the day warmed, insects became more numerous. An aged fritillary, its wings a bit tattered from a hard-knock life, supped on late-blooming flowers.

Bugman attempted to catch a  couple of grasshoppers that seemed to be harassing us on the trail, repeatedly flying around our heads with a loud clacking sound.

Bugman attempted to catch a couple of grasshoppers that seemed to be harassing us on the trail, repeatedly flying around our heads with a loud clacking sound.

This bright-red ladybeetle really contrasted with its perch in the foliage.

This bright-red ladybeetle really contrasted with its silvery perch in the foliage.

It was nearly noon, and we were hungry, so Bugman and I hitched a ride back to camp with another Lander Chamber of Commerce volunteer, skipping The Sinks and The Rise – a curious geological phenomenon in which the Popo Agie River disappears into an underground cavern with a roar and meekly burbles to the surface in a pool a quarter-mile downstream. We’ll go back someday to see it.

Next up – downtown Lander, and ice cream!

We stopped in at Ken & Betty's, an ice cream shop run as an add-on to a screen printing business. The ice cream was good, and the interior decor was cool, but don't expect the cute little old couple on the business sign to be behind the counter. The place was named after the owner's parents, and the scooper might just be an ennui-inflicted young man. There's another ice cream place down the street - the Scream Shack - but it appeared to be closed when we were there.

We stopped in at Ken & Betty’s, an ice cream shop run as an add-on to a screen printing business. The ice cream was good, and the interior decor was neat, but don’t expect the cute little old couple on the business sign to be behind the counter. The place was named after the owner’s parents, and the scooper might just be an ennui-affected young man. There’s another ice cream place down the street – the Scream Shack – but it appeared to be closed when we were there.

Lovely mural on a concrete block wall abutting a parking lot. Reminds me of a cattle drive mural in my town of Scottsbluff.

Lovely mural on a concrete block wall abutting a parking lot.

Continuing on the bison art theme - a heavy metal bison.

Heavy metal bison!

We didn't eat here because we had already spent plenty of money downtown and there was a fajita meal awaiting us back in camp, but I liked the logo enough to buy a hat for my sister. I want one for myself, too.

We didn’t eat here because we had already spent plenty of money downtown (we cycling shoppers were a boon for downtown business) and there was a fajita meal awaiting us back in camp, but I liked the logo enough to buy a hat for my sister. I want one for myself, too.

We added a piece of art to our collection at Global Arts - a painting of aspen trees on corrugated metal by Cristin Zimmer. Loved her work! Loved the inappropriately named Global Arts shop, too (they sell local art, not imported stuff).

Our shopping spree included a new piece of art for our collection – a painting of aspen trees on corrugated metal by Cristin Zimmer. Loved her work! Loved the inappropriately named Global Arts shop, too (they have a nice selection of local art, not imported stuff).

 

When we rode into town the day before, I did not notice the bike perched high atop the former-feed-mill-turned-bike-shop. It took a photo on a greeting card to bring it to my attention.

When we rode into town the day before, I did not notice the bike perched high atop the former-feed-mill-turned-bike-shop. It took a photo on a greeting card to bring it to my attention.

Back in camp, a quick pic of the bike corral on the tennis court. I heard more than one person comment on the total value of all of those bikes.

Back in camp, a quick pic of the bike corral on the tennis court. I heard more than one person comment on the total value of all of those bikes. Here’s another photo of the bike corral.

The Lander police had appropriate rides for patrolling our camp. Check out the fat tires!

The Lander police had appropriate rides for patrolling our camp. Check out the fat tires!

I took advantage of the downtime to write some letters. I LOVED these notecards I bought at Fitzgerald's Cycles in Victor, ID.

I took advantage of the downtime to write some letters. I LOVED these Mimi Matsuda notecards I bought at Fitzgerald’s Cycles in Victor, ID.

Had a little local beer and pizza, too. A pre-dinner snack.

Had a little local beer and pizza, too. A pre-dinner snack.

I can't say enough about our lovely campsite in Lander City Park.

I can’t say enough about our lovely campsite in Lander City Park. I slept really well there.

Our evening entertainment was a local reggae band. They were pretty good, but by the time 9 p.m. rolled around, I was ready to take a hatchet to the speaker cords. There's only so much reggae I can take at full volume when I am unable to escape, and when I am trying to get to sleep before another big day of riding.

Our evening entertainment was a local reggae band. They were pretty good, but by the time 9 p.m. rolled around, I was ready to take a hatchet to the speaker cords. There’s only so much amplified reggae I can take when I am trying to get to sleep before another big day of riding.

Ride summary

Distance and elevation gain N/A

Min temp: 54, Max temp: 79, Winds 8-25, gusting to 32 mph, Precipitation: 0.02 inches  [data from Lander]

Copyright 2014 by Katie Bradshaw

Juneathon days 13 and 14

I’m a bit disappointed in myself that I broke my Juneathon streak. But, as per the descriptor of the Juneathon Facebook page, it is “An annual festival of activity and excuses.”

Here come the excuses.

On Friday (the 13th! Perhaps I can blame things on that!) Bugman texted me to ask about renting a movie that evening. I was torn. We’d not watched a movie together for awhile, but how was I to get in my Juneathon exercise?

Ah well.

“Why not?” I replied. “What’s for dinner?”

“Was thinking I could make a veggie stir fry,” he responded.

Aha! Brilliant! I could go downstairs and do a workout video while Bugman cooked!

But in the process of getting home, I managed to get some dirt on my hands, and then, unthinkingly, I rubbed my allergy-itchy eye. The eye started to get very unhappy. I took my contact lenses out, figuring that would be sufficient, then put on my workout gear and headed into the basement.

I popped in a vintage workout video – Billy Blanks’ Tae Bo (on VHS!).

Billy Blanks wants YOU to have fun and get fit!

Billy Blanks wants YOU to have fun and get fit!

I despise most aerobic workout videos. There is way too much thinking with all the intricate dance steps. But punching and kicking – that I can do!

Just around the time I started to sweat, my left eye was really bothering me. Felt like I had an eyelash jammed into the corner of it or something.

I redeyepaused the video and went over to the bathroom mirror to see if I couldn’t fix the problem and get back to my workout. I was somewhat horrified to discover that there seemed to be a slightly yellow gelatinous swelling attached to the bottom portion of my eyeball. EEEK! ICK!!

I flushed my eye, wondering if I might need a trip to Urgent Care. Thankfully, by peering one-eyed at my phone screen, I was able to self-diagnose via the Interwebz (not necessarily the recommended thing to do) and determine that I had a self-limiting case of episcleritis.

I threw back an antihistamine tablet, lay down on the couch, and put a cool, damp towel over my eyes. The Billy Blanks video went to sleep downstairs, forgotten.

The following day, Saturday, I had to go into work for a little while to help document some vintage agricultural techniques being demonstrated at the museum – blocking and thinning of sugar beets.

This involves using a hoe / your hands / dust-kicking equipment to pull out weeds as well as sugar beet plants that are too close together (the plants won’t mature properly if not given enough space).

Me, blocking and thinning sugar beet using a short-handled hoe.

Me, blocking and thinning sugar beet using a short-handled hoe.

Here in western Nebraska, the soil is young and fine-grained and prone to blowing up into a dust cloud at the slightest provocation. It’s also known to be windy out here, and the weather yesterday did not disappoint in that regard. It was the kind of day where, if you open your mouth to speak, you wind up crunching grit in your teeth.

My still-irritated eyes were not real happy with this development. By the time I got back home, my allergies were kicking up again, which always makes me feel tired.

I took another antihistamine and napped on the couch for the rest of the afternoon.

Two Juneathon days shot. (Though I did at least start to work up a Tae Bo sweat on Friday, and surely the hoeing I did on Saturday could count for something.)

Today, Bugman and I are thinking about biking out to Torrington, Wyoming. (That’s about 70 miles.) I’ll post about that attempt later today!

Copyright 2014 by Katie Bradshaw

DAILY AMBULATION (dance walking)

This evening found me in a foul, low mood.

A hundred niggling things at work. A saddle sore. A wonky ankle. Mosquito bites on my legs.

“Screw it,” I thought to myself. “I’m not doing anything for Juneathon today! I’m going to sit on the couch and pout and drink a beer.”

Black IPA - perfect for when you can't decide between a stout and a pale ale.

Black IPA – perfect for when you can’t decide between a stout and a pale ale, or for when you’re pouting.

And I did!

And I read some Juneathon blogs.

One of them got to me.

DAILY AMBULATION. Take it seriously.

It’s true. I sit all day at work. Health stats show that kind of inactivity is really, really bad.

But no biking today – saddle sore. No running, either, with that ankle. With the mosquitoes out, I don’t want to walk, either.

For some reason (maybe the beer), the perfect answer popped into my head – DANCE WALKING!

dance walk guru master

(If you have not seen the dance walking bit before, go here.)

So, I popped a 70s-80s disco mix “tape” (actually a CD) into the player and dance walked around my living room until I was dripping sweat and my cats were staring at me like I’d gone completely mad.

At risk of embarrassing myself, my playlist:

  1. Blondie – Heart of Glass
  2. Wild Cherry – Play that Funky Music
  3. Gloria Gaynor – I will Survive
  4. Donna Summer – Hot Stuff
  5. Ohio Players – Love Rollercoaster
  6. Rick James – Superfreak (Thinking about Little Miss Sunshine here.)
  7. And, the dance walk anthem: Peaches & Herb – Shake Your Groove Thing

I feel much better now. And my ankle behaved.

Thank you, Nameless Dance Walk Guru Master (AKA Joe).

And thank you for the ambulation reminder, Cynthia. I hope your mom heals quickly.

Copyright 2014 by Katie Bradshaw

I love it when my Wii lies to me

wii fit ageI know the algorithm the Wii Fit program uses to calculate my Wii Fit Age from a few balance and coordination tests is utter malarkey, but it still makes me feel kinda good. For a little while. About 3 seconds.

Then I do 57 minutes of Wii calisthenics and come to the realization that I am seriously out of shape, and my core needs some real work.

How sad. My legs feel kinda wobbly, and I can hardly do even 15 situps anymore.

It’s long been a struggle of mine to do any sort of cross-training. It’s easy enough to get on a bike or tie on my running shoes and go. Even the stationary bike or dreadmill don’t seem that bad if there is a TV or internet-connected computer nearby. But strength workouts? Booooriiing! I have a really hard time getting myself to do them.

My new Juneathon goal: getting back into the “top 10” listing for all the wii exercises I try.

I even added a new category to my blog to encompass my effort: “Cross training”.

Onward to Juneathon the 5th!

Copyright 2014 by Katie Bradshaw