Member For a Month…

One month ago my husband joined the gym because he was feeling unmotivated and just feeling blah. Here is the update.

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For us this last month has been kinda crazy. Of course, all of you that are already gym goers know how crazy the month of January can be with all the new members. Well, ours is no different. Crazy is really an under statement. I have sure enjoyed having a partner at the gym even though we don’t do the exact same things.

I am a cardio first type of person. So I usually hop on the arc trainer and get done my 30 minutes right away. He had never been on an arc and made his way through all the cardio machines offered and finally settled on the arc also. This is nice because if we want to talk we can. Then we move on to the cybex machines. He lifts a lot more than I do and for a longer amount of time but I do more of a variety of machines. So in the end we finish at nearly the same time. Then we sweat out 15 more minutes of cardio, me on a bike and him on the arc again.

I have to say, if anyone is looking to brighten your mood, improve your health, enhance your life in general, you should really try an exercise program of some sort. The change I have seen in my husband is wonderful. Even though we were quite active before, winter is when he would loose a lot of his activity level. I still continued to work out on a regular basis, so I never really felt this decline in activity as bad as he did. He is happier, less stressed, his appetite has improved enormously and he has no trouble sleeping anymore.Oh, and I guess I could add my opinion and say, he looks pretty nice too:)

My hope for the future is that we continue to workout together on a regular basis. In reality, I don’t know if this will happen as regular as it is now. Once the snow melts and we can get outside we are busy. We put on many miles hiking, paddling, swimming, biking, playing tennis etc. that the gym is the last place I want to be. If the sun is shining and it’s warm outside I would much rather get my workout outside. But who knows, maybe this will give him the energy to keep up with me and we can do both gym and outdoor recreation. For example, when we kayak, he used to get so mad when I would come home and still want to go for a walk after paddling for 5 hours on the river. Plus the gym will be air conditioned which is great for him, he hates it hot. So maybe it will all work out in the end.

I must admit, he is not a big people person and I really thought that all the new January members would scare him away. So far I am wrong, he is dedicated and that makes me very happy.

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Our Annual Summer Paddling Trip

Yesterday we had the best turn out we have ever had for our annual paddling trip. Eleven kayaks, now that’s amazing. It’s hard to believe, in the past, we would have to beg people to come. Despite the chilly temp, with a high yesterday of 73 and cloud cover the entire time we were on the river, it did turn out to be a great day paddling.

My son had a few of his closest friends join us, and they had fun paddling, learning to roll their kayaks, and just plain playing around.

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One even tried his new paddling skills at surfing the rapids.

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Pretty good for the type of kayak he was in and the little experience he has.

The water temperature was wonderful, which made trying things a lot more appealing. We even had our nephew get brave and give the whitewater kayaks a try. As you can see, he had many people in the water to help along the way.

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My brother is a little concerned. He watched his little boy get in and paddle away, and all he saw was dollar signs. Maybe in a couple years, my husband will hand his down. He is already debating buying a Jackson Villain like I have. Time will tell.

We even had a few take the plunge and do the end of the big waterfall that typically we portage. Here they all are debating.

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In the end, five out of the eleven of us did it, and all did very well.

The most exciting part of the day I would have to say was the rock slide. We had the pleasure of having my son’s friend and her father join us. They have been with us in the past on this annual trip, and have experienced the rock slide before. Although, this time apparently his daughter thought last minute that her dad was headed to close to the tree when he started his decent down the rock, and she grabbed the back of his kayak and gave it a little turn. Once he was turned there was no straightening it back out. He went down the rock sideways entering the water while we all watched and were ready to rescue. To everyone’s surprise, including his, he saved it, landed perfectly “sideways” with a spectacular slash, and came up laughing. Awesome job!!!

(I love the panicked stance his daughter has looking on from the top.)

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Our day ended with about 5 hours on the river, great laughs with many friends, and while we had our picnic,even the sun decided to peek out for a bit.

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(Thanks to my hubby for grabbing the camera to capture this picture)

Happy Paddling Everyone

The River Is Beautiful Although It’s Always In Charge

Yesterday we visited the Pike River in Northern WI and had two of my son’s closest friends and my husbands co worker(and friend) with us. We loaded the kayaks and all the supplies and headed out to meet up with my husband’s co worker at the put in point.

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Upon arrival it was sunny, hot, and just great to be back again.

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We started off and had a great beginning. We arrived at a little pond like area a ways down and my son and husband decided to try their roll they have been working on. For all the non-kayakers out there, this is when they flip over and roll themselves back up without ever having to exit their kayak.

My husband going over

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And my husband coming back up.

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Very nice honey!

Now my son was over, but I missed the picture opportunity!(Sorry)

And my son coming back up VERY happy.

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After this it was more paddling and some paddle splashing along the way.

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One of us even splashed so hard, she leaned too far one way and went for a swim. We all had a good laugh at that stunt.

Then we arrived at the big bend in the river better known as Horseshoe Falls.

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We all got out and climbed the hill to the top to see if anything was in the way of us proceeding through, and all looked good. I got out my camera,took a seat on a big rock, put my toes in the water and hoped for some good pictures.

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And I got them. Here is each one of them going over the falls.

Our son

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His friend

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His other friend(take a look at that smile)

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My husband in my kayak

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My husband in his kayak

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And my husband’s co worker.

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He did terrific until his kayak took on water. After that it was a chance to learn how to wet exit from his overturned kayak, and a nice refreshing swim.

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Which is really a good thing for everyone to learn how to do.I don’t think he was all that upset, as you can see, he is still smiling.

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Before I continue, I would like to point out, that we have been kayaking for many years. We always, regardless if it was last weekend or years ago that we were at the same river, scout out any path that we can not see while in our kayaks. Anything can float down river and cause hazards, so safety is always a top priority. Which brings me to another point. When we have friends with us, we always make sure one of us with more experience goes first down a rapids, and one of us stays back to go last or near the end of the line. That way, one can retrieve at the bottom and one can go to the over turned kayaker in the middle if needed. As you can see in this photo. My son went first and then got out of his kayak(because we had three people this time whom had never done this river) in case someone did not make it over the falls successfully. My husband then proceeded second and stayed in his kayak, to retrieve an over turned kayak, paddle or person, if need be.

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Next it was time for some nose stalls on a small little rapid that is perfect for this maneuver.

Both my husband and son can do these quite well.

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Then it was time for the last rapid of the day. Needless to say, I have no pictures to share with you. We experienced a little mishap with one of my son friends. The current is strong, there are a lot of rocks, and she just was not strong enough to make the sharp left hand turn in time. She ended up being pushed sideways into the boulders and pinned there for quite some time. Again, let me stress, even with experience, a river is always in charge of our fate. My son was the closest to her, and he exited his kayak and made his way to her as fast as possible by foot. Her kayak was filled with water, with the current making it very hard for him to stand and try to get her out safely. She was tiring from fighting the current that was pushing against her to try and get out, and could not help much. After some time, he decided to just grab her by the life jacket and pull, trying his best just to free her from her kayak. He succeeded, thankfully. She was quite shaken by the ordeal, and a little uneasy on her feet, but eventually made it back to shore by foot with some assistance. It took both my husband and son to unjam her kayak from the boulders, due to the strong current filling it with water. Thankfully we all worked together and nothing was lost down river during this ordeal, and most of all my son still had his friend to laugh with for many years to come. Kayaks and paddles are all replaceable. Friends are not.Her quote to him on land was, “We are friends for life, because you save my life!” And they gave a big high five together. We are proud of our son, and very happy she is alright.

We all shared a nice picnic lunch while we all laughed and just enjoyed how the day turned out.

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We loaded the kayaks all back up and the plan was to stop for ice cream on the way home if the kids(now young adults) could keep their eyes open until we got to the ice cream shop. This was not easy, but they all made it, so ice cream it was.

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Flavor of the day was raspberry sherbert. Yum:)

Let me tell you, we were hardly out of the parking lot after finishing our ice cream, and we heard snoring from the back seat. Two out of three of them were out cold sleeping. Although, it was the two that were in the mishap together, so I guess, they deserved a little peace and quiet after all that.

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We all had a terrific day, and want to thank all our friends for trusting us to take you all for these adventures. Our weekends would not be as much fun without all of you.

Happy Paddling Everyone

Wave Riding Lake Michigan/Stand Up Paddling

Today we woke up to some breezy conditions outside which meant Lake Michigan may or may not be rough. We took a look at the web camera, and oh boy, we could see whitecaps, but my boys were determined to give it a try. I, on the other hand, was hoping for a nice little ripple to finally get the stand up paddle board on the big lake. Upon arrival, I knew the board would never leave the truck.

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My son, upon entering the water, debating, shall we or shall we not?

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They have done bigger waves on this lake before, so I knew they were going to go and try it. It’s really a matter of wave spacing. Sometimes it’s perfect and sometimes it’s not.

Getting ready to paddle.

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Ok, let’s go.

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After a while of paddling to get far enough out to ride a wave back,

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they figured out today would not be the day for Lake Michigan paddling. So they caught a few good ones and made their way back to shore.

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Then they said it was my turn to get wet. We headed to a near by lake so I could paddle my SUP. Hurray!!!!

Upon arriving, there were a ton of kids and families having picnics and swimming. Summer has finally arrived here.

We took a short paddle around the lake, and then really wanted to try out what we had learned in our recent paddling class. My son went first, and tried his turn. First on his knees.

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Then standing, one foot in front of the other.

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This is extremely difficult, as you can see. He went swimming again.

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Then it was my turn. No pics of me, but I assure you, I went swimming three times from the standing position. I have the kneeling position mastered though.

Then my husband tried his handstand again, and this time I actually was out of the water with the camera ready.

Getting in position

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And up he went

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Very graceful I must say. He even landed it right back on the board, unlike last time when he ended up in the lake. Very nice honey!

After a few hours of paddling and playing. It was picnic time. You will all be so proud of us, we actually utilized a picnic table this time instead of the tailgate of the truck.

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So, for a Sunday, it was a fun relaxing day in the little town of Algoma.

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Until next time,

Happy Paddling Everyone

Paddling Class with an Expert

On our last day away from home, we had the opportunity to attend a class with a paddling expert from Werner Paddles. Danny Mongo was our instructor for a stand up paddle board maneuvering and bracing class at a popular paddle shop in Madison, WI called Rutabaga. We signed up for this months ago, before I even could call myself the proud owner of a SUP.

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We awoke from a very stormy night to very ominous morning sky. Packing the vehicle to make our way to Madison, was quite depressing, to say the least.

I really wanted it to be sunny, hot and beautiful for our class. My husband kept reassuring me that it could pass through and be done by the time class started, but I was not so sure. We arrived in Madison, visited my favorite grocery store, Trader Joe’s and stopped for lunch before arriving at Rutabaga. While eating lunch, the skies brightened and the rain stopped.To our surprise, we left the restaurant and noticed it had gotten much more humid and hot outside. HURRAY! Let’s go paddling:)

We were a little early, so of course, because they have whitewater boats, my husband and son just had to try two of them out. They honestly have quite a big selection of anything and everything that floats.

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This company, has a nice little lake which is connected to Lake Monona, where you can “test drive” anything in their store. How awesome is that?

So the Jackson Zen and Karma were brought out.

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The boys tried them out, each in there first picks and then they switched. They paddled around and decided one was better then the other, but neither was quite ready to part with their own kayaks yet. (Thank Goodness) We really haven no more room for another kayak.

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Then it was time for class. We were all introduced to Danny Mongo from Werner Paddles, and all given some basic paddling information before hitting the water.

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We took the third level class, because we really needed to know how to do some more advanced techniques before we hit Lake Michigan. I can not say enough about how much we all learned. None of us even knew you could turn quickly the farther back on your board you stand, and just pivot it around. Now, let me remind you, alot of us went for a swim trying this out, including my husband and son. I must admit, I never really mastered this, because I am not confident standing that far back on my board. Maybe in time, possibly.

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Danny even got creative and did a yoga standing tree pose on his board, which was spectacular. Then my husband decided to try his yoga pose and did a warrior II. Very nice. If that was not enough, my hubby even stood on his head on his board. Straight up, and then straight in to the lake. Good job honey!!!!!

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(In case your wondering, we even played in the pond fountain. Fun,Fun,Fun)

We all left wet and happy. A big thanks goes out to Danny and Amelia for some great fun on the water. Thank You!

If you ever get the chance to take one of his classes, go for it. It was very rewarding. Now we need to find time to get to the big lake and see what we can do.

Happy Paddling Everyone.

Another day of paddling and another pair of lost sunglasses…

Today was another day of paddling, just not as high adventure as yesterday. I finally got to take my new stand up paddle board out in a near by lake that we enjoy occasionally. Small lakes are not usually our first pick of bodies of water, but at this time of year, it is much warmer than Lake Michigan, which is where we would prefer to stand up paddle. So, my son and husband had the recreational kayaks to fish from, and I had my new board.

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When we exited the truck upon arrival, we all sort of took a deep breath, because this lake is located near Lake Michigan, and the air temperature, compared to when we left home was already quite cooler. I knew this would not be great, even with the sun shining but I was determined to enjoy my new board. I paddled first while the boys ventured off to fish.I was not nearly as shaky as the test run I took before purchasing it. It felt quite natural to tell the truth. I absolutely love it!!!!

After I was done, it was my husband turn. He took a tour of the lake on the search for fish, but did find much.

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Then is was my son’s turn. If you recall a past post when we went test driving the boards, he did not try one out. He was in charge of pictures, and besides, the river we had to test them out on is not a great river to fall into. He opted out, and took our word for it which board was the one we wanted. So, this was his first time on a board since last summer. He was somewhat shaky at first, but after he found his happy feet spot, he was off paddling like he was a pro. That is until he was coming into the beach area to end his trip. He flip the paddle to lay it on the board and hit his sunglasses and in they went. Right to the bottom of the lake.

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We usually loose one pair of sunglasses every year to a river or lake. I guess this year we are stating off quite early.

After boarding and fishing, we had a picnic lunch and decided to pack it all up and head home. I ate lunch with three shirts on and wrapped in a beach towel, I was so cold. Can you imagine if I was wet? Oh my, I don’t even want to think about being that chilly. So, we knew there was no hope of me going back for another paddle, at least not today.

Since I had been delaying grocery shopping because I knew we were going to be out most of the weekend, we did not have a whole lot of choices for dinner. So, we called it a night, found the take out menu for a local restaurant, made some margaritas, and relaxed on the front porch together in the sunshine.

We now have one day left of our long weekend. The first thing on the agenda early tomorrow morning will be grocery shopping. Then who knows. Maybe disc golf, maybe a hike or geocaching or maybe even some tennis. We’ll see what unfolds tomorrow.

I hope your all having a a great weekend so far.