On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me….
Not eleven pipers piping but one beautiful wonderful amazing folding Dahon bike. And the Captain’s true love (that would be me) gave him a matching Dahon bike on the twelfth day of Christmas. Don’t ask why these twin bicycles were delivered on different days. I’m just glad mine arrived first!
It might have been the eleventh day of Christmas but it was also the 4th of January and that meant that New Years Resolutions were fresh and bodies would be motivated into action. One of the casualties of boat life has been the non-routine of previous landlubber habits. On land, I was at the YMCA three days a week for cardio and weight training, with three days in-between for biking, walk/run, swimming, or yoga, and the seventh day, for rest of course.
But that all went out the window (aka port) when we left Baltimore on October 19. I have tried various ways to keep in shape, which is far easier now that we are land-based in a marina. It’s the anchoring and mooring balls that make cardio and other exercises a bit challenging—at least until we get to swim in clear water. In November, while travelling down a boring stretch of the ICW, I tried to do “steps” using the small riser in the cockpit. Up and down, and up and down, counting as I went, until the Captain begged me to stop. Then I had to switch legs and do it all over again so that both sides would be equal. Alas, that cardio idea disappeared along with a host of other ideas.
So when my true love gave me a Dahon bike, I was ecstatic, and still am. I ordered a FitBit Charge HR from Amazon, so that’s helping me keep track of my workouts. The cardio is easy to do while land-based, especially with the beach only 2 miles away. But the weight training is still a challenge. Before we launched, I worked with a trainer at the Y to help identify appropriate exercises to do with resistance bands. But finding a place to use the bands on the boat is quite the challenge, although I have done it. And I don’t want to put on a show by taking the bands up on deck—not that there’s any unobstructed space up there either.
Additionally, Belle Bateau does not have a place large enough and rectangular enough to place my yoga mat for morning salutations with Rodney Yee, where I can lie down and stretch my legs parallel with the floor, or stretch my arms out to the sides. So the yoga I was accustomed to, ala Yee, is not part of this boat life. Yes, I need to acquire a new yoga routine. But I have found a temporary answer to weight training with resistance bands.
For the last week or so, I’ve been using the bathhouse as my improvised fitness center. And if I get up early enough, I have “my gym” all to myself, since the other women at this marina aren’t early risers. I do a full 45-minute workout in the 21’ x 5’ space. I loop the bands around the tops of the toilet partitions for some of the exercises, and use my feet to provide other resistance. To keep my heart rate up between sets, I run figure 8s in the length of the room or do jumping jacks. It’s been working! And I’m back to a routine of 3 times per weeks with my bands. Yay!
See blog post from Days 52-54, Being on a Mooring Ball is Like Being in the Suburbs for why this was important. Having a reliable outboard that can be started with the push of a button rather than ripping a shoulder off its arm is a true luxury. Which also means that when we begin to move the boat again and anchor out, I can get to shore all by myself to run and bike and walk and skip and do yoga on the beach.
Or we both can go to shore with our easy-to-start engine, and enjoy biking or walking together.
Yay! So my true love answered my Christmas wish list with these fitness appropriate gifts. Life is good already in 2016!